It's still summer. Even though the moose moved into my backyard this morning like they own the place, like they always do in the fall. I could not see their breath and there was no frost on their backs. Summer moose.
Moose making themselves at home in my backyard.
Summer can't be over, even though the kids are back in school, and a large percentage of my brain is now reserved for keeping track of soccer schedules. There are still lush wildflowers up high on Teton Pass, and I spotted three lone huckleberries today, faded on the bush, but still sweet like summer.
Summer cannot pass without sitting on the too-hot deck with friends who have been exercising all day, sipping icy tumblers of Peaches and Wine. If you weren't aware of this summer rule, relax. It's not too late. Even though there is the slightest discernable chill in the evening air, the deck is still hot, though the sun goes down quickly. Peaches and wine will still hit the spot.
Years ago a friend mentioned that her Grandfather in Italy loved to put peaches in his wine in the summer. He would sip on the cool red wine after supper, and then slurp up the peaches with a spoon. Like peaches in heavy syrup for grown-ups but better, because the peaches get all boozy and fermented after a few hours of soaking in the wine.
My very favorite sunset of the week. Felt, Idaho.
I could never get that beautiful visual image out of my mind: the Italian Grandpa, the perfect late summer peaches, the hot summer evening somewhere on the Adriatic coast, the not too sweet wine. I couldn't help wondering if my own Grandpa had also sipped on peachy wine in Sicily in the summer, and then noisily slurped up the spiked peaches. I can only hope so.
The bull moose likes to keep an eye on the soccer goal, in case any kids dare to come out to play.
This is the simplest recipe I will ever give you. There are a few rules, though. The peaches should be pristine, ripe but firm, unblemished. To optimize that feel-good-summer feeling, it would be ideal if you purchased your peaches at the Farmers' Market, especially if you were able to meander around and whittle away part of a summer day there, with enough time to be picky about finding the best peaches for your wine.
These beauties were found at Sloan's Farmers Market, the weekend market near Twigs.
Then there's the wine, which can be red or white, as long as it's not too sweet. My friend's Grandpa likely used a local chianti. A Spanish rioja is often just right, but avoid a red that is too too big, too fruity, too expensive. You want the peaches to take center stage.
It still looks like summer from the top of Jump Rock, looking down on my best fishing buddy and Phelps Lake, Grand Teton National Park.
A rioja from Spain is my standard pairing for peaches, but tonight I chose a white burgundy, which was dry and crisp, and just a bit grassy. It was perfect for the hot summer night, the chilled glasses, the hot deck, the thirsty friends.
There's still time to take the Tram to the top of the Jackson Hole Ski Resort, and indulge in a waffle stuffed with Nutella.
Jack enjoys a waffle from Corbet's Cabin in the late summer sun, but he'd trade it in a second for a raging powder day.
There's one more rule, perhaps the most important one of all. The peaches must soak in the wine for several hours, so that the wine is able to coax out their sweet summer flavor, and the alcohol has time to seep under their skins. Mix up a pitcher midday; enjoy it as the sun goes down. If you don't polish it off it will be even better the next day, and even more of a dessert, as it becomes thick enough to pour over a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Peaches in Wine
Inspired by Nancy's Grandfather in Italy.
- 4-5 ripe but firm Organic peaches
- 1 bottle dry red or dry white wine
- 2-3 Tbsp. sugar, optional
- Wash the peaches well and blot them dry. Slice each peach in half; discard the pit. Slice each half into 6-8 slices. Place in a pitcher.
- Uncork the wine. Take a sip to determine its sweetness. Pour the wine over the peaches.
- If the wine is very dry, add a few tablespoons of sugar and gently stir.
- Refrigerate for at least six and up to 24 hours.
- When ready to serve, give the wine another gentle stir. Spoon 4-5 slices of peaches into a chilled glass and pour the wine over.
- Now sit, sip, and watch the sun go down.