Melons in Wine


The Italians are the undisputed masters of simple yet fabulous fruit-and-alcohol combinations. In Europe, Cavaillon and Charentais melons are commonly served in port or sparkling Muscat-style wine for an uncomplicated but memorable dessert. Marsala, demi sec champagne, or sauternes are also good choices; experiment to see what flavors intrigue you. Of course, when a dish only requires two ingredients, it's all about the quality of the melons. Make sure you start with perfectly ripe, sweet, and juicy melons. Use just one variety of melon or combine several for a colorful medley. Serve in pretty glass compote dishes or bowls, with a small scoop of Cantaloupe Sorbet, if you like.


1 small perfectly ripe melons of your choice
1 1/2 cups wine (chilled)
  Cantaloupe Sorbet (for serving, optional)


Cut the melon in half and discard the seeds. With a melon baller, remove the flesh in neat balls.

Divide the melon balls among individual glass dishes or place in one large compote dish. Pour the wine over the fruit and refrigerate until the melon is chilled, about 1 hour. Don't allow the melon to macerate longer than 2 hours before serving, or the fruit will discolor.

Garnish each serving with a small scoop of Cantaloupe Sorbet, if desired.


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