It’s warm outside. The sun is shining bright and summer is in full swing. I say cheers to that and cheers to California grape season.
I am in a festive mood because I am also celebrating my second year with Grapes from California. Last year, I brought you an appetizer: grape guacamole, a dessert: grapes in cinnamon wine syrup with sesame brittle, a salad: grape cabbage sunflower seed salad, and a cold soup ajo blanco all with grapes as the main ingredient. I can’t wait to show you what I have in store for this year’s grape season Grapes are the perfect snack on their own, of course, and can be incorporated into practically any dish, giving it a tangy-sweet boost of flavor.
My kick-off recipe is one for cocktail popsicles, or “poptails” as I’ve heard them called, which are trending in the world of food. At least in MY world of food. With lots of California grapes available, this is a great time to get my hands on these beauties.
Before I start gushing about how refreshingly sweet these “poptails” are, I want to give you some important tips on how to buy, store and serve your Grapes from California.
These tips will ensure you get the freshest results until the end of grape season:
- Grapes are fully ripe when they arrive at the supermarket. They are ready to be enjoyed by all with no need to let them ripe at home.
- For the best pick, look for plump grapes with pliable stems. You want fresh.
- Have you ever wondered about that white-powdery coating covering grapes? It’s called bloom and it’s a good thing! Bloom is a naturally occurring substance that protects grapes from moisture loss and decay. It’s like a protective shield that keeps them fresh until you take them home.
- When you do take your grapes home, make sure you keep them unwashed and refrigerated until ready to use. When it’s time to enjoy them, rinse with cold water and serve or add them to your recipes.
The California table grape season runs pretty long. Grapes are available from May through January at your grocery store and always ripe and ready to eat. 99% of table grapes commercially grown in the U.S. are grown in California. Another reason why I love this state! If you don’t live in California, don’t fret. Grapes from California are cultivated, picked, packed and transported with the greatest care to ensure they arrive to your grocery store’s produce section in just-picked conditions: plump, juicy and tasty.
For now, let’s toast to summer and these tasty gems. “Poptails” can be made with green, red or black grapes and are perfect for summer picnics or backyard gatherings. Instead of having an after dinner cocktail, you can always enjoy a cool, after dinner poptail!
- 1 ¾ cups of white wine (Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 24 green grapes from California, sliced in 4 slices each
- 1 large lime, sliced in rounds
- 6 (3-ounce) disposable mini cups
- 6 popsicle sticks
- Combine wine and sugar in a pitcher; stir to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
- Divide grape slices between disposable cups (about 16 slices each).
- Carefully pour wine-sugar mixture in each cup, leaving 1/4 – inch room for lime slice.
- With a paring knife, make a small slit in the center of each lime slice.
- Carefully place the lime slice in the disposable cup as a covering. Insert popsicle stick in the middle of lime slice. Adjust stick to stand upright if necessary.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Peel off disposable cup and enjoy.
This is a sponsored post by Grapes from California. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.