Salads are notoriously challenging to pair with wine, but when it comes to a Cobb, a fresh, fruity white has what it takes.

Perfect Wine Match

Although salad is a tough match for any wine, Sauvignon Blanc—with its own complex, gardenlike bouquet and flavors—does much better than most. But make sure you pick a fresh and fruity Sauvignon Blanc—that is, one not dulled by a lot of alcohol or excess oak, a problem with some California offerings. A wine like the 2001 "Attitude" Sauvignon Blanc from Pascal Jolivet ($13) has all the right stuff. This bottling from France's Loire Valley is suffused with lively melon, peach and citrus notes that lift and highlight the flavors of the salad, with its savory, salty bacon and pancetta. Alternatively, try the 2002 Craggy Range Winery Sauvignon Blanc Te Muna Road ($18) from New Zealand. Its herb-inflected lime, melon and apricot notes are a clean counterpoint to the salad's earthy, smoky flavors.

—Richard Nalley