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Is red wine ice cream the summer treat of 2024?

Lidl has launched a red wine ice cream, sparking much debate on social media. Could it be the ultimate summer refreshment?

Supermarket Lidl has launched Sol Y Mar Red Wine Swirl ice cream in stores, and consumers can’t decide whether it’s a delicacy or an abomination.

Merging a red wine-flavoured sorbet with vanilla ice cream, the frozen treat (£1.29 per tub), seems to be a divisive product.

“When the day is a bit blue outside, you can always cheer yourself up with some ice cream, and what makes it even better is if it’s Red Wine ice cream!” one commenter posted on Instagram.

Others are questioning whether a red wine ice cream would actually be refreshing or not.

“I think it sounds bitter, and like it might leave a bad aftertaste,” one horrified consumer declared.

“I’d give it a go,” another wrote on X. “Mainly to see whether it tastes of wine rather than grapes.”

The precise wine used in Lidl’s Sol y Mar ice cream has been kept under wraps, with the vinous component described only as “a red wine blend”. The drinks business has contacted Lidl for more details on the grape varieties used and provenance of the wine.

Red wine ice cream has been around for a while, and can be found across the globe, though perhaps not commercialised in a widely available product until now.

Bennetts Homemade Ice Cream in Los Angeles makes a Cabernet Sauvignon ice cream, while street vendors in Georgia sell ice cream made using local red grape variety Saperavi. Speaking to db, George Margvelashvil, director of Georgian wine producer Tbilvino, described Saperavi as giving flavours of “berries with some sweet spices”.

Bodegas Carlos Plaza in Extremadura recommends using its Joven wine (90% Tempranillo and 10% Syrah) to make ice cream and shares its own recipe for doing so. Once someone, “you can’t stop trying it,” the wine producer claims.

In Stellenbosch, South Africa, red wine ice cream is offered as a pairing for Somerbosch Wine’s Pinotage, Merlot and Shiraz expressions.

Instagram @adriaanishere at Somerbosch Wines & Bistro

For those eager to try making it at home, Aldi features a recipe on its website for home-made ‘red wine ice cream’, which involves combining a whole bottle of unspecified red wine with golden caster sugar, double cream, full fat milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract. The wine is reduced over a medium heat for about an hour to about 285ml liquid.

On a Reddit thread, one home ice cream-maker wrote (not in relation to Aldi’s recipe): “I went through all the trouble of following this pain-in-the-ass recipe for red wine ice cream, and although it is beautiful and scoopable, the flavour is….. yeast. Any ice cream scientist here who can tell me what went wrong?”

Responding, another Reddit user said: “My guess would be it depends on the wine. Wines do have a wild yeast ferment. What type of wine did you use? I would probably go for a big red Shiraz or Merlot.”

Another commented: “I’ve made red wine ice cream a few times and well… it just didn’t taste good! I reduced it with sugar which made it better. I did make a white wine sorbet with pear. That was great.”

Others suggest replacing red wine with Port for a slightly sweeter take on the summer treat.


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