Tips for pairing your salad and wine this new year
When the ball dropped on Jan. 1, the New Year’s resolutions start rolling in! According to Statista, a global consumer survey reported that 39% of U.S. adults established resolutions in 2022. Out of the 39% of Americans who created a new goal, 48% wanted to exercise more, 44% pledged to eat healthier and 41% chose to lose weight. These three prevailing New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to but being realistic and incorporating balance is what will make your goals sustainable. And easy resolution to achieve is correctly pairing your salad and wine.
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Enhancing your salad with a glass of wine is an easy way to elevate your dining experience. The key to pairing wine and salad is making sure the wine balances the salad’s acidity or exceeds it. Grimaldi’s has an extensive wine menu with several delicious salad options, making it the perfect place to eat while sticking to your plan. We recommend the following salad and wine pairings:
Riesling with Antipasto Salad
Riesling is a white grape variety that typically displays floral notes with a high level of acidity. This type of wine is dry, semi-sweet and sometimes sparkling. Fresh mozzarella, oven roasted sweet red peppers, genoa salami, olives and fresh baked bread are the ingredients for Grimaldi’s antipasto salad. When put together, the number of tannins and acidity in Riesling washes away the salt and fats that are in cured meats, like genoa salami. Additionally, the citrus and tree fruit notes in the wine leaves behind a refreshing taste.
Chardonnay with Fruit and Nut Spinach Salad
Chardonnay is one of the most versatile grapes used in wine production which presents fruit notes like melons, apples and pears. From rich and buttery to a complex, aged bottle, Chardonnay can do it all. The white grape is planted all over the world, making it an iconic varietal used in many wines. If the wine is created using an oak-barrel method, flavors and aromas of cinnamon, clove and vanilla are typically present. The signature flavors of a fruit and nut spinach salad— apples, cherries, balsamic, nuts and gorgonzola— balance well with the dryness and acidity present in chardonnay. An oaky Chardonnay highlights the subtle tastes of the classic salad.
Sauvignon Blanc with Lemon Arugula Salad
Many argue about which is better, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines are spectacular, but when it comes to pairing, Sauvignon Blanc weds delightfully with lemon-based dishes. Sauvignon Blanc contains notes of lemon, lime, fresh-cut grass, and grapefruit, complementing lemon vinaigrette beautifully. The fruit-forward, highly acidic wine is sure to provide of a sense of refreshment.
The best thing about coupling these salads and wines is how readily accessible they are. Most grocery stores have pre-made salad kits of this variety or individual ingredients, as well as different Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc options for all different price points and regions. Whether you are enjoying these duos at home or at a restaurant, you will be glad you tried them.
Author: Hector Godinez is the Grimaldi’s Pizzeria culinary manager.