Summit Street
Local Sommelier


Wine pairing: Tomatoes

I loved being a part of Neighborhood Studio’s The Vegetable Series #1: The Tomato, which I feel rarely get featured as the star of the meal. I decided to feature both a signature cocktail along with an overarching wine pairing that would work throughout the three course meal. 

For the cocktail, I wanted to create something that would compliment tomatoes not imitate them. I tinkered in the kitchen (Joe, my husband, continuing his role as an enthusiastic taster) and came up with a riff on a fennel and gin cocktail that I found online. 

The result was “Endless Summer”. A name anyone in NYC might appreciate after experiencing one of the hottest Septembers on record since 1959! It combined fennel infused Dolin vermouth, gin, fennel simple syrup, rhubarb purée and fresh blood orange with a rhubarb garnish.

cocktail with shaker.jpg

When it comes to wine. tomatoes may seem an intimidating pairing, but it all comes down to acid. Think high acid tomatoes, high acid wine. You also want to stay away from anything with high tannins or heavy-handed oak aging. 

Finally, you’ll want to consider how the tomatoes are prepared. And frankly, not just the tomato itself but all aspects of the dish. Is it light and refreshing with notes of citrus or smokey and earthy with a side of mushrooms? All of these elements factor into which wine will make that dish sing!


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I went with 2015 Lucien Crochet “Croix du Roy” Sancerre, which is a classic example of Sancerre. It was delicious and refreshing on this steamy evening. 

Here are some other recs:

Fresh Tomatoes:

Stick with Rosé, Sancerre, Vinho Verde, Albarino or Verdicchio. 


2015 Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica DOCG Marche


Roasted or Braised Tomatoes:

With the decreased acidity from cooking you can venture into some medium body reds like Valpolicella, Sangiovese and Barbera


2015 Pio Cesare Barbera D’Alba


Stewed Tomatoes/Spaghetti Sauce:

What grows together goes together so think Italy for the best match. Try a Barbera or Sangiovese.


2011 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Riserva Bucerchiale DOCG


And of course you can always go with the golden rule that bubbles pair with everything! 



Adrienne Voboril