The abundance and superior flavor of this season’s harvest means that we will be enjoying peaches in white wine, or pesche al vino bianco, as August comes to an end.
Peaches in wine is a quintessential summertime Italian dessert, a rite of summer in many households. As often is the case, there are variations on the theme of pesche al vino. Red wine is frequently used. Sometimes cloves or cinnamon is added. Some people sweeten the dessert with a little sugar, as Stefano’s mother did for his brother Marco, sister Debora and him when they were children (yes, children). Others add a dollop of whipping cream or serve the peaches and wine with a scoop of ice-cream.
We prefer to keep it simple: good peaches, and a nice, dry white wine.
White peaches are ideal for pesche al vino bianco. The flesh of the white peach absorbs more wine than its yellow-fleshed cousin, and releases more of its delicate sweetness back into the wine. Furthermore, the firm, smooth texture of the white peach maintains its consistency while marinating overnight in the wine. Look for peaches that are ripe, but not overly mature.
We bathed the peaches in Falanghina, a southern Italian wine made from ancient vines in the Campania region, and one of our favorite whites.
Go ahead and make your cobblers, tarts and pies. Pack peaches into your lunch boxes, and eat them any other way you can. Just don’t let August come to an end without enjoying the elegant, classic Italian dessert, pesche al vino. —DueSpaghetti