This is one of the most popular salads around the world. Despite its simplicity in ingredients, it boasts of bright and intense notes of tomato, basil, creamy mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar and tomato are acidic, which calls for a wine that is also high in acidity to create balance. Both red and white wines can pair nicely with Caprese salad, and one can get creative with their choices!
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Caprese Salad
|Tannins||Low to Medium High|
|Body||Light -Medium Plus|
|Notes||Red and Black Berries, Red and Black Cherry, Citrus, Orchard Fruits, Mixed Herbs, Spices|
Best Red Wine to Pair with Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a relatively delicate dish, and to elevate your dining experience it is best not to choose a wine that will overpower it. Choose a red that has low to medium high tannins, high acidity, and some savory flavour characteristics. This creates harmony with the high acid of the tomato and vinegar, while complementing the herbaceous notes of the basil.
Out of all the types of Chianti there are, basic level Chianti will have the lowest of the tannins at a medium level. The main grape is Sangiovese, and it is characteristic for its sour cherry and herb notes. Chianti will pair beautifully with Caprese salad, and its high acid will liven up the dish.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC
This red wine is not a fresh and typically unoaked wine with delicate fruit notes. Its sour cherry notes, medium tannin level and high acidity pack a punch to create balance with the tomato and balsamic vinegar. Also, its high acid level creates a delicious contrast to the creamy cheese to cleanse the palate. Since this wine is also made with Sangiovese grapes, it will have the same herbaceousness that is compatible with the basil.
This is a red wine that is rarely seen outside Northern Italy. It is a tart wine with flavours of red cherry, blackberry, minerality and hints of black pepper. This wine has a wide array of characteristics that are as complex as those found in Caprese salad, thus creating balance between the two. This wine also has a lower tannin level that does not clash with the delicacy of the Caprese salad dish.
This is a wine that originates in Sicily that is light bodied with juicy strawberry, raspberry, white pepper, and light baking spices. These red fruits will bring out the brightness of the tomato and will create a delicate contrast with the balsamic vinegar to create complexity. Choose a higher quality option as these are more likely to have higher tartness to marry well with the acid of the tomato and balsamic vinegar.
This fun wine from the Emilia Romagna region of Northern Italy is a rare find as a sparkling red. Secco in this context means dry and is typically high acidity to achieve the refreshing nature that sparkling wines usually have. These wines also have slight sage and thyme notes that will highlight the basil in the salad. In addition, the frothiness of this wine will lighten up the creaminess of the cheese, making it a delicious match.
Best White Wine to Pair with Caprese Salad
Caprese salad has tart and creamy elements, which expands our options to various white wine styles to pair it with! Look for something with higher acid levels to mirror the tomato and the balsamic vinegar components. Also, creamy wines with malolactic fermentation and also fruit forward high acid wines will both pair nicely. Here are some great choices:
This is the most widely planted white grape in Tuscany and for good reason. Its primary flavours are basil, peach, lemon and green apple. It would be no surprise that this wine would be an obvious choice (out of many!) for Caprese salad. This wine is typically dry and high in acidity, which is perfect for Caprese salad. Many Italians pair Trebbiano with a variety of Italian cheeses, and fresh mozzarella is no exception.
Vermentino Di Gallura DOCG
Although this wine is not known for its herbal notes, it does have ample citrus, yellow and green apple, pear, white blossoms, and nuttiness that will pair well with your Caprese salad. Since this dish is one of complexity, it is a great idea to find a wine that also is equally complex with many types of aromas. This higher acid wine will marry well with the salad. This wine is also bursting with freshness, like the salad. This is a great option to try!
This is another wine from Tuscany but is rarer than the other two mentioned above. This is made from Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The Pinot Bianco will give the blend more yellow plum and yellow apple notes; the Pinot Grigio will give it a crispness with zesty lemon, apple and pear characteristics; and the Chardonnay will give the blend a round smooth texture. The fruit in the wine will bring out the fresh tomato and basil in the salad, and the roundness will also mirror the similarities it has in the cheese. If you are lucky enough to find one, this will be a great pairing!
Rias Baixas DO
This is a region which makes a lightly spritzy white wine or completely still. This light and refreshing white wine is made from Albariño. It is highly fruit-forward with lemon, lemon zest, grapefruit, peach, cantaloupe, and saline characteristics. These fruity notes will bring out both the fruitiness and juiciness of the tomato, and the salinity will bring out the creaminess of the cheese as a delicate contrast. This is one of Spain’s most underrated regions and pairing it with Caprese salad is a great reason to give it a try.
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
This classic white wine is well known to all wine lovers. Marlborough makes strong Sauvignon Blanc in a distinctive style that is full of juicy guava, melon, pineapple and its characteristic nettle/asparagus notes. The fruity flavours will bring out the fruitiness and juiciness of the tomato, and the herbaceous flavour will highlight the basil. Additionally, the high acidity will pair well with the high acidity of the overall dish.
Best Wine to Pair with Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is quite popular, so it is with good reason that one would want to know of a suitable wine pairing with it. Depending on if you select a red or a white wine, choose one that has high acidity that will highlight the flavours of Caprese salad components without overpowering it. The above suggestions will surely make your wine and salad pairing a hit!