Peaches in white wine

My reward for assuming gardening duties while my parents are away hiking enthusiastically over Swiss mountains, is the little feast I’m entitled, that I’m positively urged – ‘Oh and Rachel last thing, please don’t forget the beans!‘ concludes every phone conversation –  to gather each day. I say gardening duties, that’s probably misleading, suggesting that I’m digging, planting, pruning or doing something vaguely green fingered or energetic! Which I’m not. Official waterer – a job which involves standing in the corner of the garden with an open hose pipe and pointing it in the direction of wilting plants, ideally with an alcoholic drink in the other hand – and sprinkler supervisor with deadheading duties, is probably a more accurate job description.

My reward this morning was pretty generous considering my slapdash work; about two pounds of runner beans, six rotund courgettes all with marvelous golden flowers – one of which, for some bizarre reason, reminded me of my secondary school counsellor Mrs Richards, a big handful of ruby chard, another of sultry dark green cavolo nero, three tomatoes (next week there will be three dozen), five figs and last but not least, the quintessential fruit of summer, seven blushing white peaches.

There were actually nine peaches ripe for picking this morning, but the first two were so soft and delicate they barely survived being twisted from the branch. I promptly ate them. Which turned out to be a luscious but rather messy process, so I leaned over the marigolds and the fragrant juice, sweet and reminiscent of roses, ran down my chin into the flower bed. Then I plonked myself on the wall, ate two figs, thought about how nice it was to be back in England and prepared myself for the next garden duty; cosmos and marigold dead heading. All quite charming until a formidably large bee, drunk on lavender, swerved in to see what was going on and I, in a slightly hysterical attempt to stop the striped chap landing on my sticky chin, also swerved, which meant I tripped and proceeded to fall over the sprinkler.

Damp, cursing the bloody sprinkler and nursing my first gardening injury, I abandoned my gardening duties for the day and read the newspaper under the fig tree. For a very late lunch/early dinner – a meal my batty friend calls lunner, she is convinced it is the new brunch – I made Pasta with courgettes followed by green romano beans dressed with salt and plenty of olive oil. To finish, an excellent Italian habit which is nicely and succinctly described by Elizabeth David in her book Italian Food.

Into your last glass of wine after lunch slice a (ripe) peeled yellow peach. Leave it a minute or two. Eat the peach and then drink the wine’

Delicious, the slices of peach become plump and heavy, the wine – in this case a pretty wonderful William Fèvre Chablis, another reward for gardening duties –  subtly infused with sweet and fragrant peach juice. So much nicer than any number of fussy puddings I thought – as you’ve probably noticed, I’m never very interested in fussy puddings – before turning my attention to the exhausting holiday dilemma that is;  should I doze in sun, read in the shade, attack the crossword or simply have another drink?

Vincenzo calls these pesche ubriache or drunk peaches, he prefers to slice his peach into red wine though. I’m very partial to white peaches in Prosecco too.


Filed under fruit, rachel eats London, summer food

40 responses to “Peaches in white wine

  1. You write soooo beautifully. Thank you.

  2. rebekkaseale

    I JUST made this! But I added a spoon of demerara sugar and let it marinate for five hours. And then…oh my goodness.


  3. Thanks for the reminder about peaches and wine. Allows us to start the day with a luscious peach on cereal, and finish it with wine. How I love summer!

  4. a haha ha, yours is nearly the first thing i read this morning and praise be, hilarious. be careful out there, nature can be dangerous.

  5. ellen

    wow i just made this and it is soo good. i unwillingly shared it with my family (haha) but that is a brilliant idea and thank you for sharing the recipe. it just brightened this summer day even more

  6. White peaches in Prosecco seem a perfect finish. Enjoy the garden (and be careful).

  7. To sit under a tree, reading The Guardian, followed by a lovely lunch and then dipped peaches sounds like heaven to me. Darn that sprinkler for marring a perfect day.

  8. Your gardening duties sound lovely–for the most part, that is. I love when we are all eating the same things no matter where we are located. John and I have been dipping our white peaches in red wine, but will have to try the Prosecco ; )

  9. Peaches + Prosecco = Heaven
    I would love to see a picture of this garden. Sounds beautiful…

    • rachel

      It is a lovely garden, my mum is a great and dedicated gardener, I am sorry i don’t have pictures, next time. Yes Peaches and prosecco are divine.

  10. Fantastic post! 😀

    I cant wait to go to my parents and dive into the piles of fresh apples, pears, blackberries, courgettes and many other garden goodies. As well as buckets (I’m not exaggerating!) of fresh forest mushrooms. Yum!

  11. wonderful story with fantastic imagery.

    one can never go wrong with Elizabeth David, no?

  12. TD

    That idea about dipping peaches in red wine sounds delicious and gets high marks for creativity.

  13. what a nice job, chief sprinkler supervisor and deadheader. I could go for that today, although I’d be holding the hose pipe over my head. triple digit heat

    sounds like quite a lovely garden to be supervising, especially with your drunken peach nectar in hand.

    • rachel

      Nashville sounds hot – good for the tomatoes though. Back in Rome now and yes, I would like a hosepipe pointed over my head too.

  14. Val

    Oh to be back in the UK. And during summer time.
    There won’t be a peach in sight when I plan to next visit. The skys will be overcast and grey and I’ll probably be tucking into a steaming bowl of porridge.

    Thanks for this lovely way of enjoying peaches.

  15. My English is poor, but I’ll try to give you, a recipe for a longevity tonic on apricots: The ingredients: apricots-1kg, sugar dark-0,800kg, alcohol-1,8 litre. To wash apricots, to dry, to open fifty-fifty an then to introduce into solution , 3-4 month. After,will drink every day, a spoon of liquid.It’s a Japanese recipe.Good luck! Onu

  16. Pingback: Conversaţie politică … « World of Solitaire's Blog

  17. Chrystal


    Sounds like a perfect food for ‘sninner,’ which my oldest daughter calls “the meal between your afternoon snack and dinner.”

    It seems she’s been sneaking into the pantry when I’m not looking.

  18. Pingback: Ladle into warm, clean jars « rachel eats

  19. Diana

    Rachel, what a beautiful idea. Unfortunately it’s winter where I live, but I’m bookmarking to try the moment summer arrives!

    Does Vincenzo prefer a particular variety of red to slice his peaches into, or do you have any recommendations for one that would go particularly well?

    • rachel

      Hello Diana
      I wish I could give you some sophisticated advice – unfortunately our wine drinking is a bit too rough and ready for that. I remember peaches were nice with Aglianico from campania (the peaches came from nearby) and we often drink Barbaresco, a red from Piemonte and they were nice with that too. The other day I tried peaches with this Rose from near Milan and they were lovely. Hope this lame advice is helpful!

  20. Sounds like the perfect holiday, garden injuries and all. I like the idea of peaches in red, during dinner. Peaches in Prosecco, after.

  21. Lovely to read. I enjoy how you put words together and especially coming up to a word/fruit that I do not yet know. How exciting to meet a possible new friend —–courgettes

  22. Marie

    I have just bought one of your foox mixers and used it for the first time today, but it does not seem to be mixing the ingredients and the bottom of the bowl, am I doing something wrong

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