Monday, August 16, 2010

You be the Sommelier

I recently did some of my best cooking of the year. It's tomato season here. I started with a few Maxwell's Farm heirloom tomatoes.

Beginning at 12 o'clock and moving clockwise, that's a Brandywine, a Purple Cherokee, and a Green Cherokee. The Brandywine is the sweetest of the three, the Purple Cherokee the most deeply tomato-ey, and the Green Cherokee the brightest and most acidic, and my personal favorite.

This is a recipe that you definitely can do yourself - do not be intimidated by what you're about to see. It's a lot of work, but the end result is worth it.

1) Select ripe but not mushy tomatoes that appeal to your eye.
2) Store them on the counter - never in the refrigerator.
3) Slice the tomatoes and if you wish, sprinkle them with salt.
4) Using a knife and fork, and perhaps a piece of bread, eat the tomatoes.

The problem, I think, is figuring out what to drink with this lovely summer treat. I have arrived at only one pairing that really makes me happy - I need more options. So please, you be the sommelier - what would you open with a plate of heirloom tomatoes?

21 comments:

Chris said...

Maybe it's just my past preferences...but when I lived in Spain, and we ate Jamon Serrano and Pan con Tomate, we always had nice Spanish whites...an Galician Albarino or Verdejo from Rueda or some of the boutique domestic varieties from Scholium Project in Napa

Laura Berton said...

Well, one of the rules to make a mariage is this, you will not drink wine and eat tomatoes, eggs or vineger at the same time, because it not tastes so good and for this reason it's very dificult eat tomatoes with wine, but if you prepare something with this tomatoes and you eat this with bread and some chesse or you make a salat that it's diferent and you can drink maybe a Chening Blanc, Gewerztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, this is my personal opinion

Jeff said...

Zwiegelt (Ecker) worked awesome with a very similar dish on Saturday...

Nicola said...

Bornard Trousseau Le Ginglet from the Jura. I was thinking about something with sufficient acidity to keep up with the tomatoes, but not too much to overwhelm them; also a bit of fruitiness which might complement the sweetness of the fresh tomatoes. I'm curious to know what is your only wine pairing to these heirloom tomatoes that makes you happy.

fillay said...

Yes, that Bornard might be nice with a little chill on it. Movia's pinot grigio is where I would head - good acidity but maybe a little more flesh to keep up with the texture of the tomatoes.

Leif Erik Sundstrom said...

Even though I don't often lean toward Spanish wines (not for any matter of distaste, but more so because they are almost never in my cellar) Spain is the place for fresh ripe heirlooms, in my opinion. A Manzanilla Pasada is fantastic, especially with the riper less acidic tomatoes. But Albarino is the most successful pairing I've experienced - particularly something with old vine pedigree from the higher elevations in Rias Baixas. The Gran Vinum Esencia is quite nice. I don't think one would usually think it, but I've enjoyed it very much.

Weston said...

Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc or, Amsfield SB both out of NZ

Alfonso Cevola said...

Franciacorta rose' is what we recently had and it was a hit!

Anonymous said...

Zero/low dosage grower champagne!

bill l said...

tempier rose!

John said...

Fiano di Avellino. Or a delightful Pigato, perhaps. Add some cukes and some torn herbs maybe a nice Labaille Sanceree Cuvee Buster. Just sayin'...

Best,
Tenbrooks

Ben Wood said...

Second a few suggestions,
A good Manzanilla, the Tempier Rose (or the great Cassis rose from Clos Sainte Magdeleine), And the Bonard . . .
Cheers,
B.

Roger said...

Ulivi Gavi

rhit said...

I did this once with an Alsatian Gewurztraminer, and it worked out okay.

Benjamin said...

You inspired me yesterday and I bought a Purple Cherokee tomato and paired it with the Julien Labet Poulsard Vieilles Vignes. Had a bit of raw milk Taleggio on hand too and by the end of the night I was feeling prettay prettay good.

John said...

Txakolina rosé sounds god to me

Joe Manekin said...

Benito Santos albariños if you can find them. Made by a native San Francisco dude!

Feinherb rieslings also would work.

David McDuff said...

Lots of good suggestions here. I'd especially second the Bandol rosé (or any good Provencal rosé for that matter) and the Manzanilla. And I'd add to the mix both Irouléguy rosé and Touraine SB (CRB's would be mighty good, I suspect).

Cliff said...

I would have thought sherry. But I tried your recipe and found Hatzidakis 2007 Santorini was perfect. I don't know why, it just was.

Brooklynguy said...

Thanks for all of these suggestions - so interesting and thought provoking to read them.

I've never tried a Spanish white table wine with tomatoes, and it came up in several of the comments. I will have to try that soon. and the rose idea seems obvious now that i read it, but i haven't tried that either. haven't tried red wine either with tomatoes since an ill-fated cru Beaujolias experience.

So far my favorite pairing is dry sherry. Fino and Manzanilla both.

thanks again-

Peter L. said...

Cabernet franc from bourgueil or chinon make a nice match for tomato sauce. I wonder how that would be with this recipe.