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Jan 4, 2014 03:21 PM

Which Wine for Salad Course

Ciao, Hounds:

For the salad course of my upcoming dinner party I am planning to serve an endive salad ( endive, apple, walnuts, goat cheese) with a vinegrette dressing. I am somewhat concerned that the vinegar will make the wine taste odd. Any suggestions on what kind of wine or what kind of vinegrette to serve that will minimize this problem? Many thanks!

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  1. Are you serving multiple wines? Are you serving an entree, and another wine with it?

    I eat salads with vinaigrette all the time, and I drink white wine all the time, specifically Pinto Grigio or Sauv Blanc. I do not find the dressing to make my wine taste off........

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      Where in the menu are you serving the salad? If before the main, Champagne; if after, stay with whatever you're drinking with the main.

    2. What are you pouring during appetizers? If I'm serving something sparkling to start, i often carry that through a salad course. Then pair something else with the meain...

      1. Obviously the vinaigrette is the problem. Think about using a rice wine vinegar, dilute a champagne vinegar, or use lemon juice (and do away with the vinaigrette completely).

        As far as the menu is concerned, are you: a) serving soup or an appetizer course ***before*** the salad; b) starting the sit-down portion of the meal with the salad course; or c) serving the salad course *after* the main, and before dessert?

        Presuming it's a) or b), I'd opt for a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé with the salad course. If opting for a California Sauvignon Blanc, I'd select one with little -- possibly no -- oak. Champagne will also work, particularly if your meal starts with the salad. I'd look for a Brut Blanc des Blancs Champagne, in that case.

        If c), I'd actually skip the wine entirely -- especially if the entrée calls for a red. Serving the salad course after the main serves the purpose of a palate cleanser, as would a sorbet, prior to dessert. I'd let the salad serve its purpose, and then bring out the dessert and the wine to pair with it.

        1. I've never had issues with vinaigrette and wine when I make the vinaigrette.

          I often use wine as the vinegar component in the vinaigrette and then serve the same wine.

          But you don't have to serve wine with salad, and can easily stick with the white wine/Champagne served before (if that's your sequence of courses).

          1. As described I lean to chardonnay or sauvignon blanc.

            But if you would substitute emmental for the goat cheese, it matches riesling very nicely and riesling is a better match with apple than SB or chard IMO.

            3 Replies
            1. re: TombstoneShadow

              Many thanks for all suggestions. The salad will be the first sit-down course. This is an Alsatian dinner with choucroute and Alsatian wines, so your idea of substituting emmental for goat cheese is perfect. I will also either use wine for the acid componant or citrus, or a less astringent vinegar as several of you have suggested. Thanks to all.

              1. re: lattelover

                Just the thought of wine with a sald iis shocking to me: it was verboten when I was a boy. only your boozy sclerotic Aunt Eufalia would do it..and it was best to give her a small glass of "water" to get her through the course.
                In those days, though, we ate saladafter the main course/

                1. re: lattelover

                  yes, if it's alsatian cuisine then riesling makes all the more sense. As a few posters have mentioned, you can just leave this wine on the table as you bring out additional courses that it likely will match.