Early strawberries are improved by this method and in-season dead-ripe strawberries become ambrosial. You also get your dessert and after-dinner wine in one dish. Local Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir pairs very well with strawberries, but you can also successfully substitute other types of red wine. Choose a wine that you enjoy drinking. The wine is not cooked, so you are essentially drinking this wine. And it pairs well with more of the same.
I can’t tell you exactly how much sugar to add. It really depends on the sweetness of your berries. When you get them dead ripe in the middle of the season directly from a local farmer, they need little to no sugar at all.
The recipe makes roughly two servings by itself. But if you serve it with some cake, it can easily serve four. You can also double this recipe, making it an excellent dinner party dish. Yes, it can be made ahead of time, but I wouldn’t suggest letting it sit for much more than an hour or the strawberries will get a little soft.
I have served it with sorbet, but by far my favorite accompaniment is this Wine Cake. The simplicity of the cake is perfect with these berries. And you can never have enough wine in your desserts!
Strawberries in Pinot Noir
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 cup red wine, Pinot Noir or another red wine
- ⅛ to ¼ cup unbleached granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste (optional)
- Trim and cut the berries in half, or in quarters if they are large. Combine them in a medium bowl with the sugar and then pour the wine over them and let macerate at room temperature for no more than 1 hour.
- Serve in a bowl or wine glass along with the wine and, if desired, a touch of freshly ground pepper.
Photo by Erin Feinblatt.