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!



  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.


  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.


  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 : )


    1. Riesling was my first thought, too. But I thought Kabinett instead of Spatlese. Sauternes is an intriguing idea. I should gather all the suggestions and do a pairing throw down! ;o) Salud!


      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!


  4. My there is a lot of different ideas in the comments! I would pair it with a nice refreshing crisp Sauvignon Blanc – probably one from New Zealand. Let us know what you try!


    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!


  5. 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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