Salads are complex and tricky to pair with wine –
The Cobb salad may be the most complicated of all!
A Cobb Salad has so many ingredients that satisfy hunger, so it is a great choice when you are starving. Bacon, chicken, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, and hard-boiled eggs. Yes please, to all of it!
Now that you have your delicious meal decided, if you are a wine lover the next question will be what wine do you pair with it? There are so many elements to this hearty salad that you must consider each of the primary ingredients and match the weight and intensity with the wine.
Wines that pair with the strong elements of Cobb Salad:
- Pinot Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Dry, Fruity Rosé
First, we are dealing with four different proteins, and each one is different. The chicken might be roasted or grilled but is generally a bland protein unless it is seasoned. Bacon is cured so it is a salty umami sensation on the palate. Eggs are bland too but add an interesting texture. The cheese in a Cobb Salad is typically blue cheese which is pungent, but I have also seen cheddar cheese used which is milder. The avocado, tomato, corn, scallions, and lettuce are considered secondary to the wine choice as they play a supporting role.
When considering chicken, the best wine is an aromatic white, full-bodied white or rose wine. When considering bacon, the best match is an aromatic white, a sparkling wine or rose wine. When considering blue cheese or aged cheddar an aromatic white wine is the best option. Hard boiled eggs will tend to go with the flow, but my choice would be an aromatic white wine or lighter bodied white wine. When it comes to fresh green aromatic herbs an aromatic white wine is best. Onions, shallots which might be in the dressing and even scallions all lean towards a light or full-bodied white wine.
“lets treat the dish as one entity. It is delicious, salty, fresh, crunchy, soft, crisp textured, good amount of intensity and incredibly satisfying…”
Now that we have broken it down and looked at separate components, lets treat the dish as one entity. It is delicious, salty, fresh, crunchy, soft, crisp textured, good amount of intensity and incredibly satisfying. The most common wine that worked the best with the individual ingredients was an aromatic white wine. I would also consider a fuller bodied white and a rose.
You might consider a white blend which many wineries offer. BC wineries offer all these grape varieties and make top quality wines. Below are a few Okanagan wineries to check out for their aromatic whites and dry, fruity rosés:
- Maverick Cellars
- Roche Wines
- Seven Directions
- Howling Bluff
- Dirty Laundry Vineyard
Whatever you choose to try, have fun experimenting and enjoy!
Katherine McEachnie – Dip WSET