“Sophie’s Choice” of Food and Wine

Salad with Chicken

We eat a lot of salad. We drink a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon. But not together.

I love salad. A fresh garden salad with croutons, oil, and vinegar, Caesar salad, Iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, Asian salad with ginger dressing, salad with black beans, with grilled chicken, with crumbled gorgonzola, with Cajun-seasoned grilled shrimp. Call me the Bubba Gump of salad.

I also love red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Bordeaux-style blends. Here lies the dilemma. My vanilla-scented, dark-fruited Cab and my garden salad with Paul Newman’s Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing are a dreadful pairing. Not only does the oil and vinegar-based salad dressing make the dry red wine taste sour, the fresh crunchy, leafy textures found in the salad are incompatible with velvety smoothness of the wine.

Right about now I hear the food and wine pairing experts whispering in my ear, “Dry Rosé, crisp white, or Sauvignon Blanc.” Should we give up the red wines we prefer for the love of salad? Having to choose between salad and Cabernet is my “Sophie’s Choice” of food and wine.


Our solution to this pairing predicament is timing. Starting with wine, we accompany it with a plate of smoked meats, tangy and creamy cheeses, and rosemary crackers. Following our wine and cheese course, we serve our salad with sparkling water and a pairing disaster has been averted.

Talking about food and recipes later in Boozy Lifestyle, I’ll make a few pairing suggestions from personal experience, however, for the most part, the wine has disappeared before the meal is served.

Published by J Reilly

Boozy Lifestyle: Elevate The Everyday With Booze As Your Muse by Julia Stacey Reilly is available on Amazon.com. Follow J Reilly @boozy_lifestyle on Twitter and Instagram.

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