Summer 2015 isn’t out the door yet, but it’s begun gathering up its things. It’s had one for the road, thanked its host for a lovely time, and after delivering a few final adieus with promises to get together again soon, it will find the exit and leave.
Before it heads for the hills, though, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli wants to help liven up the menus of your final summer fêtes with a tasty cocktail and two delectable dishes perfect for celebrating Labor Day.
Beginning with a Moscato-led watermelon cocktail guaranteed to send your gathering’s awesome factor into the mesosphere, Chef Guarnaschelli follows with a grilled pineapple offering that could be served as a dessert or a small plate course, with a red wine granita made from freezing Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon with some spices and honey. The main event is a grilled shrimp coated with a rich sauce made from Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. Don’t let summer out the door without giving it a hug. The recipes shared here give it three.
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Moscato-Watermelon Smash
Prep + Cook Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Yield: 8-10 cocktails
- 3 pounds seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus 1/2 pound watermelon reserved for garnish
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, plus several leaves for garnish
- Juice of four limes (about 8 tbsp)
- 1 bottle of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Moscato
- 5 ounces vodka
- Simple syrup to taste (depending on how sweet your watermelon is, you may not need it at all)
- Add watermelon, mint and lime juice to a blender and puree. Strain into a pitcher.
- Stir in the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Moscato and vodka. Taste. Sweeten with simple syrup to taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Stir again, then pour the cocktail into drinking glasses filled with ice and garnish with skewered watermelon.
*Entertaining Tip: for a no-fuss crowd pleaser, double or triple this recipe and serve it in a large punch bowl. Make a gorgeous ice ring by adding lime slices, mint leaves and water to a plain Bundt pan. Freeze, then unmold and add to your punch just before party time!
Grilled Pineapple with ‘Cue Sauce Glaze and Woodbridge Wine Granita
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon dry ginger
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 large ripe golden pineapple, top removed, peeled and cut into 10-12 wedges
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup clover honey
- 2 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce
- Juice from 1 medium lemon
- Make the syrup and cook the wine: In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the sugar. Stir to blend. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring from time to time, until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Refrigerate. Pour the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon into the same saucepan, add the cinnamon stick and ginger and cook over medium heat until it reduces by half. Refrigerate.
- Freeze and make the granita: When the wine and syrup are cooled, stir them together. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the Balsamic vinegar. Pour out onto a baking sheet and put in the freezer until it hardens, 3-4 hours. When ready to serve, scrape the surface with the tines of a fork to remove the granita in large flakes.
- Preheat the grill.
- Grill the pineapple: When the grill is hot, arrange the wedges of pineapple in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush them with the olive oil. Place them on the grill in a single layer, cooking 3-5 minutes on one side before turning on the other. Meanwhile, put a medium pot on the grill and add the honey. Bring it to a simmer and let it froth and bubble 2-3 minutes until it turns a darker shade of brown. Add the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and lemon and simmer 3-5 minutes. When the pineapple is charred on both sides, arrange on a serving platter and spoon the honey wine reduction over them.
The Ultimate Woodbridge BBQ Shrimp
Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
For the BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard (preferably Colman’s brand)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, cut into ½ inch thick slices
For the Shrimp:
- 16–18 “U-10” Shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
- Preheat the grill.
- Make the BBQ sauce: In a large pot, simmer the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon until it reduces by about half. Stir in the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dry mustard, Dijon mustard and chili powder. Whisk to blend. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon slices. Simmer on the stove for 20-25 minutes until the aroma of the vinegar mellows slightly. Taste for seasoning.
- Cook the shrimp: Season the shrimp on both sides with salt. When the grill is hot, place a large sauté pan on the side of the grill to get it hot. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a “hot spot” of the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to turn them on the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the butter to the sauté pan. Allow the butter to melt and the toss the shrimp in the pan, basting them with the butter. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and stir in the ginger. Drizzle them generously with the BBQ sauce. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional BBQ sauce on the side, if desired.