Nothing beats a glass of red wine, especially a cherry-colored pour of Chambourcin. The French-American hybrid flourishes in many Virginia wine counties and is widely celebrated for its subdued tannins and intense herbaceous and red fruit flavors.

The Chambourcin at Molon Lave Vineyards is particularly complex in body with notes of earth, char and spice from its 18-month hold in American oak. The dry red wine is also complemented by fragrant touches of fig and dark fruit.

While this wine is certainly great for drinking, Chambourcin makes an excellent addition to drunken desserts, and we don’t mean just a few tablespoons. Molon Lave’s Poached Pear and Apple Crisp calls for the entire bottle of Chambourcin, imbuing the juicy fruits with a syrupy mixture of sugar, orange, cinnamon and wine.

Molon Lave Vineyards

Chambourcin Poached Pear and Apple Crisp

Recipe modified from Molon Lave Vineyards



4 large pears, peeled and sliced

3 large apples, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt


Poaching Liquid:

Full bottle of Molon Lave Vineyards’ Chambourcin

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Peel of one orange

Juice of one orange

1 cinnamon stick

2–4 whole cloves


Crisp Topping: 

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 cup old-fashioned whole oats

3/4 cup chopped pecans, optional



Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Prepare apples and pears. Set slices aside.

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients for the poaching liquid and bring to a simmer. Allow to reduce slightly, approximately five minutes.

Add pears to the liquid and gently stir, ensuring each slice is coated in liquid. Poach until all pear slices are slightly soft, stirring occasionally. When properly poached, remove pear slices from liquid and allow to cool.

Mix the remainder of the filling ingredients and cooled fruit slices together in a large bowl, then spread mixture into the baking dish.

To make the topping, whisk together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a fork until the mixture becomes crumbly. Fold in oats and pecans. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and fruit juices are bubbling around the edges.

While the crisp is baking, reduce poaching liquid to a syrup to serve over the crisp. Remember to remove the orange people, cinnamon stick and cloves.

Remove crisp from the oven and serve warm, room temperature or cold with Chambourcin syrup.


Molon Lave Vineyards is located at 10076 Lees Mill Rd., Warrenton.

Written By

Grace Silipigni