As if you need more reasons to love summer, here are five deliciously sweet ways to enjoy summer flavors and incredible wine in simple recipes inspired by the season.
Wine-Infused Frozen Grapes
These little gems are both beautiful and surprisingly sweet. The next time you’re entertaining friends this summer, whip up a batch and watch as they disappear. Along with being a sweet summer snack, this recipe packs a bit of a boozy punch — so eat responsibly!
- 2 cups white wine (preferably a bright and fruity sauvignon blanc)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ½ cups green seedless grapes
Pour the white wine and sugar into an empty bowl or jar and stir to combine. Gently pour in the green grapes and distribute until completely submerged. Refrigerate the wine-soaking grapes for 12 hours. Remove grapes from liquid and place in a shallow dish. Cover and freeze the grapes for at least three hours. Remove from freezer and enjoy. We love this frozen treat with salty, aged cheeses or cured meats. Makes for a lovely presentation and conversation starter!
Berry and Cabernet Granita
Granita is a popular semi-frozen dessert from Sicily. With only a few simple ingredients, this elegant berry and cabernet granita will satisfy any sweet tooth.
- 2 cups cabernet (we love Peju’s 2012 cabernet sauvignon for this recipe)
- 4-6 cups berry of choice (substitute per season, dark berries work best)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Reduce the cabernet over a medium simmer until half of the liquid remains then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Purée berries in a blender or food processor with lemon juice. Use a fine mesh strainer to discard seeds and other solids. Combine with chilled wine and sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. In a shallow dish (9-by-12-inch baking dish works best) pour in the mixture and allow to freeze for four hours. Stir with a fork every hour to break up large chunks of ice. Once completely frozen, the granita should resemble shaved ice. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!
Orange Muscat Floats
If you’re an ice cream lover, you’ll scream over how simple these decadent muscat floats are. Muscat is a wonderfully sweet white wine with lush, fruity aromas and flavor profiles spanning peaches, apricots and orange blossom. Highlight a particular fruit flavor with a corresponding crème soda.
In a tall, skinny glass, add two scoops of ice cream, 3 ounces of the orange muscat and top with blood orange soda. This makes for a whimsical end to any summer meal and is excellent for entertaining.
Sangria Snow Cones
This popular mixed cocktail hails from Spain and Portugal and is traditionally made with red wine, sweetener, diced fruit and a touch of brandy. What’s great about this alternative recipe is that most of the ingredients can be substituted with things you have on hand or with what’s in season. Why sweat over making a summer treat when you can chill out with this sangria snow cone?
- 2 cups red wine, preferably with spiced, fragrant aromas
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup pomegranate juice
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- Handful of seasonal berries (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
In a large pot, heat the water and sugar on medium until combined. Add in all remaining ingredients except wine and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove the berries with a slotted spoon. Pour in the red wine and warm on low for five minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Pour the mixture into a deep loaf pan and freeze overnight. Use a fork to shave the icy mixture into paper cones. Garnish with a few extra berries and bon appétit!
Sorbet is the perfect summertime treat. Think of this dessert or sweet snack the next time you’re looking for something light and refreshing. Sorbet packs deep, intense flavor—perfect for highlighting a favorite bottle of wine. Sorbet is often used between courses to cleanse the palate, but it’s the star of the show in this refreshing recipe.
- 1 bottle of Tess blended wine (the complex fruit flavors will shine in this elegant preparation)
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Strawberry and mint for garnish
Combine the first three ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After the liquid is sufficiently chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the machine’s directions. Once churned, scoop the sorbet into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least five hours. Serve with a few slices of fresh strawberry and a sprig of mint.
Enjoy all the varieties that Peju, a family-owned winery in Napa Valley, California, has to offer. We invite you to explore our website for more information about experiencing our wines and events.