Wines to Drink with Ice Cream
(And a bonus recipe)
On the list of life's pleasures, wine and ice cream are worthy additions. So why not enjoy these two together? The right pair can be a sweet finish to a meal. If you've ever spooned up an affogato, an espresso and ice cream dessert, you know how good the pairing of bitter and acidic with creamy and sweet can be.
AWS members are often challenged by their friends or associates with “OK. What wine would you pair with . . .?” questions. Ice cream is one of the foods that seems to be impossible, but who says you can’t drink wine with ice cream? Ask most wine professionals, and they’ll tell you to have a beer or whiskey, instead. But what if wine is your only option, or what if you just love wine and ice cream together? Adaptability is a quality of AWS members.
According to dessert and wine pairing guidelines, the wine should be sweeter than the dessert, otherwise the wine might taste flat. The other thing to consider is acidity. Most wines are inherently acidic. Think about it. You wouldn’t squeeze lemon juice on your ice cream.
The last thing to consider is tannins. Tannic wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo, may pair with rich dishes, but once you add a sugary component, the profile changes. The sweetness of your dessert is overpowered by bitterness.
For wine lovers, however, who want to enjoy a scoop of your favorite ice cream with your glass of vino, here are some pairings. A few of them bend the rules.
If you’re having …
1. Chocolate Ice Cream
Look for Brachetto d’Acqui, a sweet, semi-sparkling dessert wine with floral notes and hints of red berries. Add fresh raspberries or strawberries to this combination. Perfection.
Bersano Brachetto d’Acqui NV Code: 78387 $6.99
2. Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Salted caramel is a great match for Pedro Ximenez (“PX”) sherry. I’m not talking about cooking sherry. PX is the sweetest of sherries, with notes of espresso, caramel, and raisin. PX is another option to serve with or on top of your coffee ice cream.
Mayu Pedro Ximenez Elqui 2015 Code: 73147 $6.49
3. Pistachio Ice Cream
Pair this treat with Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain. Cava is a Champagne lover’s choice for a good quality, budget sparkling wine. It’s made in the same style as Champagne, but without the price.
Poema Cava Brut Code: 2456 $10.39
4. Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Go with a Chardonnay. The more oak, the better. The ice cream’s rich, nutty flavors match the aromas of a buttery, oaked Chardonnay.
Bogle Phantom Chardonnay 2016 Code: 47958 $19.99
5. Blood Orange Sorbet
Moscato d’Asti is a great match. Almost any sorbet tastes great with this bubbly, semi-sweet dessert wine. Pour Moscato over sorbet for a sorbet float. It’s about 6% alcohol.
Risata Moscato d’Asti NV Code: 1591 $14.99
6. Strawberry Ice Cream
When having strawberry ice cream, always have a glass of off-dry (slightly sweet) Rosé ready. Its notes of strawberries, raspberries, and ripe watermelon complement strawberry ice cream.
Underwood Rose 2016 Code: 17604 $7.49
(Also available in cans!)
7. Peach Sherbet
Choose an off-dry Riesling to pair with peach sherbet. Riesling is known for aromas of stone fruits, apricots, and nectarines.
Dr. Loosen Dr. L Dry Riesling Code: 73399 $12.99
8. Vanilla Ice Cream
Vanilla ice cream is a classic, but it’s also a blank canvas for whatever toppings you like. If you’re adding red berries, go with a Late-Harvest Zinfandel. If you’re topping with nuts or chocolate, go for a Tawny Port. See the list below for some more options when it comes to toppings.
Easton Obscura 2009 (375ml) Code: 77010 $22.99
Sandeman Tawny Porto Code: 6507 $15.99
9. Plain Greek Frozen Yogurt
Tangy plain Greek frozen yogurt pairs perfectly with the tart flavor of Italy’s dessert wine, Vin Santo. The extended barrel aging of these white wine grapes provides richness, as well as acidity. For the ultimate pairing experience, serve with baked spiced apples or pears.
Lucignano Vin Santo 2006 (375ml) Code: 74286 $32.99
10. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Australian Shiraz is the perfect pairing. Its raspberry fruits, chocolate, and eucalyptus notes are complementary to mint and chocolate.
d’Arenberg The Stump Jump 2016 Code: 75753 $10.99
Toppings Expand Your Wine-Pairing Options.
· Light-colored fruits? Peaches, nectarines, or citrus pair well with Sauternes, Riesling, Ice Wine, or Moscato.
· Dark-colored fruits? Raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries are great matches with Ruby Port or a rich Zinfandel.
· Nuts? If your toppings include almonds, peanuts, or hazelnuts, go for a Sherry, Madeira, Chardonnay, Tawny Port, or Vin Santo.
We hope these suggestions get your creative juices flowing. What’s your favorite ice cream and wine combination? Any flavor failures? Post a comment and share those thoughts with your fellow members.
Make Your Own Red Wine Ice Cream
Part berry sorbet and part red wine ice cream, this frozen dessert is a great way to use up leftover wine.
Prep: 20 mins
Stand: 1 hr.
Yield: 6 cups
• 1-pound fresh strawberries chopped
• 1-pound fresh blackberries
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 ¼ cups dry red wine
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 one-inch piece fresh ginger sliced
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Whipped cream
• Black pepper (optional)
• Ground cinnamon (optional)
• Step 1
In a large saucepan combine the first eight ingredients (through the salt). Cook and stir over medium-high heat until fruit softens, and sugar is dissolved.
• Step 2
Remove from heat; let mixture cool to room temperature. Remove ginger slices; discard.
• Step 3
Working in batches, transfer wine mixture to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Transfer blended mixture to a 13x9-inch dish or pan. Cover and freeze overnight.
• Step 4
When ready to serve, scoop sorbet into wine glasses. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with black pepper or cinnamon, if desired.