When summer gives you ripe, juicy, tomatoes, think classic caprese salad. Perfect for poolside soirées or just a quiet weeknight in your backyard, this colorful salad is a cinch to make.
But what wine goes best with summer tomatoes? Crisp, light, and dry rosés are a perfect match. The bright acidity in these wines stand up to high-acid tomatoes without overwhelming them. They also cut through the creamy richness of mozzarella while cleansing the palate. See my nine rosé recommendations below.
GABRIELLE’S CAPRESE SALAD
Named after my daughter, who makes a great one!
Serves 4 - 6 people.
3 vine-ripened tomatoes (or substitute ripe heirloom or beefsteak)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4” thick
20 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a top quality one)
Coarse salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction (Buy it or make it: place a1 & 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil until reduced to a thick glaze, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you have a really top quality balsamic vinegar, you can just pour it straight from the bottle without reducing).
1) Layer alternating slices of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves on a large, shallow platter.
2) Drizzle the salad with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
NINE ROSÉS TO GO WITH CAPRESE SALAD
Click on the name of each wine to find out where to buy it.
Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé 2018. Country: Italy. Region: Veneto (Lake Garda). Grapes: Corvina 50%, Trebbiano di Lugana 25%, Syrah 15%, Carmenère 10%. SRP: $16. Very pale salmon pink color with aromas of berries, summer peaches and crisp apple. A light, refreshing wine with a creamy texture on the palate. Really nice! Interesting tidbit: According to Pasqua’s winemaker, 11 minutes is the ideal amount of time for juice and skin contact for this beautiful roseate-hued wine.
Bodegas Muga Rosado 2018. Country: Spain. Region: Rioja. Grapes: Garnacha 60%, Viura 30% and Tempranillo 10%. SRP: $16. Lovely pale pink color with subtle fruity aromas and tastes of raspberries, strawberries, and stone fruits, like apricots and peaches. The flavor of the wine lingers on the palate, a perfect combination of acidity, and fruit.
Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2018. Country: France. Region: Rhône Valley. Grapes: Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. SRP: $12. Light pink with a hint of salmon color with delicate aromatics of stone fruits and minerals like iron. On the palate it is light and delicate with flavors of strawberry and apple. The finish has a touch of pleasant bitterness almost like licorice. A crisp, yet textured wine.
Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé 2018. Country: France. Region: Provence. Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvedre. SRP: $13 . Medium salmon pink color with aromas and flavors of citrus, red berries, and watermelon. The addition of mineral notes on the palate gives the wine a lovely savory quality. A very nice, light Provence rosé.
Chateau Roubine La Rose 2018. Country: France. Region: Provence. Grapes: Grenache 50%, Cinsault 35%, Syrah 10%, Tibouren 5%. SRP: $24. A beautiful light salmon color with a slightly grey tone and aromas of red berries and floral notes. On the palate, the mouthfeel is round, yet with a crisp taste of fennel-like flavors. Quite delicate, but delicious!
Pink Flamingo Rosé 2018. Country: France. Region: Provence. Grapes: Pinot Gris. SRP: $19.99. This rosé from the Camargue area of Provence is a beautiful pale salmon color with hints of grey. It has a delicate fruity nose, full of finesse with berry, peach and apricot notes followed by an exotic fruit cocktail on the palate. Very light in body, yet full of wonderful flavors. Perfect for a hot August day! Note: The bottle design was illustrated by Catalina Estrada, a Colombian artist based in Barcelona.
I received this bottle as a sample and I don’t have the link to stores where it’s available but it can be found in New York, California, and Florida. If you see it, grab it! I hesitate to recommend wines that may be hard to find, but this one is just so darn good, and I love the fun bottle.
Domaine de Cala Rosé 2018. Country: France. Region: Provence. Grapes: Grenache 41%, Cinsault 35%, Syrah 15%, Rolle 6%, Grenache Blanc 1%, Carignan 1%, Cabernet 1%. SRP: $18. What surprises me about this super light colored rosé was how much flavor it packs into each sip. Read more about the winery here.
Château de Berne Emotion Rosé 2018. Country: France. Region: Provence. Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. SRP: 17. A light-style Provence rosé with fragrant aromas of raspberry, candied strawberries, red cherry and white flowers. A hint of sea breeze minerality on the nose carries through to the palate, where the wine has a roundness with flavors of pink grapefruit and watermelon.
Domaine Bousquet Rosé 2018. Country: Argentina. Region: Mendoza. Grapes: Malbec 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 50%. SRP: $13. Crafted from organically farmed grapes in Mendoza's Uco Valley, the wine has a refreshingly saline quality. Crisp and dry, it will be a great accompaniment to all of your summer salads.