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Summer fruits and wines

By Julia Jenkins, 9th August 2019

Summer fruits & wine

All the colours of the rainbow – that’s the vision of fruit displays on the market, in supermarkets etc as this is the time of when there’s a plethora of fresh fruit available and importantly locally / UK grown too. The flavours are delicious as the berries and fruits are bursting with fresh vibrant notes to match their colourful skins and I’m tempted to munch on strawberries and blueberries whilst working as I am whilst writing this article. It made me think about wines to match them.

Strawberries, with their lovely juicy textured flavours with a hint of sweetness seem to be matched effortlessly in people’s minds with Champagne. That’s the Wimbledon effect where circa 27kg of strawberries and 29,000 bottles of Champagne! The best matches are with the Champagnes that have a delicious creamy mouthfeel after resting in bottle before release for sale. Lallier Grand Cru is a great example of this and great value too.

Fresh fruit salad with its combination of fruits and flavours is a little more demanding to match but a light late harvest style of dessert wine such as the Sauvignon based wines from Chile, or Viognier from Portugal are a good choice especially if the fruit is served with cream.

If you like dessert wines and fresh fruit there are other delicious combinations including Coteaux du Layon from the Loire Valley with it’s lusciousness balanced with some natural acidity – try with apple based desserts either eaten fresh or in Eve’s pudding, crumble etc. though the wine isn’t rich enough to match a tarte tatin. A more luscious dessert wine such as a Monbazillac with a hint of noble rot that provides the slight nuttiness in this wine that combines well with the very ripe concentrated grape juice from the late picked grapes.

Summer puddings and fruit compotes often eaten with pancetta need a dessert wine that combines richness and a little edginess to cope with the slight tartness of the fruit especially if it includes blackcurrants. Australian botrytis Viognier that is full of peachy, citrus notes and some spice is a great match.

Chocolate strawberries and dessert wines – difficult to match with the mouthfilling chocolate notes but the answer les with red dessert wines such as a naturally sweet red from the south of France such as the Domaine de Beaurenard Rasteau which is deliciously textured and full of sweet elegant, vibrant chocolatey fruit. Together with Florentines and good coffee this a great way to finish a meal!

I’ve also recently found the ideal wine to enjoy with apricots which have a lovely honeyed soft note as they ripen fully and there Vouvray wines from the Loire Valley that also have lovely crisp fruit notes and a lightly honeyed note too. Try the Bosquets Vouvray made by Sauvion in the Loire Valley from the magical Chenin Blanc grape.

There are lots of fruits I haven’t mentioned and just as many wines to go with them, summer is the time to find new ways to enjoy them together whilst the fruit is plentiful and at its best from local growers.

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