When it comes to wine, I typically prefer mine in liquid form. But when the PR team representing Kim Crawford Wines approached me about testing their vino-based popsicles, I couldn’t resist. They even sent me a kit to
bribe ease me into the task.
The kit included a pair of people’s pops-designed recipes for pinot noir-infused and sauvignon blanc-infused popsicles — using Kim Crawford Wines from New Zealand, of course Because the sauvignon blanc-based frozen treat called for overripe yellow peaches — the kind that presently elude me at the farmers markets I visit — I opted for the pinot noir “ice pops.”
It was a good call.
I made the Kim Crawford Pinot Noir Infused Blackberry Ice Pops (ugh) in advance of a small dinner party that the wife and I threw recently. These popsicles offer a benefit that I couldn’t comprehend until I trotted them out for our assembled guests: They give the impression of genuine culinary craft — essentially for all the effort of freezing water. When I’m spending hours over a smoker, I really appreciate simple desserts.
The unique thing about this ice pop is not just its slight acidic bite, which balances out the usual wallop of sugar in such frozen treats, but also its texture: The popsicle freezes not into a solid block but into granita-like shavings. I was quite fond of the texture, as were our guests.
All that was left on our plates was a bunch of sticks.
Kim Crawford Pinot Noir Infused Blackberry Ice Pops
Makes 10 ice pops
2/3 cup organic dark cane sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 pounds fresh, ripe blackberries (about 5 cups)
3/4 to 1 cup 2010 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (may substitute your own preferred pinot)
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely.
Rinse the blackberries and dry them with paper towels. Transfer them to a blender and puree. The yield is 2 cups.
Add 3/4 cup of the cooled simple syrup and 3/4 cup of pinot noir to the puree, then taste. There should be balance between the acidic blackberries and the fruity wine. If the mixture is too acidic, add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine.
Pour into popsicle molds, leaving a little room at the top for the mixture to expand. Freeze until solid, 4 to 6 hours. To unmold, place the molds in a container of room-temperature water until the popsicles naturally release.