Before we get into the specifics of the best wines to pair with a Caesar salad, we need to better understand this iconic dish, so we know what flavors the wine should bring to the table.
If the legends of its origins are true, then the Caesar salad is roughly 100 years old. The most common version of the story goes like this: Caesar Cardini was operating his Tijuana, Mexico restaurant on July 4th, 1924, when he found himself overrun with guests. So, he whipped up a sauce from what he had around the kitchen and paired it as a dip with whole lettuce leaves to be served as finger food. The sauce was a hit, and a legend was born.
Today, Caesar salad recipes are highly varied, but most stick to that original template laid out by Cardini. The keys here being a rich and creamy emulsion paired with several strong, overlapping flavors.
When making a homemade Caesar dressing, you’re using a lot of ingredients, but a good one should be greater than the sum of its part. Your wine should also complement that balance. This means, while there is a wide range of wines that work, some of them will pair better with certain elements than others. The presence of lemon means you can use a citrusy white, but the rich, savory notes mean even a lighter red will work, too.