Drunken Peaches

Peaches in red wine make a perfect ending to a summer meal. And little peaches, like the ones that appeared last week, are just right; larger peaches or nectarines would need cutting into chunks rather than moon-like slices.

You may have to be patient, though, if the fruit was brought to market hard (to prevent bruising.) Give your peaches a day or so on the kitchen counter to ripen—in hot weather they will ripen amazingly fast.

Here’s a version of wine-soaked peaches made by the glass. If you’re serving more than a few people, multiply quantities by the number of people present, macerate the peaches-in-wine in a jug or bowl in the fridge, and ladle them into individual serving glasses. Fruit and wine are traditionally served on their own in Italy, but you can add a little touch of sweetness if you like.

Peaches-in-wine
(makes one serving)

  • 1 firm, ripe little peach
  • 1/3 cup or so medium-bodied red wine, chilled
  • and if you like:
  • a few blueberries
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon to use as a swizzle-stick

Wash the peach and dry with a paper towel to de-fuzz it. Halve the peach down its center line and remove the pit. Slice into wedges. When peaches are ripe, you can often peel off some of the skin without blanching, but only if you really want to; it’s nice to leave on some skin for color. Put the peach slices in a drinking glass or goblet and add enough chilled red wine to just cover. Soak in wine for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.

Eat out of the glass, simply spooning out peach slices between sips of peach-infused wine.  Or try sprinkling sugar into the glass of wine-soaked peaches and stir to dissolve, using a cinnamon stick as a swizzler. Remove the cinnamon stick, add a few blueberries if you like, and serve. If you’re making this for several people – or for a party– you can re-use the cinnamon swizzler for each glass.

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