Weeknight Dinner Recipe and Wine Pairing at Wine4.Me/blog

This copy cat version of Olive Garden's famous salad is bursting with juicy tomatoes, olives, red onion, spicy pepperoncinis, Parmesan, and crunchy croutons. Pair it with one of these wines.

Photo Source: Stuck on Sweet. Used with permission.

Summer is a lovely time to enjoy crisp, cool salads with vinaigrette dressing. Jessica from Stuck on Sweet has created her copy cat version of Olive Garden’s famous salad. Bursting with juicy tomatoes, olives, red onion, spicy pepperoncinis, Parmesan, and crunchy croutons, this salad is sure to please. You can do as Jessica does and use the store-bought Olive Garden dressing or try your hand at making your own vinaigrette. If you want to make it more of a meal, just add some cooked chicken.

Copy Cat Olive Garden Salad Wine Pairing

There are a lot of bold flavors found in this salad, from the pepperoncini peppers, to the raw onion and salty and savory olives. We’re looking for bright wines with high acidity to stand up to the sharpness of the salad dressing. With the mix of vegetables and the addition of the peppers and olives, we lean towards a citrusy white wine.

Sauvignon Blanc: Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc ~ $7

Crisp, bright, and fruity, with citrus and tropical flavors, this is a nice, straightforward everyday wine that will stand up nicely to the salad.

Sauvignon Blanc: Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc ~ $12

This Sauvignon Blanc is more tropical focused with lots of pineapple and apricot and some sweetness to it. The bold fruity flavors and sweet notes will balance out the stronger flavors of the pepperoncini peppers and salad dressing.

Gruner Veltliner: Weingut Laurenz V. ‘Laurenz und Sophie Singing’ Gruner Veltliner ~ $14

Gruner Veltliner is always a good choice for vegetables, and this one is no exception. It has signature spice and white pepper flavors along with citrus, apple, and peach flavors. The juicy fruit on the palate and crisp finish will compliment all ingredients in this salad.

Chenin Blanc: Beringer Chenin Blanc ~ $5

This wine is aromatic and fruity with flavors of citrus, melon, and honey, along with some ginger and nutmeg spice. Lush and juicy on the palate, this one also has a touch of sweetness that balances out the dressing and stands up to the mix of veggies and sharpness of the dressing.

Chenin Blanc: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc & Viognier ~ $13

This blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier has floral and fruity components with lemon, mango, and orange blossom. It has lots of juicy mouth-watering fruit on the palate and a touch of sweetness. The subtle sweetness found in the wine will tone down the flavors of the pepperoncini peppers and sharpness of the onions and act as a refreshing palate cleanser.

Other Recipe & Wine Pairings


We hope you enjoy our wine pairing choices. If you want to know which wines YOU will like best, download the FREE iPhone app Wine4.Me. Tell it what wines you know you like and get your own personalized rankings of best-selling, widely available wines in the US.

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