Wine and ice cream—throw in a little shoe shopping and a bubble bath, and you’ve pretty much got my idea of a fine Friday night. But what if there were wine ice cream? That would really be something to wrap your taste buds around! Good news—yes, Virginia, there IS wine ice cream!
I went over to downtown Grapevine to get a taste of Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream on Thursday, just as GrapeFest® was getting underway. (If you’re a Texas wine lover who was abducted by aliens about two weeks ago, and you’ve just now been dropped back down in the middle of Aledo or wherever, GrapeFest starts today, Sept. 11 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 14, ya’ll. Check out the event website for more information.)
I stopped by the Vino Treats stand in front of the Sloan & Williams Winery around 11:15 am. Fortunately for me, traffic was still a bit slow, and I had Tony Scott and his full inventory of delicious, cold, creamy, winey delights all to myself.
When I talked to the winery owners Ralph Mattison and Alan Kunst about two weeks ago, they were enthusiastic about their partnership with Mercer’s, but there was so much story to tell about the winery and their vision for it, I couldn’t quite get to the wine ice cream angle. But make no mistake, I definitely made a mental note to come back and get down to business!
Before I elaborate on the wonders of the ice cream, I’ll give a quick explanation as to why ice cream and wine marry up so harmoniously. Maybe you already know the reason, but here’s just a quick review: the ice cream is sweet and fatty, and the wine is tart and acidic. While the cream coats your tongue and makes it feel slippery, the wine acts as an astringent, cleaning your palate. It’s a perfect yin-yang relationship, and it’s also why wine and cheese work well together.
So, now, let’s get to the best part—how did the ice cream taste? AMAZING!
My two personal favorites are the Red Raspberry Chardonnay and the Ruby Port, but there’s no way you could go wrong with the Riesling, Peach White Zinfandel, Cherry Merlot, or the Chocolate Cabernet. You can taste the wine a bit more in some of the flavors than others, but even when you can’t, the ice cream is absolutely lush with fresh cream and ripe berries. With the Chocolate Cabernet, I didn’t taste the wine at all, but the semi-sweet morsels and rich cocoa were more than enough to hit my taste buds with a slap of pure pleasure.
During GrapeFest (or anytime) swing around off Main and onto Texas Street where you can check out Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream at Sloan & Williams Winery. But don’t expect to hand off a taste to little Bubba or Jenny Sue. At 5% alcohol, this is definitely a grown-up treat, and I can tell you that if you get a tad carried away with the sampling on an empty stomach, your world will turn!