Wine (and other) pairings for peaches and nectarines
Being surrounded by peaches and nectarines at the moment has reminded me what a brilliant match they are for a glass of dessert wine. And, surprisingly, even for a red!
Peaches in red wine is a popular Italian dessert that’s easy to replicate with any light fruity red as I pointed out in this match of the week.
With other peach or nectarine puddings your wine choice depends on how sweet your dessert is, whether it’s served hot or cold and what it’s served with (a good dollop of cream always helps). A warm peach pie or a peach cobbler, for instance, needs a sweeter wine than a classic French peach or nectarine tart served at room temperature. But in truth with peaches and nectarines you can’t go far wrong.
Fresh or simply poached peaches or nectarines
Great with a light Moscato d’Asti or a still muscat like a Muscat de Frontignan. Other off-dry sparkling wines such as demi-sec champagne work well too, especially with white peaches
Can be served warm or cold and may include some kind of booze which could provide a steer (or do away with the need for an accompanying wine altogether) but Sauternes or other late harvest Sauvignon Blanc is a reasonably safe bet
French style peach or nectarine tart
Frankly any light dessert wine you enjoy - Sauternes, other late harvest sauvignons and semillons, Coteaux du Layon and other Loire dessert wines, late harvest Chenin, South African straw wine, late harvest riesling . . .
Grilled peaches or nectarines
As in this recipe with Greek yoghurt and honey. I’d go for Moscato or muscat again. Possibly even a rosé one.
The raspberry sauce muddles the situation here. You want a sweet wine with a high level of acidity like a late harvest riesling
Super-cold, near-frozen peach liqueurs, if anything
Hot peach or nectarine desserts like peach pie, peach cobbler, upside-down cakes or crumbles
Intense late harvest sauvignons like those from New Zealand ought to cope as should a late harvest chardonnay but I’d also consider a chilled peach-flavoured liqueur like Archers or Southern Comfort which tend to handle warm and hot desserts better than wine.
Peaches and nectarines can, of course also be used in savoury dishes, particularly salads, with rich cheeses such as burrata and with ham, pork and duck. With salads I’d be inclined to go for a lush white with some tropical fruit flavours - a Viognier or a Colombard, maybe. With ham and peaches I’d probably drink a rich beer like a saison and with duck and peaches an off-dry pinot gris.
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