Helloooo Fall! Here in Atlanta, we are having an unprecedented run of days, (Okay, only 2 so far but I’m keeping my fingers crossed), with warm but not hot weather, low humidity and sunshine. After enduring a rainy, building-an ark-and-growing-gills-soggy summer this seems to be a good repayment from Mother Nature. Yesterday Mike and I hiked at the Chattahoochee river and the crisp temperate air was so welcoming it inspired another loop of the trail.

Buoyed by the thought of more fall days, spending time outside and easy dinners, I am passing on the recipe for Pinot Noir
Poached Figs and Cheese
. Since the weather is so wonderful, I plan on packing this up and taking it for a fun fall weeknight picnic this week. I’ll put it in the cooler along with a bottle of Pinot and a simple baby greens salad dressed with a little orange juice and olive oil and we’ll set off. After a lovely hike to work up our appetite, we’ll feast.

Pinot Noir* Poached Figs and Cheese
1/2 Cups Pinot Noir
TB Honey
Cinnamon Stick
Whole Cloves
12 Dried Figs (about 1/2 pound) I have some organic, dried California Black Mission figs from Whole Foods 
Camembert cut in thin slices
Wheat Baguette
Step One In a  saucepan combine all ingredients except the cheese and baguette and bring to
a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer figs, covered, until tender, about 30
Step Two Transfer the figs to a bowl
and boil syrup until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain the cinnamon and cloves out of the syrup into another bowl, then add the syrup to the figs. Serve the figs mixture with Camembert with slices of baguette.
*What kind of Pinot to use? I buy two bottles – one to cook with and one to enjoy. You want a luscious jammy-fruit-forward wine, so I’d suggest a bottle from the “New World”. California, New Zealand, Argentina, Oregon, etc. When I picked up my baguette, cheese and dried figs from Whole Foods, I grabbed a couple of bottles of Block Nine Pinot Noir. Easy drinking with lots of red cherry flavors, its a perfectly yummy and affordable picnic or weeknight wine.

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