Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sauvignon and Tomatoes

One of my favourite seasonal wine and food pairings is Sauvignon Blanc and tomatoes. This week after a short visit to the Main Street Farmer's Market in Vancouver I picked up a several heirloom ( heritage) tomatoes from Klipper Organic Farms Although there can be challenges pairing tomatoes with their high acidity and inherent sweetness with wine I find one of the most memorable matches to be with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The punchy fruit forward style, zest acidity, and herbal-tropical fruit flavour profile of these antipodean wines plays well with the acidity of tomatoes and they share a common bond of herbal-fruit overtones of two vine grown fruits. I decided to open two 2007 Marlborough Sauvignon's from Allan Scott and Spy Valley.

To pair up the wines I made a deconstructed Insalata Caprese salad with Black Zebra, Mandarin Cross, and Texas Star tomatoes, some local Mozzarella di Bufala from Vancouver Island, fresh basil from my balcony planter, and an amazing Crete olive oil from Terra Creta The combination of flavours and textures worked well with both wines. The Mozzarella with its rich creaminess balanced the acidity in both the wine and tomatoes. The Crete olive oil with its Spanish like richness but slightly Tuscan peppiness played well with the ingredients on the plate and added some extra dimension to the wine and food pairing.

Allan Scott 2007 Marlborough 20.99 CDN$
Light gold with vibrant aromas of guava, mineral, and subtle grassy-herbal notes. Medium-bodied, crisp, well-balanced with a nice texture, and flavours of passion fruit, subtle capsicum, and a grapefruit lemony finish. Good value.

Spy Valley 2007 Marlborough $ unknown
A jet setting UK friend dropped this one off for me. Pale straw colour with complex aromas of passion fruit, gooseberry, melon, and an almost Loire like minerality. Medium to full-bodied, powerful and intense flavours of gooseberry, passion fruit, and ripe melon. A bigger more complex style than the Allan Scott. Beautifully made.

Both wines worked extremely well with the salad but the head's up goes to the Spy Valley for added complexity with the dish. While the heirloom tomato season lasts get to your local farmer's markets and take advantage of real and flavourful tomatoes. In Vancouver you can find information on all local markets at:

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