Grapefruit Sunset + Cucumber-Melon Cooler AND Hang on to Summer Giveaway!


Without fail, summer peaks and starts to wind down before I know what happened. So to squeeze as much joy as possible out of my favourite months, I try to make every day memorable or celebratory in some way. That means stopping to smell the roses – pausing to take in the incredible turquoise colour of the pacific ocean on a bright, sunny day – and creating beauty in daily rituals – say, using my favourite blue plates and cloth napkins to serve BLTs al fresco.

I particularly cherish the sweet, balmy nights of August. On such an evening, nothing is better than sharing an impromptu meal with friends, putting fresh flowers on the table and sipping on a summery cocktail (preferably on the patio) in a pretty glass.


I’ve got two perfect August-evening cocktails (well, WINE-tails, actually) for you today, both featuring Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio.

I am excited to work with this brand because, not only do I find their wines delicious and approachable (well-balanced – not too sweet, not too dry – just really drinkable and easy to enjoy), but I really love their credo – upgrading the everyday. Making the day-to-day special. Doing the little things that turn an ordinary moment into an occasion. It really resonates with me! As part of our collaboration, we’re bringing you a “Hang On to Summer” giveaway that I am totally aflutter about. Details below.


The first winetail is a Pinot Grigio-Grapefruit Sunset – freshly squeezed grapefruit juice stirred with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, topped with crème de cassis for the graduated “sunset” appearance. The grapefruit brings forward the wine’s light citrus notes in this perfectly not-to-sweet cocktail.

The second is a cucumber-melon cooler – cucumber and ripe honeydew melon blended with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio and strained into an ice-filled glass, garnished with cucumber rounds, a little wedge and a mint sprig. It’s crisp and refreshing, like the wine itself.


Let me just say that these winetails are perfect summer sippers – not-too-sweet, cold and fresh after a full day in the sun.


I’d suggest pairing either winetail with fresh, summery fare, such as:

– Finely julienned zucchini sauteed with good olive oil and angel hair pasta, finished with lots of chopped fresh mint and parsley, and toasted hazelnuts.

– Grilled salmon topped with a nectarine salsa.

– Chicken skewers marinated in citrus and chile, finished with chopped fresh cilantro.

Cucumber-Cooler-4textRecipes below giveaway rules and entry form!


For the “Hang on to Summer” giveaway with Ecco Domani, I’ve curated a selection of things I love – special items that upgrade the everyday. Things I own, or would love to own. I really hope you like them, too!

Giveaway Includes:

1. A KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer in Ecco Domani green. I own this colour, not only does it get used all the time, it looks gorgeous on the counter.

2. A set of 3 beautiful candle holders of varied heights from Anthropologie. They create a lovely tablescape, and their transparency means they don’t make even a small table feel crowded. Candlelight is an easy touch to make any meal feel more special.

3. A much coveted Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Cassis. A beautiful upgrade for a piece of equipment I personally use all the time – casual elegance comes of slow-simmered braises.

4. A casually beautiful, hand-carved olive wood & natural bone serving set (fair trade, from Kenya).

5. 10 incredible Tahitian Vanilla Beans.

6. The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker – because my ice cream machine is worth every millimetre of storage space allotted to non-essential equipment. I LOVE IT.

7. & 8. Chocolate goodies from my favourite American chocolatier – high quality TCHO Baking Drops and cocoa nibs.

9. My favourite popsicle molds – which you’ll put to good use in the near future with popsicle recipes to come!

10. A sleek and compact Universal Expert Corkscrew from West Elm with a foil cutter that doubles as a bottle opener.


To enter, you must “Like” the Ecco Domani Facebook Page ( Ecco-Domani) between August 8, 2014 at 8am PST and August 18 2014 at 11:59pm PST (“Sweepstakes Entry Period”), and let me know you’ve done it via the Rafflecopter Entry Box below.
Entrants may earn up to (3) additional entries by: (1) Leaving a comment with an idea or recipe for a summer winetail (wine cocktail) on this blog post (2) Tweeting about the giveaway with a link to the contest by posting the following from a Twitter account: “I just entered the Hang On to Summer giveaway with Ecco Domani and Foodess #EccoDomanifoodess.” and (3) Sharing the giveaway on Facebook by sharing the following from a Facebook account: “I just entered the Hang On to Summer giveaway with @EccoDomani and @Foodess #EccoDomanifoodess.”
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (PST) Monday, August 18th, 2014.
One winner will be drawn randomly by rafflecopter on August 20th, 2014.
Winner will receive (1) one of each item listed above. (Total retail value of prize = $1,100.)
Winner must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be drawn.
Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only (with restrictions; see link above).

UPDATE: Congratulations to Holly O’Gorman, the winner!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grapefruit Sunset
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, chilled
  • 1 cup Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, chilled
  • 1 oz creme de cassis
  • Grapefruit slices, for serving
  1. Stir together grapefruit juice and Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio in a spouted measuring cup. Divide between two glasses. Top each with ½-oz creme de cassis and let it settle for a minute to give the graduated "sunset" appearance. Garnish with grapefruit slices.

Cucumber-Melon Cooler
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 3” piece of cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ medium honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio
  • 3 oz simple syrup*, or to taste
  • fresh mint sprigs
  • cucumber slices and thin melon wedges, optional
  1. Combine cucumber, melon and Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio and simple syrup in blender and process on high speed until smooth, about 15 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a spouted measuring cup; discard pulp. Divide between two ice-filled glasses and garnish with mint sprigs, cucumber slices and/or melon wedges as desired.
  2. *To make simple syrup, combine ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Store refrigerated in a sealed jar - it will keep several months.

  • Tina/@teenbug

    Oh man. That freaking Le Cruset and I have been doing the tango for so long. Le sigh. :) What a FAB giveaway!

    I love the idea of peach + mint + wine. Or for that matter, strawberries + basil + wine.

    I had a raspberry basil sorbet on Sunday that made my toes curl!

  • Clara

    These winetails look fabulous. Ohmygoodness.
    Might just have to mix them up over the weekend!

  • Kelly – A Side of Sweet

    I would love a winetail with black cherry and sparkling water! Yum!

  • Ami B

    Strawberry Basil Moscato Lemonade

  • sherrine francis

    First of all, this giveaway is bonkers. As for a winetail. This is so simple but I totally fell in love with it after playing around: Moscata + Strawberries + Basil + Lemon Juice + Sugar. So lovely. 3 glasses later…

  • Yuen C

    Strawberries with white wine!

  • Linda Poplees

    Cut up slices of peaches and strawberries. Then freeze them. You can use them as cubes in your Pinot Grigio or puree them and add them into a chilled glass.

  • Sheena S.

    The classic winetail: a Kir Royale (sparkling wine + crème de cassis)!

  • Rick F

    I prefer a good margarita myself. 2 oz tequila, 1/2 oz triple sec, 1 oz lime juice, 1 tsp instant dissolve sugar.

  • Rust

    Peach vodka with rose’ is cool and refreshing.

  • Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    I would combine some white wine, strawberries, and a bit of mint for my winetail!

  • Katie

    Mmm can’t wait to try some of these!

  • Nicola

    How about white wine, freshly pressed ginger juice and sour cherry?

    Keeping my fingers crossed, this is the only way Adam will let an ice cream maker in the house! LOL!

    • Jennifer Pallian

      Love that combo Nicola!

  • Rick F

    I love sangria but have never made it.

  • Heidi Pawluk

    Fabulous contest. Summer is a great time for all those wine cocktails, easy to prepare & so delicious to enjoy. Quick & easy wine sparkler or spritzer can be prepared with a variety of fruit.

    2 cups quartered strawberries
    1 cup blueberries
    1 bottle chilled white wine
    1 litre chilled Sprite, Lemon-Lime
    Place fruit in pitcher, pour over with white wine and soda & mix gently. Refrigerate till ready to use.

  • Mia

    These drinks sound delicious! I like to keep it simple with some red wine, san pellegrino and some fresh mint!

  • Jeannie

    I am a big Sangria fan with extra frozen fruit in it.

  • Rena

    blueberry lime mojito!

  • peachie

    1 bottle Moscato Wine (750ml) (I used Barefoot brand) plus more for blending
    2 cups frozen peaches (unsweetened)
    ½ cup powdered sugar (can cut back but it needs to be pretty sweet)

    Add frozen peaches, sugar and a few splashes of moscato to food processor or blender.
    Blend until completely smooth.
    Pour in the rest of the moscato and blend until incorporated.
    Quickly pour mixture into ice cube trays. (stir if peaches begin to settle on the bottom of blender jar)
    Place frozen cubes in a blender. ( I never measure them out. I just toss a handful in and add more if I need it)
    Add a splash of wine to make blending easier.
    Blend until slush consistency, adding a splash of wine to thin it out if needed.
    Pour into wine glasses, add a straw (if desired) and serve immediately.
    Garnish with fresh fruit like strawberries and peach slices

    You’ll need to add a few splashes of wine to the frozen ice cube for blending. You can reserve a small amount of wine or just use some wine from another bottle, which is what I do.

    ADD ice! If you like for your slushies to have those tiny little ice chips then throw in a few ice cubes and a little bit more wine!

  • Juanita A May

    Chilled white wine mixed with ripe mango.

  • Jessica Baum

    How about something with lime and mint?

  • Tina W

    I like Pinot Grigio with a splash of pomegranate juice and some frozen pomegranate arils.

  • Rita Spratlen

    Pick 4 cups of blackberries and add one cup of sugar. You can strain or just add the entire bit over vodka to taste and ice. Stir. So good and easy. Add lemon to garnish!

  • Jennifer Essad

    I’m a tonic connoisseur, Fever Tree is my favorite, this is my drink of choice on hot summer days:
    1/2 and 1/2 of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio and Fever Tree Tonic
    slices of: orange, lime, lemon and tangerine

    over ice, stir, sip

  • KrystalR

    Muddled Blackberries or Blueberries, a lighter white wine (such as Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio), and a splash of Sprite or 7UP

  • Suzanne G

    I had the best white winetail in Montreal this summer. I have been trying to replicate it but have still not quite got it down pat. It had a dry white wine, orange juice and I believe splash of grapefruit juice plus lime juice and there were lime slices and orange slices floating in it. It was so refreshing and not too sweet.

  • sharon garofalow

    These cocktails sound fantastic! I just did a full week of wine cocktails on my blog and really want to start playing around and creating my own recipes. I think the white wine cocktails were my favorite so I would probably do something with pinot grigio, maybe some pineapple juice and vanilla and spices.

  • http://Facebook Rollie Salerno

    All the posts are really great recipe ideas – as long as you use Ecco Domani!

  • Judy Cowan

    Some pureed peaches and a sparkling white wine – I keep things simple.

  • Jane Sandona

    rafflecopter will not load, but here is my comment raspberries and blackberries

  • Missy

    It all looks so fabulous, refreshing and delicious!

  • Annette

    This one sounds delicious and perfect for summer:
    Ecco Freddo

    Muddle a slice of watermelon with one teaspoon of sugar
    Add 1oz. of pineapple juice
    Add 2.5 oz. of Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio
    Add ice into a boston shaker and shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds
    Pour all ingredients into a lowball glass
    Garnish with a thin slice of watermelon

  • Carol M (Lushka S)

    I like to make White Sangria for something a bit different

  • Sheri

    I love pairing fresh fruit with wine and a little scoop of sorbet!

  • Nupur

    Always use Fresh fruits to make cocktails

  • Heather S.

    Nova 7 paired with whatever fruit strikes your fancy!

  • Stacey Roberson

    My favorite!

    2 tablespoons of mango juice, 1 tablespoon of sweet basil and 2 oz. of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio

  • Tony

    I prefer Sangria

    One 750-milliliter bottle fruity red wine, such as Merlot
    4 ounces brandy
    3 ounces Simple Syrup
    1 cup mixed chunks of seeded oranges, lemons and limes

  • Bons

    I’d like blueberries with margarita. Recipe I like is this one:
    2 cups ice
    1 cup frozen blueberries
    1 cup blueberry nectar
    1/4 cup seltzer
    2 tablespoons frozen limeade
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    3 ounces tequila, optional
    1 lime wedge
    Coarse salt