Here we are in the middle of summer, and it's not just the heat, humidity and the fact that everybody seems to be taking vacations abroad that have me dreaming of far-off destinations myself. In this kind of weather, I love nothing more than eating light, tasty meals. In particular, that means salads. As decent salads become easier to find in Taiwan, here are some wine matches for a couple of fantastic salad ingredients.
Smoked Salmon: There is a multitude of smoked salmon salad recipes. Due to the intense flavours of this fish, it tends to be the key flavour component, making it sensible for us to select wines that are going to complement it. For me, it's hard to avoid a quality white Burgundy such as Saint Veran or Pouilly Fuisse. Almost all white Burgundy is 100% made from Chardonnay and the added richness from the Macon area's extra warmth, combined with the very subtle use of oak to add a hint of toasty smokiness and vanilla—while retaining a level of acidity to balance the oily fattiness of the salmon—make them a terrific match. They are also relatively good value when compared to their more illustrious neighbours to the north. Look out for Domaine Corsin, which hosted me at an unforgettable tasting a few years back with their friends from up the road at Chateau Fuisse.
Goat's Cheese: Cheese with red wine, right? Matching the right wine to the right cheese is always the key. The higher acidity combined with herbaceous, grassy elements often found in goat's cheese means that it is usually a fantastic match for a full-flavoured Sauvignon Blanc. There is almost no debate that Malborough in New Zealand and the Loire Valley in France are the finest areas of Sauvignon Blanc production. Look out for names like Spy Valley from Marlborough (available in Taiwan), or Vacheron from Sancerre in the Loire.
Remember the key is matching the dominant flavour in the meal with the wine, even if the responsible ingredient isn't the largest portion.
By the way, check out http://www.annabel-langbein.com if you're feeling adventurous enough to find some recipes to make at home!