Vinaigrette makes a tricky wine match

saladMatching wine to a baby leaf and herb salad, whose only coating is sea salt and black pepper, is easy - almost any white or light red wine will go. Finding a wine for a salad dressed in oil and vinegar is a little more difficult.

Louis Jadot BeaujolaisMalt vinegar mixed with oil produces tangy vinaigrette, but its acidity can mask the delicate flavours of both salad and wine. Try lowering the amount of vinegar or replace the malt vinegar entirely: red or white wine vinegars taste fruity and match the robust taste of cos lettuce and peppery rocket leaves. A less acidic dressing can be made with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve with light red wines, like Beaujolais, or whites from New Zealand or Sancerre in the Loire Valley.

salad with dressingTrying to find the perfect match for your salad dressing can still prove complicated, so an alternative strategy is to match your salad’s native home with a wine from the same country. Italian Insalata Tricolore (the three colours being green avocado, white buffalo mozzarella and red tomatoes) matches light red Italian wines like Valpolicella while Salade Niçoise, which literally means ‘salad as prepared in Nice’, matches light southern French wines.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Tesco Chilean Red

£3.79 Tesco

Light and creamy blackberry-tasting red. A good all rounder.

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Lateral Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2012 3-litre winebox

£4.13 (equivalent 75cl price, £16.49 for 3-litres) Tesco

Fresh and light gooseberry-tasting white with a cooked apple ending. An everyday drinker.

Lateral Chilean Shiraz 2011 3-litre winebox

£4.13 (equivalent 75cl price, £16.49 for 3-litres) Tesco

Light and fruity red with plum and blackcurrant yoghurt flavours. This is a Shiraz for people who don’t want the in-your-face flavours so often found in New World Shiraz. Good value in the 3-litre version but less so when bought in the 75cl glass bottle – which costs £6.79.

Storks Landing Portuguese Pinot Noir Shiraz 2010

£4.49 Co-op (down from £8.99 until September 4)

If you want to know what this wine smells like then stick your nose into a bag of chocolate buttons. Taste-wise it’s got cocoa, blackberry and a bit of cinnamon. A lot going on for £4.49.

Les Crouzes Old Vines French Carignan

£4.49 Co-op (down from £5.49 until September 4)

Bargain of the Week. If you want £10-worth of flavour at half the price then this is the wine for you – rich blackberry and sloe with a background of violets, cocoa, black pepper and liquorice. Slurp on its own or with nosh.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Caliterra Tributo ChardonnayCaliterra Tributo Chilean Chardonnay 2009

£7.75 Bin 21

Selling for £3 less than other independent outlets, Bin 21 also offers another 10% discount when you order this wine online. And what a great wine it is: apple, lemon, hints of honey and a creamy ending. This wine has body and richness – a white wine for red wine drinkers.

Yali Chilean Viognier 2011

£8.49 Majestic (buy 2+ £6.79)

Another excellent wine from Yali – fruity melon and lemon flavours with an ending of sucking on the end of a pencil.

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk