Pairings: Grilled peach salad a sweet partner to Riesling


Our Wine of the Week, Trefethen 2016 Napa Valley Oak Knoll District Dry Riesling ($26), is a singular sort of wine, a unique and striking expression of this underappreciated varietal.

The wine is fully dry, with alcohol weighing in at a pleasing 12.5 percent so there is none of the suggestion of sweetness that can be present in higher-alcohol wines. Flavors range from bright citrus, especially lime and lemon, to ripe apricot, ripe nectarine, and ripe peach, with just a hint of white pineapple.

Crisp acidity keeps the wine refreshing and there’s pretty notes of minerality — think wet river rocks — on the finish.

What sets the wine apart, though, is its lush, silky texture. There’s a depth, a luxurious plushness, to the wine that makes you sit up and take note. It’s an easy quaffer but it wants — and warrants — your attention, too.

At the table, you have a lot of options. It’s easy to choose Asian foods, which are almost always a good match with riesling. Thai green curries and green papaya salad, Vietnamese bún, Indian biryani with chicken and dried apricots, and Malaysian laksa all flatter the wine shamelessly. But don’t limit yourself. Chicken or pork piccata, Petrale sole meunière and roasted chicken basted with honey and apple cider vinegar are great matches, too.

If you enjoy zucchini noodles dressed lightly with a creamy lemon vinaigrette, you’ll love this wine alongside. Grilled zucchini, zucchini-avocado pizza, chilled avocado soup, and zucchini tacos with avocado salsa make good partners, too.

Inspiration today comes from the end of peach season, which is fast approaching. Any day now, Dry Creek Peach and Produce will harvest the final Last Chance Peaches, a yellow variety, and good local peaches will be but a memory until next year.

This simple salad is a lovely way to enjoy them and the wine will blossom alongside.

Grilled Peach Salad with Feta & Arugula
Serves 3 to 4

3 firm-ripe yellow peaches

1 lime, cut in 8 wedges

— Olive oil

3 handfuls of small-leafed arugula

— Kosher salt

3 thin slices of red onion

— Extra virgin olive oil

— Black pepper in a mill

3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into crosswise strips

Cut each peach into 6 lengthwise wedges; discard the pits.

Set the peaches on a plate and squeeze a little lime juice over the cut edges.

Lightly brush olive oil over the surface of a stovetop grill pan and set over medium high heat. Spread the peaches over the pan, resting them on one of their cut sides.

Cook for about 2 minutes, turn to the other cut side, and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Working quickly, put the arugula into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss. Add the onion, drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and toss gently. Squeeze a lime wedge over the greens and toss again. Season with a few turns of black pepper.

Divide among individual plates. Scatter feta cheese on top of the greens, add the prosciutto, and top with the grilled peaches.

Season lightly with salt and several turns of black pepper, add a lemon wedge, and enjoy right away.

Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at