Is there the perfect wine for salad?

Villa Taurini Fiano labelMatching 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.

Malt 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.

Trying 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.

Tesco Villa Taurini FianoPG Wine Review

Tesco Simple French Côtes du Rhone

£3.99 Tesco

Cheap and cheerful red with plum and blackberry flavours that end with bubblegum sweetness.

Maison des Princes Anjou Blanc 2010, French

£4.99 Morrisons

A nice summer white with light peach and apple flavours rounded off with almond biscuit dipped in honey.

Spar Spanish Valencia Red

£5.19 Spar

A light red for light times: plum, currant, sloe and a bit of black pepper.

Villa Taurini Italian Fiano 2011

£5.99 Tesco

This wine wins the award for bad label design that’s least likely to make you buy it. But despite that the wine inside isn’t bad: lime, apple, sherbet and pineapple flavours. Quite tart.

M&S Bordeaux Sauvignon 2011

£7.99 M&S

Refreshing and gluggable: fresh gooseberry with a hint of oregano.

Yalumba Australian The Y Series Viognier 2012

£9.99 Morrisons

Open 20 minutes before drinking to reveal the peachy flavours.

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