Food & Drink Magazine

The Perfect Pair: Ice Cream and Wine Pairings

By Icecreamed

wine grapes

Certain items just go together- marshmallows and hot cocoa, your favorite pair of sunglasses on a summer day, crunchy leaves and cool autumn air.

And certain pairs are just odd but seemingly still work together. (Think Lucy and Ethel.)

Ice cream and wine could probably fit into both categories. Excellent by themselves, ice cream and wine offer the perfect sweet indulgence combination. However, there are some pairings that can truly challenge your taste buds to cover new and imaginative territory. Here are some of our favorites:

Red Wine

  1. Vanilla Ice Cream and Sherry- Sherrys, such as Pedro Ximénez, are dark and sweet dessert wines. They are truly a meal all their own but when paired with a small dish of vanilla ice cream the taste will most certainly have you screaming for more. Legend has it that this particular grape came to Spain in the baggage of a soldier named Pedro Ximénez. The wine is now grown in several corners of the world, including South America. (Sherry is also an excellent pairing for coffee-related flavors!)

  2. Floral Ice Creams with Ice Wine- Soft-flavored ice creams such as lavender work best with light and sweet wines. Ice wines are made from grapes that are frozen directly onto the vine before they are picked. The result is a beverage that is full but extremely sweet. The flavors of the ice wine will not overpower the delicate flavors of the ice cream.

  3. Fruit Flavored Sherberts with Muscats- Sherberts are hard to pair. Most wines will be too dark to be paired well with something relatively light and fun. Muscats are dry and tend to have hints of spice, honey, or fruit cocktail. They will play nicely with a little dish of frozen fruit dessert.

If wine would not normally be your drink of choice, there are plenty of beers and spirits that pair exceedingly well with ice cream. Some general suggestions include:

  • Coconut Ice Cream with Sake

  • Double Chocolate Ice Cream with Port

  • Espresso or Vanilla Ice Cream with Scotch

  • Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream with a Stout Beer

Beyond this list, pairings are subjective. If it is your favorite drink and your favorite dessert, who says you can’t have a little of both?

Have any favorite combinations? We would love to hear from you!

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