In this ongoing series, we feature various bottles produced at our property in Temecula alongside food pairing suggestions. Welcome—we hope you enjoy this installment of “Pairing with Ponte”.
Our Ponte Late Harvest 2018 is a sweet, fruit-forward, medium-bodied dessert wine. It features notes of cherry pie, cola, berry compote, a touch of dark baking chocolate, and creamy vanilla. As the name suggests, this blend of red grapes was picked late in our harvest season, giving way to a deliciously sweet dessert wine. The result of our winemaker’s patience? A balanced, indulgent wine that’s the perfect ending to a lovely meal.
About Late Harvest Wines
Late harvest wines are made using grapes that remained on the vines long after they reached full ripeness. Grapes left on the vines for longer amounts of time create far sweeter wines. The dehydrated grapes (similar to raisins) yield sweet wines with higher residual sugar and alcohol content. In France, this vinification technique is referred to as passerillé or passerillage; in Italy, vendemmia tardiva appassimento.
How late after a normal harvest are they picked? In general, winemakers wait for an additional one to two months before picking grapes to produce these bottles. Often referred to as naturally sweet wines, late harvest wines are intense due to the dehydration process which cranks up the flavor and acid—not just the sugar.
Our winemaker recommends goat cheese, sun-dried tomato pasta, and decadent chocolate desserts. Keep in mind that you should serve late harvest wines chilled to 50-52°, in small dessert wine stemware. Coincidentally, Forbes published an entire article dedicated to proper dessert wine glasses. Check it out here, if you wish to dive deeper, but it’s also acceptable to use white wine glasses. Most guests wouldn’t notice if you served it out of a glass slipper at this point in the evening, especially after lots of food and presumably, other fine Ponte wines.
Try your hand at this recipe for a Chocolate and fig tart with homemade jam from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, or scroll down for my Torta Caprese recipe. Named for the island of Capri, I refer to it as the “Sophia Loren” of cake, tipping my hat to her hometown, Naples, Italy. Buon appetito!
Anna Maria’s Torta Caprese
- 1.5 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 5 eggs separated
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1.5 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of an 8 or 9” springform pan.
- Melt the chocolate and butter double boiler. Cool slightly.
- Place the egg whites in a medium bowl with the salt. In another, larger bowl, combine the yolks and sugar.
- Beat the whites until stiff peaks form, 1-2 minutes. Beat the yolks until fluffy and lighter in color for 1-2 minutes.
- Add almond flour, vanilla, and chocolate mixture, into the yolks. In 2 batches, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until slightly cracked—about 35-38 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you enjoy wine tasting at our facility. Pairing with Ponte is a fun, easy, way to impress your guests—give our pairing suggestions a whirl and stay tuned for our next post. Saluté!