- Sarah O'Kelley
Tomato Sandwiches & Orange Wine
Updated: Feb 3, 2020
Sometimes it’s the oddball matches that work the best!
Case in point, this past week I had dinner plans with a friend who needed an introduction to the Southern staple – the tomato sandwich! Growing up in New York she simply had no idea that such magic could exist – sliced tomato, mayonnaise, and white bread?!
Folks who have known me for a while are familiar with my passion for tomato sandwiches and Duke’s mayonnaise. And I suppose I am a bit of an evangelist on the subject. So I considered this a great opportunity to win over a convert.
But on this evening I was actually craving another version of the tomato sandwich. During my Georgia childhood, I had a good friend whose mother I adored. She was a single mom who managed to radiate joy and fun, and there was always something delicious to eat in their house – like her cheesy tomato toast. She would slather a piece of toast with mayonnaise, top with tomato slices, season with salt and pepper, garnish with cheddar cheese, and then throw it under the broiler. I am hungry just writing about it!
This tomato toast seemed like the perfect gateway for my northern friend to appreciate the world of tomato sandwiches. So what to pair? Honestly, with a plain old tomato sandwich I can’t really imagine wine. It’s the type of thing I eat over the sink on a solo night off.
But the tomato toast seemed to have some pairing potential. I scanned our shop shelves and kept coming back to a new “orange” wine from Spain – Metamorphika Macabeu. The loose definition of orange wine is one that’s made from white grapes that spend some time in contact with their skins – giving the wine color and texture/tannin.
This Metamorphika comes from the natural producer Joan Franquet in Catalunya, Spain. The Macabeu grapes rest on their skins for nearly 8 weeks and then undergo spontaneous fermentation in amphora.
It has a touch of funk on the nose, but it is clean and pretty on the palate – think orange rind, peaches, and dare I say it golden tomatoes. It paired perfectly with Mama Lucile’s Tomato Toast. It stood up to the salty deliciousness and cut through the cheesy decadence. My friend was blown away and a total tomato sandwich convert. She does maintain we should fancy it up – add some caramelized onions and such. But sometimes simple is best. I only wish I had made two toasts for myself!
P.S.Last summer I wrote about a similarly outstanding orange wine and tomato toast pairing: read that by clicking here.