Tomato salad and rosé wine: a match made in heaven

July 21, 2010

Sweet, ripe tomatoes and rosé are a match made in heaven! But the rosé needs to be bone-dry, with round fruit notes and a clean finish.

Think rosés made with Southern Rhône and Italian varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignane and Sangiovese.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Salad with Bocconcini and Basil

Wine pick: Bonny Doon Vineyard, 2008 Vin Gris de Cigare, Santa Cruz CA. $15.

I will confess I am partial to Bonny Doon’s wines, but the 2008 Vin Gris de Cigare is one of the finest rosés I’ve tasted. I keep several bottles well chilled at all times.

A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Roussanne, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache Blanc, it is perhaps untypical of a Southern Rhône rosé since two white grapes (Roussane and Grenache Blanc) have found their way into the blend — but to me, the 2008 Vin Gris de Cigare is a quintessential rosé.

Crisp and light yet round in the mouth, the strawberry and summer fruit notes harmonize with the sweetness of the tomatoes, while the citrus notes and crispness of the wine cut through the richness of the olive oil. You’ll keep sipping this one long after you’ve licked your plate clean.

On a side note, Bonny Doon has just released their 2009 vintage of Vin Gris de Cigare. Owner and winemaker Randall Grahm told me a couple of weeks ago that the ’09 is “quite a breakthrough for us, and a must-try.”

Needless to say, I placed an order. My shipment is arriving next week and I can hardly wait to open the ’09.

© 2010 Viviane Bauquet FarreFood & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

cynthia bailey md July 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Wow-this combo is seasonal heaven for me! I love rose wine and strive to eat what I call an Alkaline Mediterranean.

This pairing combo hits both of my goals at the same time it ‘rocks my foodie boat’. I should even have my first garden tomatoes in a few days. I know what I’ll be fixing for dinner Saturday-thanks for the creative inspiration.
Cynthia Bailey MD


Brian @ A Thought For Food July 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

These pictures make me so happy… they just calm the soul. I’d love to sit outside with this salad (maybe some bread and olives on the side) and a glass of rose wine. Heavenly indeed!


Magic of Spice July 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Lovely pairing…and the salad looks so perfect for summer:)


Daniel@CocinaSavant July 22, 2010 at 8:19 am

Beautiful pictures of simple amazing summer fare. Where would we be without a perfect ripe tomato with a hint of sea salt and an icy glass of French Rose. Because, to be honest the French know how to do Rose like no other country and there will always be ripe tomatoes during the sweltering heat of summer.


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 26, 2010 at 6:31 am

Stunning match – and I love how the colours match too (I can’t help it – I like my food and wine to match prettily!!) Perfect for this weather we’ve been having recently!


El July 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

This is, without question, the most perfect tomato salad I’ve ever seen. I’ll make it because we have a lot of heirloom tomatoes right now but I know it won’t even come close to looking this amazing!


Sanura July 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I was in the wine store the other day choosing between white, red and rose wines. I chose the rose, because this is the only time of the year to (cooly) enjoy it! We also paired it with a tomato and mozzarella salad.


Viviane Bauquet Farre July 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Hello Sanura, Thank you so much for your comment!
Yes, Rose is delightful at this time of the year (summer in the northern hemisphere), when the weather is hot and it’s lovely to sip chilled wines… But, make no mistake, I drink rosés all year long! just like any other wine.


Meghan@traveleatlove August 8, 2010 at 10:11 am

This combines some of my all time favorite flavors and ingredients and just shouts summer. Absolutely beautiful.


Dana August 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm

We had a party last weekend and decided to make a sangria using rose, cherries, and nectarines. I sent my husband to the store for wine and he came back with jugs of gross sweet pink wine. I am very sorry that he didn’t come back with cases of this wine instead!


BigGirlPhoebz August 24, 2010 at 8:39 am

This looks absolutely beautiful! I love simple tomato salad in the summer. I’ve also been combining mine with fresh corn this year. Create a simple caprese and line a beautiful platter alternating the tomatoes, mozz, and basil. Then pile a huge mound of fresh corn kernels in the center and dress with whatever dressing suites you.

I’ll have to try this with the rose!



Gwen August 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

That is one of my FAVORITE rosés…ever! And your salad looks divine. Is it #rosesunday yet?


Lori Lynn at Taste With The Eyes August 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm

We are fans of Bonny Doon. Met Randall last Fall at the Foodbuzz Festival. Will definitely try it, we are fans of rosé too.
Your photos are stunning.


Judy November 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I always wondered what wine would pair well with ripe, garden tomatoes! This is a brilliant pairing, thank you for the suggestion. (P.S. You may want to try a dry rosé that I make out of Sangiovese and Pinot Noir some day, I am the winemaker at a boutique winery in Washington State called Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards). Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate this suggestions. Cheers!


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