Wino: Can You Pair Wine and Ice Cream?

An expert’s view on breaking wine pairing tradition

Published online (15/09/2016) and in print at City Weekend Shanghai.

ice cream wine pairing

According to popular belief, the pairing of wine and ice cream is a big no-go. This is because tannins in wine clash with sugar in ice cream, as well as the temperature difference between the two.

However, we spoke to Lionel Le Gal, founder of and senior wine consultant atVinEssentials, who has been challenging this rule. He emphasized the necessity of using high-quality ice cream and recommends seeking out a local artisan ice cream makers for the most interesting flavors.

How to Pair Wine & Ice Cream

Wine and ice cream pairing

Chill your bottle to lower the temperature of the wine and leave the ice cream out of the freezer for 5-6 minutes before serving to closer match their temperatures.

The pairings of the wine and ice cream are also important. As a general rule, white and yellow fruit flavored ice cream should be paired with white wine. Red wine works well with red and dark fruits.

For example one of Le Gal’s favorite pairings is a heavy red from Toro with blueberry ice cream. Rosé and paspberry is another classic combination. As vanilla is found in Chardonnay, they can be paired together. If you need a coffee fix, Le Gal recommends a dark Shiraz. Red wine can also be matched with nut-flavored ice cream, such as pistachio. Alternatively if you are looking to try out something local, we are told durian ice cream can be paired with Prosecco.

If you run out of ideas on how to pair ice cream with wine, you can always opt for a traditional dessert wine.


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