Wine and food pairings can be tricky, as they require a constant balancing act between sweet, salty, fatty and acidic tastes and textures. The juicy tomato may appear to be a challenging wine match at first, and its potent acidity can result in its flavours clashing with a low-acid, oaky Chardonnay or big tannic reds like a classic Bordeaux. However, tomatoes and wine aren’t an impossible coupling; our guide illustrates how you can transform them into a perfect pairing.
Whether they’re in a salad or mixed into a sauce, raw tomatoes perfectly complement high-acid white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Fruity wines such as dry Rosé also work well with fresh tomato dishes, while crisp Italian whites like a Verdicchio will balance out panzanella-style salads. For those keen to experiment, a txakoli from Spain’s Basque region is a fantastic pairing with bright, tomato-spiked foods – its mouth-puckering effect softens when matched with high acidity.
A number of different wines work well with humble tomato soup. Chilled variations such as gazpacho shine against crisp wines like Chenin Blanc or Albarino, while classic cooked tomato soup is a great foil to light-bodied reds such as Grenache.
Tomato-based pasta sauces are versatile in that they can be teamed with either red or white wines. Italian whites match well with fresh tomato sauces – think Pinot Grigio, Roero Arneis or Soave Classico – while medium-bodied reds that are heavy on the acid but light on the tannins, such as Sangiovese and Barbera, go ridiculously well with richer sauces.
Lighter tomato dishes, such as a gratin or tart, are similar to fresh tomatoes – they go well with a range of dry, crisp whites, light reds and fresh rosés produced in Mediterranean regions. Stuffed tomatoes also suit lighter reds, such as southern French Côtes du Rhône Villages.
Roasted, braised, stewed or fried, it doesn’t matter – cooking tomatoes opens up a new world of wine by slightly decreasing their acidity while enhancing their deeper, sugary flavours. High-acid Italian reds like Barbera or Chianti match well, as do Zinfandel and Grenache. These types of wines pair especially well with tomato dishes that are combined with grilled vegetables or meat, such as lasagne.
Regardless of whether you choose to pair tomato with a Chenin Blanc or Sangiovese, it’s important that you serve your wine at its optimum temperature. We can help you achieve ultimate climate control with our premium range of wine fridges – visit us at www.grandcruwinefridges.com.au to find the perfect cabinet to house your collection.