Wine Pairings for Classic Ice Cream FlavorsAlison Wilkinson
Sometimes it seems like there’s a national day for everything. National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day? August 8th. National Ampersand Day? Coming up in September. National Tape Measure Day? Sorry, just missed it. (Start pinning now for next July!)
But National Ice Cream Day? That’s one I can definitely get behind. Ice cream deserves to be celebrated. It is delicious, creamy, evocative, and the perfect summer treat. Sorry tape measures, ampersands, and putting food to rot on your neighbor’s porch, but ice cream has you beat.
The only problem with ice cream is that it’s a bit of an overachiever. I mean, how can you improve upon the perfection that is a frozen Snickers bar, or a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich?
How, you ask? Enter: wine. For anyone who’s lingered over a glass of wine into dessert, you know that ice cream and wine can be a hit-or-miss pairing. But these wine pairings are the perfect blend of cool and sweet and tangy and … summer! Enjoy.
Nestle Drumstick and Chardonnay
We all know that chicken and white wine go together, so pairing the Drumstick with a white was a bit of a no-brainer. Reach for a buttery, oaky chardonnay. You’ll find it mellows out quite a bit when eating the top part of the treat – the delicious, crunchy, peanut part. You can still taste the wine’s flavors, but you have to look for the oak. Once you get to the fatty cone, though, it’s like a reset button for your palate. The oak is back, full force. You’ll feel like you’re drinking two totally different glasses of wine. But without the hangover of actually drinking two glasses of wine.
Snickers Ice Cream Bar and Shiraz
The bold, bright, acidic shiraz comes head to head with the similarly bold frozen Snickers in this pairing. The Snickers bar is another ice cream novelty that has no business being put into the unsophisticated palates of children. The saltiness! The caramel! The peanut! It’s almost as complex as the wine! Seriously, if you bought these for the kids, go hide them in the back of the freezer now. The sweetness of the ice cream causes the acid in the wine to pretty much vanish, which sweetens the wine considerably. With the acid dulled, it also gives the wine more opportunity to present some of its underlying flavors. Two of which – chocolate and caramel – are natural pairings with this frozen treat.
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich and Sauvignon Blanc
What’s light, airy, even slightly effervescent? If you guessed a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich, you’re right. If you guessed sauvignon blanc, you’re also right. These two are a match made in boozy ice cream heaven. Unlike the creamsicle-riesling pairing, where the two become almost indistinguishable, the similarity of this pairing causes the sauvignon blanc to change its flavor profile a bit. It turns a bit more tangy and biting – almost like a riesling. A surprisingly complex duo.
Creamsicle and Riesling
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a creamsicle, you might be surprised at how tangy it is. There’s a lot of citrusy zest packed into this sweet treat. The riesling is similar in taste profile – sweet and tangy, with a bit of a punch. When paired together, the riesling basically morphs into a liquid version of a Creamsicle – in a ridiculously good way. If you want to eat your ice cream and drink it too, try this pair.
Klondike Bar and Cabernet Sauvignon
What would you do for a Klondike Bar? What about a Klondike Bar and a glass of cab? I for one would totally bawk like a chicken. No questions asked. If you’ve been thinking of Klondike Bars as a children’s treat, think again. The thick chocolate shell surrounding the vanilla ice cream is decadent and surprisingly, well, chocolatey. It coats the mouth, lingering longer than the cool vanilla. The sugar in the bar doesn’t make the cabernet bitter, as you might expect, but instead smooths it out and sweetens it, transforming this bold wine into almost a dessert wine. Bawk bawk.
Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bar and Zinfandel
The strawberry shortcake bar is sweet – probably the sweetest of the bunch. While it may be tempting to reach for a similarly sweet wine, resist the temptation. Too much sweet can be too much of a good thing. Instead try the light, dry, slightly metallic zinfandel. You’ll get one nanosecond of bitterness before the wine adapts, mirroring the strawberry flavors in the ice cream. Seriously, they’ve got to start selling this pairing in the Good Humor Ice Cream trucks. I can’t think of a reason why not. Oh wait.
Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and Port
Oh Ben. Oh Jerry. You really know the way to a girl’s heart. Your ice cream is so rich, so creamy, with just the right blend of cherry and chocolate chunks. Port, on its own, is quite sweet, but not cloying due to its heavy woody undertones. When paired with the ice cream, some of the woodiness mellows out, but the flavors in the ice cream help the port to stay complex. Enjoy these separately, or just go ahead and pour the port right on top of your scoop. You’ll get a smooth, sweet wine and a just-as-smooth, not-quite-as-sweet ice cream. The result is a marriage as perfect as – well – Ben and I. Or Jerry, I’m not picky.
Edy’s Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Moscato
This low-alcohol sparkling wine is similar to a riesling as well, but sweeter. When paired with the similarly airy mint chocolate chip, the wine loses some of its complexity. But it makes up for it by taking on some of the flavor profile of the ice cream. The result is almost like a sparkling mojito – a cool, refreshing minty sip. It’s totally unexpected. Totally yummy. And totally mine. Seriously. Step away, kids.