Heirloom Tomato Wine Pairing
Someone once told me that you know you're from the city when you don't know what a tomato should taste like. While that may be quite a sweeping statement, I fully understood what they meant when I bit into my first heirloom tomato.
Compared to the commercially grown tomatoes I had been eating from my local grocery store, these typically farm fresh, somewhat mutant looking tomatoes had such a rich texture and flavour.
Heirloom tomatoes lack a genetic mutation that allows them to come out looking "perfect" like the commercially grown tomatoes found in most grocery stores. The shelf life of an heirloom tomato is also considerably shorter than that of the other varieties, so it must be harvested and eaten in a short time frame. This results in only the freshest of tomatoes, and the best taste!
Some of the more popular types of heirloom tomatoes around the Okanagan include the Green Zebra, Black Krim, Brandywine, Early Girl, and the Ida Gold.
Pairing tomatoes with wine can be a bit tricky, but something that compliments the acidity and fruitiness of the tomato without overwhelming it is key. On the white side of things think Chardonnay, or a white with a rounder mouth feel. Pinot Blanc may also be a better choice than Pinot Gris as it tends to be a little less acidic. A dry style sparkling wine can also compliment heirloom tomatoes well.
If you're in the Okanagan around the end of August into mid-September, be sure to check out our farmer's markets for the best selection of heirloom tomatoes and be sure to sample all of the beautifully odd looking varietals.