Summer vibe: Chardonnay Granité


At a recent media presentation for Clos du Bois Chardonnay, a nice, barbecue-ready white wine presented by Montreal Gazette’s fine dining critic Lesley Chesterman, a 4-course meal was served. The purpose? Show how versatile chardonnay can be from starters to dessert.

Yes, desserts. Admittedly, white wines can be tricky, even bracing come desserts, more successfully paired with fortified or sweet wines, Lesley showed how to avoid this pitfall, should you want to stay with one wine all through, by turning the wine itself into the dessert. In her own words, it’s a great summer recipe for those who don’t have an ice cream maker, and can also be served as a mid-meal palate cleanser.



Lesley Chesterman serving dessert in the impeccable surroundings of Willams-Sonoma where the cooking island also serves for  master classes open to the general public (see here).


Refreshing, quite boozy and ideally-suited to hot summer nights when the previous courses have tested our limits, this granité is the perfect adult dessert to tempt us back to the patio table. It was served with grapefruit confit, which could easily have been any citrus of choice. That part of the recipe is my own, a classic so not great feat on my part. Leftover confit can be used to top any dessert (it would be great on vanilla ice cream or an affogato, if you ask me), and should keep, chilled, a number of weeks.

For the other recipes created by Lesley Chesterman for the event, check her Red pepper & aged cheddar quiche appetizer, her Salade nicoise for a starter or main, and her Bar-b-cue pork tenderloin with peaches. Enjoy!


quichemac saladenicoiseMac pork


  • 1. In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean with its seeds.
  • 2. Squeeze the lemon and pour juice into the syrup. Cut the peel into large pieces and add to the syrup. Bring the whole to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.
  • 3. Remove syrup from heat, cover and let infuse until it comes to room temperature. Strain the mix and save 400 mL. (Editor's note: Leftover syrup, if any, can be used for desserts or cocktails).
  • 4. In a bowl, whisk together syrup, wine and water, then pour mixture into a shallow pan. Freeze overnight until firm.
  • 5. Before serving, place eight wine glasses in the freezer long enough to chill.
  • 6. Using a metal spoon, scrape granité lengthwise from top to bottom of the pan, and divide among the glasses. Serve solo, or topped with citrus zest.
  • 7. For the grapefruit confit:
  • 8. Peel grapefruit, taking care not to include the white part under the skin that's bitter. Slice zest into fine strips.
  • 9. In a pot full of boiling water, blanch grapefruit zest 30 seconds, then drain and rinse under cold running water. (If desired, you can repeat this step one or two more times to ensure you remove all pesticides, using fresh boiling water each time.)
  • 10. In a pot, combine sugar and water, then bring to a boil. Add zests and, over low heat, simmer up to one hour or until zests are tender. Transfer to a sealed container and chill until ready to use.