Somehow the UK is still basking in a heatwave. It’s been high temperatures and sunshine for weeks now and forecasts show that it could continue into the early Autumn. And that means good times for barbecue and salad lovers.
Summer food is lighter, fresher and altogether more fun than heavier winter dishes. The beautiful sunshine has meant boom times for salad growers as sales of green leafy products have been shooting through the roof. If you’re looking for refreshing, delicious wines to go with your favourite salad dishes this summer, have a look at the following.
The British Leafy Salad Growers have reported a bumper summer for lettuce, with record-breaking sales. Around 18 million lettuces are being sold every week, this is a massive 40% higher than the corresponding season last year.
Popular lettuces include rocket, iceberg and more exotic leaves. But as to what to drink with these bowls of light freshness? It definitely depends on what you’re serving with your salad.
If you’re going with classic flavours like peppery leaves and sharp goat’s cheese, then matching something like a creamy sauvignon blanc like Domaine Naudet Sancerre 2017. Or if you’re enjoying crunchy, peppery salad leaves with a lemon and olive oil dressing then try something like Semeli-Nassiakos from Greece. It’s infused with lemon-scented, floral and melon notes that come from the moscofilero grape.
For more robustly flavoured salads, whether that includes a deep garlic or vinegar dressing, or Asian infused flavours such as ginger or chilly, then you will need to choose a more textured wine. You’re looking for a higher sugared wine to cut through the spicier and deeper flavours of your dish.
For a classic French salade nicoise, that includes rich olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and vinegar, pairing with a French wine often works. You could choose a rose from Provence, such as the M de Minuty Rose, Cote de Provence 2017.
Asian flavours go beautifully in a salad and flavours that include chilli, garlic, lime, fish sauce and coriander go with slightly fizzy sweetness with a burst of citrus and tropical fruit. A Portuguese Vinho Verde will match the depth of these flavours really well and balance your mouthful perfectly.
When you’re looking to match a wine with your fruit salad, it’s a good idea to look for a slightly sweeter wine. If you’re enjoying a savoury and sweet fruit salad, such as watermelon with feta cheese, then a light, subtly fruity rose would be a delicious choice.
Or for dessert fruit salads, including summer fruits such as strawberries and melon, with a sorbet, then the classic Italian dessert wine is a great choice. We’re talking about northern Italy’s ever-popular Moscato d’Asti. It’s exuberant with hints of Muscat grapes, melon and peaches. It’s only 5.5% abv, so it’s all round light, fluffy and perfect for summer.