Fire and Ice Melon
In this dazzling combination, the hot chiles contrast with the cool melon. This makes a perfect light summertime dessert or appetizer. Published in From the Earth to the Table: John Ash's Wine Country Cuisine and used with permission.
1. Combine sugar and wine in saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add bell peppers and remove from heat. Cool and add chiles, lime juice, mint and peppers. Leftover syrup can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2. To serve, cut melons in half and remove seeds. Cut into decorative shapes and arrange attractively on chilled plates. Spoon chile syrup over melons and garnish with fig fans and flower petals, if available.
The fruit with the chile demands a wine with residual sugar, fruity flavors and no oak aging. Complementary Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, Chenin Blancs and Muscats all fall into this category.