Ice Cream with Wine

Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate! I always felt different from the other little kids growing up.  One reason being, I loved chocolate ice cream.  While almost every one of my friends liked vanilla or strawberry, I was a true chocolate fan.  If plain chocolate wasn’t available I would take rocky road as a backup.  I also liked sugar cones more than waffle cones.  When asked what I wanted for dessert, I would always say, “A chocolate cone”.   My grandmother would mention buying something else for the week to have for dessert, but I held strong.  This is true to my personality.  When I like something, I usually stick with it.  Whatever item I like at a restaurant, I order every time I go.   I’ll ask to taste someone else’s dish to see if I’m missing out on anything, but unless that sample completely moves me, I never stray from my original choice.   And in case you’re wondering, chocolate is still my favorite.

The flavor of ice cream is really key when choosing a wine to pair with it.  However, the one wine I've found that works with a number of flavors is late harvest Muscat (Black or Orange).  Late harvest means the grapes were left on the vines well into the fall becoming very ripe and full of sugar.  "Elysium" the wine used for this post was amazing with both chocolate, rocky road, and vanilla ice cream.  The wine has flavors of milk chocolate and jam, making the chocolate ice cream taste like a chocolate covered cherry.  With rocky road ice cream, the experience got even better!  The marshmallows and almonds really came to life and both the flavor of the food and wine were heightened.  Vanilla ice cream was incredible when the wine was poured over it like syrup!  Besides the flavor, this wine works well because it is full-bodied and matches the weight of the ice cream, has enough acidity to stand up to the cream and cut through it, and has enough sugar to match the sugar in the dish.  When pairing dessert with wine, the wine needs to be equally sweet, or sweeter than the dessert, otherwise the wine will taste extremely tart.  Other wines to try with ice cream are Moscato d' Asti (especially with vanilla or fruit driven ice cream), tawny Port (especially with chocolate ice cream), sweet Sherry, Vin Santo and sweet Madeira.