I’ve taken the following from last summers American Wine Society newsletter
Baskin Robbins Culinary Team in collaboration with Rosenthal Malibu Estates Wines developed this guide to pairing several ice cream flavours with types of wines.
• Pinot Grigio or Grenache Blanc with Vanilla: The buttery flavour of the ice cream brings out the crisp, green fruit notes in the wine.
• Riesling or Gruner Veltliner with Pralines 'n Cream: The praline pecan and caramel flavours pair well with the apple notes of the wine.
• Rosé with Rainbow Sherbet: The citrus and berry flavours bring out the floral, fruity notes in the wine.
• Pinot Noir with World Class Chocolate: The silkiness of the ice cream complements the vanilla and fruit notes of the wine and rounds out the mouthfeel.
• Chardonnay with Old Fashioned Butter Pecan: The sweetness of the ice cream complements the honey, buttery and oaky notes in the wine.
• Cabernet Sauvignon with Jamoca® Almond Fudge: The robust flavours of the cabernet bring out the nutty, coffee notes of the ice cream.
• Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño with Raspberry Sorbet: The fresh raspberry flavour brings out the crisp accents and refreshing quality of the wine.
• Merlot with Chocolate: Chocolate rounds out the mouthfeel of the merlot.
Wines must be sweeter than the dessert. Moscato d’Asti works really well with ice cream, as it is low in alcohol and very fruity with a grapey flavour. I like PX drizzled on ice cream too, but flavours have to be rich and complex, like chocolate, salted caramel, rum and raisin. Vanilla on its own would taste of creamy raisiny PX sherry, not a bad idea!
I’m sure you could do some convincing sorbets using various sweet wines such as muscat, various of the VDNs such as Rivesaltes, or even Sauternes.
There are also savoury (non-sweet) ices and icecreams such as tomato etc. which are sometimes served in small measures as appetisers or starters. It would need a bit of experimenting to see how well wines went with them (if at all), but I’m sure something is possible.
But this is all a long way from the sort of thing mentioned at the beginning.
There’s a table in the back of Liddell & Weir’s book (and presumably the later Weirs’ book too) that indicates that 15ml of a fortified wine (20% ABV) will depress the freezing point of 1 litre of sorbet by 0.3C and an ice-cream by 0.6C. So definitely do-able.
I did actually mean using the wines to make the sorbet etc., but that’s also a very good point.
I have never had ice cream with Moscato d’Asti or Brachetto d’Aqui. I would be happy to try it, but intuitively I feel a wine with more palate-weight would work better with the creamy texture. However, with sorbets (or perhaps even lighter gelato), it sounds good!
BTW, I always thought gelato was simply Italian for ice cream (and maybe the Italians made it slightly differently), but now I read gelato has made it through into English, and is made with less cream.