Ice cream: an impossible food-wine pairing?!?

ice creamNow that summer has officially and unofficially started, we need to turn our pairing thoughts to that summer staple: ice cream. Is it an impossible food-wine pairing?!?

I don’t particularly like soft serve but just thought it was a really good picture. If you have a wine suggestion, please note which flavor makes for the best pairing. And if you had a thought about whether making ice cream at home is worth the time and money, let us know that too!

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22 Responses to “Ice cream: an impossible food-wine pairing?!?”

  1. Why is it we have the compulsion to find a food that’s impossible to pair with wine? Why is that so important to us?

  2. No, it is not impossible. In fact, google “homemade ice cream port wine” and you will find recipes for port wine ice cream, a pretty good indication there’s a pairing in there somewhere.

    Heck, even beer can pair with ice cream. Mix double chocolate stout with raspberry lambic, add a scoop of vanilla, and you have a chocolate raspberry float for grown-ups. You will never use root beer again.

  3. Pssh… This one’s a breeze. Brachetto with “dry” chocolate ice cream. Or heck, dry traditional Lambrusco with milk chocolate ice cream might work as traditional Lambruscos have a bit of acidity to them.

  4. I’ve never tried it myself, but vanilla ice cream and Pedro Ximenez sherry is supposed to be pretty good.

  5. A challenge: Durian.

    What’s the wine pairing suggestion for this stinky-yummy Asian fruit?

  6. Dale Cruse asks an important question as far as I am concerned.

    That said, I really enjoy a viognier with vanilla ice cream. I think the peaches really come out in the wine this way.

    And homemade ice cream is absolutely worth it.

  7. Sometimes when you push the limits, you can reveal something new about the subject (or just get silly).

    Either way, ice cream does illustrate one of the very few laws of wine pairing: that the wine should be as sweet or sweeter than the food, otherwise the wine tastes sour. Try it – take a bite of something sweet when you’re drinking a dry or off-dry wine.

    Since ice cream is pretty much one of the sweetest desserts, it has been traditionally paired with Pedro Ximenez sherry, which is the sweetest wine on the planet along with Australian stickies. Both work a treat but aren’t really silly and don’t show anything new. Shit.

  8. My 91 year old Father puts chocolate ice cream in his red wine glass for dessert almost every evening. About three parts ice cream to one part red wine. Despite my Mom’s great pies and cookies, he says it’s his favorite dessert. I tried the mixture last time I visited. Not bad at all. Mixing them is probably better than trying to pair them. Thirty years ago, I used to buy a red Spanish wine, 6% alcohol made from boiled down grape juice, very sweet and syrupy… from Corti Bros, Sacto. CA. I forget the wines name. Tangy on vanilla ice cream.

  9. I would go with a black muscat or a late harvest Viognier, or a botrytized white – be it semillon or chardonnay (“sweet nancy” from Temecula) or sauvignon blanc from Santa Barabara.

  10. Dale –

    Why do these “impossible” pairings? For one, they’re fun and allow us all to put our heads together. Traditional approaches to food-wine pairing tend to go with tried and true dishes, such as lamb or steak. Our dishes, by contrast, take wine where it has never gone before, pushing the culinary frontier! The foods are also ones that we eat here in America: If wine we’re going to consume wine more than we currently do we’re going to have to think beyond which wine goes with steak. The group-think aspect is good too since there is never one right answer that will work for everyone.

    We can also touch on general rules of food wine pairing and see if they work. Another Steve suggests here that the wine be sweeter than the food. That’s a good tip. I often recommend wine have higher acidity than food, which is why pairing wine with a vinaigrette dressing is such a challenge. Similarly, making a bitter food can take the edge of a bitterly tannic wine.

    As to this particularly challenge, there’s little that is sweeter than a sticky or PX–tokaji 5 puttonyos perhaps? But I wonder if you need to go that far and wonder if a Moscato d’Asti might work too.


  11. Banyuls

  12. Sparkling Shiraz with dark chocolate gelato
    the bubblies compliment/cut the fat and the bittersweet chocolate accentuates the shiraz

  13. Take some authentic strawberry ice cream, either homemade or one like Häagen-Dazs that only uses natural ingredients. Make a slurry of basil and olive oil and blend it in a ribbon through the strawberry ice cream. Top with a bit of balsamic vinegar reduction. Serve with a chilled Gewürztraminer.

    Gonna make your tongue knock your brains out.

  14. God, there’s no way to follow up on Benito’s suggestion, is there? After 48 hours of utter stumpitude I triumphantly came up with Pedro Ximenez and discover as usual I am late to the party. By the way, it is also good over coffee (as well as vanilla) ice cream, and if you can stand more of it, a tiny glass goes well on the side, too!

  15. 25 year Highland Park with vanilla bean ice cream is superb. Just let someone else buy the whisky…

  16. Late with the post, but can’t resist – if it must be soft serve, then orange sherbert soft serve with a sweet vouvray or moscato d’asti

  17. OK. This is not a problem. Pedro Ximenez is terrific with vanilla, maple walnut, chocolate chip, dulche de lech ice cream. Suggestion, drizzle the wine over the ice cream as a syrup. Unbelievable. Brachetto is the bomb with strawberry ice cream, peach, or Cherry Garcia. Most chocolate ice creams are better with coffee.

  18. I find Muscat de beaumes de venise to be very good specially with non-berry ice creams

  19. Ice cream is easy. Try Dippin’ Dots the ice cream of the future, what futuristic wine would you pair with that.

  20. Well tonight I made a plum honey sabayon with Virginia dessert wine and threw in some vanilla ice cream after I pulled it out of the broiler. It was fantastic…

  21. These matches are suggested by users of WinedIn for Ice cream.

    * Amontillado Sherry
    * Beaumes-de-Venise
    * Black Muscat
    * Champagne
    * LH Gewürztraminer
    * LH Riesling
    * Muscat
    * Passito
    * Pedro Ximénez Sherry
    * Sauternes
    * Vin Santo

  22. dich vu dang tin…

    […]Ice cream: an impossible food-wine pairing?!? | Dr Vino's wine blog[…]…


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