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One of our favorite inquiries in the tasting room is how to pair wines with food, and more recently, “what are some simple dessert recipes?”. Today, we kill two birds with one stone-fruit recipe.

Recently Lisa stumbled across a delicious Riesling recipe that was worth sharing so after a little more research (and plenty of taste testing), I tweaked the recipe to match the flavor profile of the Gård 2011 Riesling. Elegant, yet simple, with a new twist on how you normally view desserts.

Riesling is known for it’s rich flavors, honey, kiwi, honeysuckle, and is typically bursting with loads with floral notes and exuberant zest and show. Meanwhile it’s minerality and balanced acids make it the perfect pairing wine that’s often underused and understated. I argue, no more. We will drink Riesling and we will represent for Washington’s #1 grown grape. So next time you’re craving something sweet and walk past those beautiful pears in the supermarket, remember this treat, because once you bite into that first bite of mouth-watering, warm, Riesling-glazed fruit, you’ll never see Riesling the same.

Riesling Baked PearsImage

  • 2 ripe pears with stems, washed and dried
  • 1 cup Gård 2011 Riesling (or Gård Grand Klasse Riesling)
  • 2 Tbsp honey or Agave Nectar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 strips orange zest (scrub the orange first and then use a vegetable peeler to remove strips)
  1. Preheat oven or grill to 400°F.
  2. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear, so they will stand upright in the skillet. Arrange the pears in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Mix wine and honey in a medium bowl until well blended; pour over the pears. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, nutmeg and orange zest to the wine mixture surrounding the pears.
  3. Roast the pears, basting every 15 minutes, until they are wrinkled and tender, 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to shallow dessert bowls. Pour the wine mixture into a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Drizzle over the pears and garnish with the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, bay leaves and orange zest. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

There are a variety of ways to tweak this recipe to meet your needs. My other suggestions include slicing the pears before cooking to top pancakes, french toast, ice cream or another item of choice. The addition of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar can also sweeten up the pears (add the sugar to the saucepan before bringing to a boil). Finish off with a light coating of powdered sugar for good measure and enjoy!