red wine ice cream with dark chocolate sauce and cherries

My brother in law came round, with a rather triffic New Zealand Pinot Noir. There was a bit left in the bottle so what should I do with it rather than drink it? I thought about red wine ice cream.

It’s a bit off the wall but we’re not a million miles from a red berry or grape ice cream are we? I’m no stranger to experimenting with ice cream. I played with what was left in the bottle, then popped out to get some more to continue the testing! And after a bit of tweaking, the addition of cherries and a dark chocolate sauce helps nudge your palate in the right direction, accentuating the sweetness and the bitterness to help you on your way.

red wine ice cream

What wine varieties would work well in ice cream?

  1. Port: sweeter varieties like Ruby or Tawny Port can add a rich and fruity flavour.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: This full-bodied red wine with blackcurrant, blackberry, and hints of oak can bring depth and complexity to ice cream.
  3. Merlot: With its softer tannins and flavours of ripe red berries, plum, and chocolate, Merlot can lend a smooth and sweet character to ice cream.
  4. Zinfandel: Known for its bold and jammy fruit flavours, Zinfandel can add a vibrant and fruity punch.
  5. Malbec: This medium to full-bodied red wine offers flavours of black cherry, plum, and hints of spice.

The Marlborough variety that I’m using offers a vibrant and aromatic style. The region is usually known for sauvignon blanc but this pinot is just how I like it: fruity, not heavy with a really clean taste.

With rich, fruity flavours we’re not a million miles away from a black forest gateau? Suddenly the cherries make sense.

Here’s some of my other ice cream recipes:

red wine ice cream

red wine ice cream

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Freezing time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 500 ml


  • Ice cream machine


For the ice cream:

  • 400 ml red wine
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 75 ml whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g sugar
  • 8-10 frozen cherries fresh will work but add them just before serving instead

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • 20 g butter
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • Put the red wine in a wide saucepan and put on a high heat. Boil until it has reduced by half - this can take 20-40 mins depending on the conductivity of your pan and water content of your wine. Once reduced pour into a jug or bowl to cool.
  • While it cools, put your cream and milk into another saucepan and bring to a simmer. While you wait beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light and foamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the wine reduction to the cream and then very gradually drizzle this into the egg yolks, beating all the time. This will help prevent the eggs cooking and scrambling. Return to a low heat and add a pinch of salt. Continue cooking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, and leaves a trail when you draw a finger across - this will be about 80°C. Pour off to another container.
  • If you have an ice cream machine, churn until just set - a gelato kinda texture (I mean, you do what you want but I prefer the silky smoothness with the wine) and add the frozen cherries when prompted to mix in by your machine. If you don't have one pop the container in the freezer and churn up with a fork every 30 minutes until set, adding the cherries.
  • When ready to serve make the chocolate sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally. Once melted together serve with the ice cream.


This pairs really well with a dense, rich chocolate cake or even as an affogato with a sweetened espresso.
Keyword booze, cherries, custard, pudding

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