But there are ways to tame the acid and this past weekend at Kendall-Jackson’s Tomato Festival two savvy tomato-tamers revealed their tricks.
K-J Winemaster Randy Ullom and chef Zoi Antonitsas shared their strategies in creating great matches.
Ullom, first of all, explained that after nearly two decades of participating in the festival, he’s learned there’s a color code in tomato-wine pairing. As the color gets darker, from lime-colored to black, the acidity and crispness goes down.
Antonistas, named among the best new chefs of 2015 in Food & Wine magazine, she said her strategy is to “mellow out” the acid in tomatoes to make them a more suitable match.
In the pairings that follow, Antonistas toned down the acid with “tomato water” for the oysters, played up the blueberry in the pinot for the crostini, and created a subtle note of tomato in the braised lamb.
Taming the acid worked well because the pairings were tasty. Here’s a glimpse of them:
#1 Local oysters on the half shell, tomato water, melon and K-J extra virgin olive oil, paired with Kendall-Jackson, 2013 Jackson Estate, Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay.
#2 Bellwether Sheep Ricotta and tomato crostini blueberry vinaigrette, urfa biber chili, with the Kendall-Jackson, 2013 Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noir.
#3 Tomato braised lamb, black olive, smoked eggplant and labneh, with the Kendall-Jackson, 2012 Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.