With summer comes an abundance of fresh fruit. It’s always a treat to go to the farmer's market and buy directly from local growers. The sights, the sounds, the smells - what a sensory overload! But when time permits, there is nothing more rewarding than heading straight to the source and spending a day picking your favourite fruit and cooking something special with it. Hello, strawberry pie!
Light yet extremely satisfying, fruit desserts have become a regular in my summer diet. A delicious elixir to sip with them adds to the enjoyment. Below are some of my favorite matches. The key is to select a wine that is at least as sweet as the dessert.
For the purist, a simple cup of fresh fruit is a dessert in itself. Frothy and light, with bursting flavours of white peaches, oranges, and marmalade, Moscato d’Asti from the Piedmont region of Italy is my go to. For a local flavour, serve with the Elephant Island Orchard's ‘Pink Elephant’ 2012.
If calories are not a concern, add some vanilla gelato to your fruit. It is a quick and easy dessert that always puts a smile on everyone's face. The ice cream will numb your mouth a little and reduce the sensation of your taste buds. This means that you need to go with something sweeter and more intense. Tawny port or a liqueur Muscat from Australia are great options. An icewine made of Cabernet Franc will also be a sweet treat. My pick is the 2010 Cabernet Franc Icewine from Tawse.
To me, there is nothing that says summer like a strawberry and rhubarb pie. Making my own dough is pure therapy and what can I say about the sweet smell and taste of these two fruits cooked together? Heaven! A Late Harvest Riesling or Pinot Gris from Alsace, France works like a charm. The Orofino Late Harvest Riesling 2013 is another great match.
Being from Quebec I couldn’t write about dessert without talking about blueberries. Yes, you do find them across Canada, but we believe that our terroir produces the most flavourful blueberries. A true Québécois pride. Blueberry crumble is easy to make and so satisfying, especially when served with a delicious Banyuls. For a more creative match, try the Elephant Island Cassis fortified wine. Serve your crumble with ice cream and pour some of that delicious fruit wine over it! Decadent indeed. Santé!
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.