Tuesday, July 05, 2005

~July Cooking With Washington Wines~

When I was a young bride there were many times I had to put together a quick dinner party and dessert was often the challenge. I discovered that if you had fresh fruit and sprinkled on a late harvest wine or even a "sparkler", it would impress almost anybody. I call this dessert "Intoxicated Fruit."

This is a great time to add Walla Walla summer Rieslings or late harvest wines to the fresh fruit that is popping up at the local produce stands. My favorite is strawberries. Blueberries with peaches or nectarines make a pretty and tasty assortment as well a mixture of brambleberries, such as raspberries and blackberries. You can also add fresh chopped mint or lavender to enhance the flavor.

Lightly add a bit of sugar over the fruit and then sprinkle on your favorite wine. Adjust the sweetness of the sugar and mixture of wine to taste. Pour the "Intoxicated Fruit" over vanilla ice cream, pound cake or serve by itself in a wine glass with a dallop of whipped cream and shaved bitter sweet chocolate sprinkled on top. It makes a beautiful presentation.

Just a couple of days ago, during the holiday weekend, I bought Klicker's vine ripened strawberries - a Walla Walla Valley legend. As always, every Klicker berry was deep red, sweet and juicy. I sprinkled Forgeron Cellars Late Harvest Gerwurtztraminer over the berries. My mouth was happy. While Forgeron's Late Harvest Gerwurztraminer is over 9. residual sugar, it has a ruby red grapefruit finish and paired well with the fresh berries. The Forgeron 2004 Riesling measures out at 2.93 residual sugar and it would also be refreshing used in a summer fruit salad.

There are other great late harvest wines from the Walla Walla Valley. Three Rivers Winery 2003 Biscuit Ridge Vineyard Late Harvest has recently picked up several medals and L'Ecole No. 41 makes a late harvest Semillon.

As Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing." Enjoy!

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