400g granulated sugar
12 peaches, washed
3 fresh bay leaves
zest of ½ orange
1 cinnamon stick
50g runny honey
150g blanched almonds, halved
1Place sugar and 1 litre of cold water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes).
2Add peaches, bay leaves, orange zest, cinnamon stick and honey and continue to cook for 10 minutes, making sure there’s enough liquid to cover the peaches. If not, add more water.
3Cover mixture with a cartouche of greaseproof paper, lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until peaches are almost tender. Stir in almonds and cook for 5 minutes.
4Take mixture off heat and allow to cool before carefully transferring peaches to a board. Remove skins.
5Serve with almonds and syrup, and a spoonful of thick Greek yoghurt.
The key to this food and wine match is the use of almonds, with their sweet, nutty flavour and bitter edge replicated by the intense stone-fruit flavours of the Botrytis Viognier and its own edgy, almond-skin finish. The bay leaves, orange zest and cinnamon sticks bring a savoury element to the dish. The rest is a melodious blend of lushness, any threat of excess checked by the wine’s rapier-like acidity, which swiftly pares through any cloyingness on the finish.