Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Welcome to Wine Wednesday-The Grape Tomato/Tomato Grape Edition

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 4:39 PM

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As you've no doubt read if you've been keeping up, the annual Tomato Art Festival returns to the Five Points neighborhood in East Nashville this Saturday, August 8. In honor of this occasion and to kick off our new weekly Wine Wednesday coverage, Bites asked Will Motley the proprietor of Woodland Wine Merchant for some pairing suggestions to accompany your tomato-based revelries.

First off he suggested a wonderful inexpensive organic Yellow + Blue Rosé from just south of Buñol, the Spanish town famous for hosting the annual La Tomatina festival and food fight. If you haven't seen scenes from this orgy of fruit flinging, go Google it and suggest the organizers of the TAF consider adding to their itinerary. Anyhow, at $10.00 per liter carton (which is 25% larger than your usual bottle) the light strawberry crispness of Yellow + Blue offers an excellent accompaniment to a late summer tomato and citrus spinach salad topped with some good creamy goat cheese.

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For heavier tomato dishes, Will offered some more substantial suggestions. For pasta with Puttanesca sauce he recommends a bottle of Librandi Ciro Rosso, a good $13 wine made with 100% Gaglioppo grapes whose full body and high alcohol content will complement the tangy saltiness of the sauce. As a bonus I found out that Pasta Puttanesca literally means "whore's spaghetti." You learn something every day.

If you're nervous about inviting puttanas to dinner or just aren't crazy about adding capers and anchovies to your tomato sauce, try a ragù alla bolognese instead. While it may be lighter on the tomato, it's heavy on flavor and demands a zesty wine to make it a fair fight. Will suggests a Gratena Chianti for $16 to complete your dining experience.

Or if you're not bold enough to try to prepare your own tomato feast and attempt wine pairings, Will's found a way to make it easy on you. As a prelude to this year's Tomato Arts Festival and to commemorate Woodland Wine Merchant's second anniversary providing wine and liquor to the neighborhood, they have paired up with their neighbors at Marche to celebrate the tomato: bringing fruits and vegetables (and grapes) together!

Details below:

Tomato and Wine Dinner at Marche

Thursday, August 6, 6:30

$40

First Course

Chilled Tomato Soup with Avocado, Peppers and Deconstructed Gazpacho

Pazo de Arribi Godello (Italy)

Second Course

Heirloom Tomato and Water Melon Carpaccio

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rose (Portugal)

Third Course

Pork Tenderloin and Tomato Gravy with Red Okra

Pirie "South" Pinot Noir (Tasmania, Australia)

Fourth Course

Green Tomato Cake with Brown Butter Icing and Yellow Tomato Sorbet

Bottex Vin de Bugey Cerdon (France)

Call 262-1111 to reserve your seat at the table. Woodland Wine Merchant will be open during this weekend's Tomato Arts Festival. Stick your head in the door and tell them we sent you. They're good people.

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