Late Harvest Riesling and Pear Glaze

Late Harvest Riesling and Pear Glaze
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About This Recipe

Nestled amid the sprawling vineyards and whispering winds of Napa Valley, one of my fondest memories has always been the romance of the late harvest season. As the days grow shorter, the grapevines heavy with sun-kissed fruit, there’s a magical feeling in the air – one of anticipation and promise. It was during one such golden autumn afternoon, with the sun setting and casting a warm, honeyed glow over the vineyards, that inspiration for the Late Harvest Riesling and Pear Glaze was born.

Late Harvest Riesling, known for its sweet richness, paired with the crisp brightness of a fresh Napa pear, became a perfect testament to the valley’s autumnal beauty. But what's a glaze without the perfect meal to accompany it? Picture this: roasted duck breast, the skin crispy and salted, drizzled generously with our pear glaze. For the vegetarians among us, an earthy portobello mushroom steak becomes divine when kissed by this glaze. As for side dishes, a quinoa salad bursting with cranberries and roasted almonds or a light arugula salad with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds would be a delight. The sweetness of the glaze juxtaposed against these flavors creates a culinary dance - a waltz of tastes.

Dessert, of course, is where things can get really interesting. Drizzle the glaze over a rustic almond tart or even a scoop of creamy vanilla bean ice cream. And if you're in the mood for an authentic Napa evening, why not end with some locally sourced cheese and crackers?

Now, if you're wondering where to procure such fine ingredients, look no further than Napa's own farmers' markets, like the Oxbow Public Market. Here, the farm to table recipe concept isn’t just a trend – it’s a way of life. These bustling markets are where I've sourced some of the juiciest pears and the most aromatic Rieslings for my glaze. And while you’re here, don’t forget to drop by local wineries, ranging from the expansive Beringer Vineyards to the intimate charm of Frog's Leap, and even the hidden gem of Heitz Cellar.

Wine pairing, the heart and soul of any Napa dinner, should be deliberate and chosen with care. With our pear glaze, I would recommend either a sparkling brut to contrast the glaze's sweetness or, for those who prefer reds, a light Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, with its subtle fruity undertones, would be a match made in heaven.

To all the home chefs, remember this isn’t just any recipes journey. It’s a dive into the heart of Napa, a place where wine country meets culinary dreams, where each dish tells a story, and where every sip of restaurant wine reminds you of the vast vineyards stretching under the Californian sun. So, the next time you’re pondering over a wine menu or hunting for easy healthy dinners and summer dinner ideas, let the spirit of Napa guide you.

As the evening fog rolls in, bringing with it the refreshing scent of the vineyards and the distant echo of a wine cork popping, I hope you find joy in every bite and sip you take. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Late Harvest Riesling

Late Harvest Riesling is more than just another wine; it’s a testament to patience, passion, and the art of winemaking. Known for its lusciously sweet profile, this wine is made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual. The extended ripening period allows sugars to concentrate, leading to the production of a dessert wine that dances between rich sweetness and balancing acidity. This golden elixir, with notes of honey, apricot, and toasted almonds, is the heart of our glaze recipe. Paired with the subtle sweetness of pears, it transforms into a magical concoction that captures the essence of a Napa Valley autumn.

How To Perfectly Dice Your Pears

  1. Selecting the Right Pear: Begin with a ripe pear, which is slightly soft to the touch, ensuring it’s juicy and full of flavor.
  2. Peeling: Using a sharp vegetable peeler, start at the top of the pear near the stem and peel downwards in long, even strokes. Rotate the pear and repeat until it's fully peeled.
  3. Coring: Cut the pear in half. With a small spoon or melon baller, gently scoop out the core and seeds from each half.
  4. Dicing: Place the pear half flat side down. Make lengthwise cuts and then crosswise cuts to create small, even dice pieces.

FAQs on Late Harvest Riesling and Pear Glaze

  1. Can I use a different type of wine if I don’t have Late Harvest Riesling? While Late Harvest Riesling provides a unique sweet richness, you can substitute with other sweet wines like Moscato or Sauternes. The flavor profile may change slightly, but the result will still be delicious.
  2. What can I do if my glaze is too runny? If your glaze is too thin, allow it to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes, watching closely to ensure it doesn’t burn. As it cools, it will also thicken further.
  3. How long can I store the glaze, and how should it be stored? Store the glaze in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Before using, give it a good stir, and you can slightly warm it up for a smoother consistency.
  4. Any allergen information or substitutions for this glaze? The primary potential allergens in this recipe are honey and pears. If allergic to honey, you can substitute with maple syrup or agave nectar. For pears, apples can be a suitable replacement, offering a similar texture and sweetness.
  5. Do I need any special equipment to make this glaze? No special equipment is needed. A medium saucepan and basic kitchen tools are sufficient.

Tips for Success

  1. Choosing the Right Pear: Opt for pears that are ripe but still firm. Overripe pears might break down too quickly, while underripe pears won't impart as much flavor.
  2. Balancing Flavors: Taste your glaze as you go. Depending on the sweetness of your wine and pears, you might want to adjust the quantity of brown sugar or honey to achieve the desired sweetness level.
  3. Serving Suggestions: This glaze shines when drizzled over savory dishes, balancing rich, salty flavors with its inherent sweetness. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and even as a decadent touch over desserts like vanilla ice cream or panna cotta.

Embarking on this culinary journey with Late Harvest Riesling and Pear Glaze is like taking a stroll through Napa Valley's vineyards. Let the flavors transport you, and immerse yourself in the magic of wine country.

Recipe Overview

Late Harvest Riesling and Pear Glaze
Lily Anderson
6 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 cup Late Harvest Riesling
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • A pinch of salt

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the Late Harvest Riesling, diced pears, brown sugar, and honey. Stir well.
  2. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally as the pears soften and release their juices.
  3. Stir in the lemon zest, ground ginger, cardamom, and salt.
  4. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the glaze thickens slightly.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. Ideal for drizzling over grilled meats, pancakes, or even vanilla ice cream.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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