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Which wine pairs best with tomatoes?

Tomatoes are generally held to be a problem for wine but as Jane McQuitty robustly puts it in The Times today - nonsense!

You do however need a slightly different strategy for dealing with raw tomatoes (where I’d go along with McQuitty’s suggestion of Sauvignon Blanc) and cooked ones which are frequently combined with other ingredients such as meat and cheese and with which I generally prefer a robust not over-fruity red. However there are exceptions - cooked dishes that could equally well be accompanied by white or rosé and two of Ramsay’s recipes fall into this category.

Beef tomatoes stuffed with pinenuts, sultanas and herb couscous
Here the tomatoes are merely served warm rather than cooked down or roasted to a caramelised sweetness and the other flavourings are milder than you might think from the recipe description. A robust dry southern French rosé would hit the spot pretty well.

Roasted tomato soup with goats’ cheese crostini
If you were to serve the soup cold, as Ramsay suggests, I’d definitely go for a white and given the goats cheese crostini, a Sauvignon Blanc would be the obvious choice (even though the crostini are served warm) If you were serving the soup hot or without the crostini I’d go for a vivid young Italian red with good acidity like a Rosso di Montalcino.

Seasonal glut tomato chutney
It’s not tomatoes that are the problem here but the vinegar. All chutneys are tricky with wine. Ramsay suggests using it as an accompaniment to cheese which will offset its sharpness. Three suggestions: a rustic French red like the delicious young Vacquéyras we’ve been drinking for the past couple of days from the co-operative at Beaumes de Venise, a Southern Italian red like a Copertino or Squinzano or an amber ale or French bière ambrée.

Got other ideas? Do email your favourite pairings to us at greatmatches@matchingfoodandwine.com. To subscribe to our free monthly newsletter and be eligible to enter our fabulous prize draws click here or to get notice of posts as soon as they're published click here.

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