Cool Union: Pairing Wine and Fruit

The produce aisles at grocery stores are still bursting with delicious juicy fruit, and as you look to make the most of the waning days of summer relaxing on the patio or deck with a glass of wine, fruit can make a perfect fresh nibble. Wine tasting notes may wax poetic about the bottle’s contents being velvety, crisp or perhaps something to do with pencil shavings, but they also usually note the fruit flavors—such as citrus, peach, apricot and melon in the case of white wines—which help them make a cool union with fresh fruit.

It’s best to select a wine that is as sweet as or sweeter than the fruit you are pairing; otherwise, the fruit can “cancel out” that fruity flavor in the wine. Off-dry or sweet white or rosé wines can be a good match with fruit, especially sweeter styles of Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and Gewürztraminer as well as Asti, Muscat and Sauternes.

Moderately sweet Riesling (Spätlese) or sweet (late harvest), for example, can pair nicely with a wide range of fruits such as berries, grapes, apples, cantaloupe, citrus fruit, watermelon and stone fruits including apricots, nectarines and peaches. Here’s to summer!

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Mary Subialka
Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her school-age son, who used to eat beets and Indian food, will one day again think of real food as more than a means to a treat—and later share this with his younger brother.