Wine Pairing Challenge: My Summer Salad Obsession

Meet my summer salad obsession . . . Spinach Salad with Watermelon, Blueberries and Feta. It’s a recipe I got from my friend, Delilah.  It’s light, delicious and gorgeous.  The dressing is just lemon juice and honey.  That’s it.  Summer simplicity.

And if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who happens to be a beekeeper, then you get to use fresh, local honey!  Thanks, Fern Hill Apiary!

salad 1

2 tablespoons lemon juice (or 2 tablespoons lime juice)

1 tablespoon honey

4 cups spinach leaves

2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup blueberries, washed and dried

1/2 cup seedless cucumber, cubed

1/2 cup red onion, cut thinly

1/2 cup feta cheese (I use the feta in brine, cubed)

Whisk the lemon or lime juice and honey in a large bowl.  Add spinach and toss lightly to coat.  Add watermelon, blueberries, cucumber, and onion.  Toss and top with feta cheese.

Note:  I rarely add the red onion — I find it overpowering.  And I didn’t have any cucumbers today — and the salad tastes just as good without them.  I love flexible food.

Now for the challenge . . . what wine should I pair with all this summer goodness?  There’s a lot going on in that bowl.  Let me know your ideas in the comments!

Salud!!

23 comments

  1. You want acidity for sure and a little sweetness to match up with the fruit and honey. I definitely would prefer bubbles for this salad, so I’d go with a Moscato D’asti. The bubbles will cleanse and refresh the palate and the sweetness will keep everything in balance. If you don’t want sweet, then I’d go with Prosecco.

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  2. I am thinking Vinho verde because I assume the water melon and the honey provide enough sweetness. Maybe going with a little less lemon juice in the dressing…and it is slightly bubbly, too…

    I know what you mean with these easy summer salads. I hardly crave more when the weather is like this: just fruit (I like mine with peaches, plums, apples and avocado) and spinach. Then some parmiggiano on top…yum.

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  3. This is one serious challenge – there is a lot going on for a simple wine pairing. I would try to complement it and not to contrast (blueberries, honey, watermelon – ouch), thus I would suggest a nice German Riesling (probably Spatlese or Auslese), or (call me crazy) Sauterns.

    I hope you will write a sequel and tell us what did you end up doing : )

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      1. No questions, Kabinett will work fine too – overall, it will depend on the year and producer. Will be an interesting experiment and cool blog post!

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    1. Wow! You’re a beekeeper, too? Awesome. I LOVE my friend’s local honey. My kids have gotten so spoiled . . . they won’t even let me buy “store” honey anymore. Riesling was my first thought, too. Salud!

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  4. This dish is sure a wine pairing challenge, with all that sweetness and a touch of acidity from the dressing. I second Anatoli’s and Modern Somm’s suggestions: I would certainly go by association (not by contrast), preferably with an off-sweet wine (not all the way sweet given the presence of spinach and feta) with good acidity and intense aromas: when I read your post the first wine that popped to my mind was the off-dry Le Colture Prosecco that I just recently reviewed (I think it would really go well with your dish) or a German off-dry Riesling (Spatlese, I guess).

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