Perfectly Paired Simple Summer Desserts

One of the beauties of the Midwest is the bountiful summer harvest of berries and fruit. If I am lucky enough to save some from the jaws of my children, my favorite way to enjoy the summer bounty is for dessert!

CK Mondavi sent me some of their wines that are perfect for summer and asked me how I would pair them for dessert. Summer is for lazy days and fresh flavors, so I put together this list of super simple desserts that look great, taste better and pair wonderfully with CK Mondavi wines.

summer wine pairings2014 CK Mondavi Pinot Grigio

The CK Mondvi Pinot Grigo is a fresh and crisp wine that is not too sweet, and refreshing for a hot summer day. Its tropical and fruity flavor pairs well with nectarines, pears and peaches. I generally prefer red wines, but the Pinot Grigio is dry and just sweet enough to make it perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day.  I paired it with fresh berries and pound cake.

summer wine pairings

Normally I make my own pound cake, but it’s been too hot to cook! I picked this one up at the local grocer and paired it with fresh picked berries from our yard and the farmers market. You deserve to be rewarded with cake (and wine!) if you survive the swarm of mosquitoes at the raspberry bush. You can also top it with vanilla ice cream for a sweeter treat.

summer wine pairings
© M. Haak | Little Lake | 2015

To make grocery store strawberries sweeter and create a bit of a sauce, perfect for topping cake:

  1. Hull and quarter a pint of strawberries into shallow bowl
  2. Generously sprinkle with sugar and let sit at room temperature for several hours; you can also let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Stir occasionally and add more sugar as needed to fully coat–usually 1-2 tablespoons is all you need.

2014 CK Mondavi White Zinfandel

In my mind pink wine is for brunch, so this was a challenge to think about dessert. The CK Mondavi White Zinfandel is a great refreshing wine for summer that is definitely on the sweeter side. It pairs well with watermelon, strawberries and peaches.  We paired it with grilled peaches and ice cream.

summerr wine pairings

Every year we make grilled peaches once ,and I am always like, “eh, sure let’s do it.” Then when I taste them I am all “OMG! Why don’t we do this more often!” Grilled peaches are so easy, and grilling intensifies the sweetness of the fruit. We used large peaches that we not quite perfect for eating yet (a little hard) and they came out so good!

  1. Slice peaches in half all the way around, twist to open, and use a melon baller to remove the pit
  2. Dip cut side of peach in olive oil
  3. Grill, cut side down, until tender–really just a few minutes on a hot grill.

Top with ice cream, whipped cream or chocolate balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

2013 CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

I said I loved red, so this was hands down my favorite. A rich and balanced red, it was full of flavor and dry–absolutely perfect. While it was suggested that it would go well with blueberries, blackberries or plums, I wanted a richer taste that was still perfect for summer.

summerr wine pairings
© M. Haak | Little Lake | 2015

Cherries and chocolate were absolutely divine with this wine. Fresh cherries and a dry, dark European chocolate almost made me forget that there are still three more weeks of summer vacation. I sat on my deck and just enjoyed the flavors that perfectly complimented each other and dreamed I was at a luxurious spa. It lasted about two minutes; then my fruit sniffing children found me.

summer wine pairings

There’s still plenty of time left to enjoy the fresh fruit bounty of summer, perfectly paired with CK Mondavi wines.  Pick up a bottle (or three) and call the girls over for a Mom’s Night Out–you deserve it.

CK Mondavi Wines

CK Mondavi wines are a family owned and operated winery that has been producing wines in the Napa Valley since 1943. CK Mondavi wines are the only certified American made and grown wines you can find in your local supermarket for under $10, offering a quality wine and an affordable price point.

For the fourth summer in a row CK Mondavi will be supporting the Intrepid Fallen Heros fund, with a goal to raise $50,000. Look for specially marked bottles and get more information on their website.


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Disclosure: CK Mondavi sent me wine to aide in this review and pairing, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About Melissa Haak 843 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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