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What's nicer than a simple scoop of world class ice cream? It's when the creamy round dessert is doused with a sweet wine sauce and topped with plenty of fresh fruits, cookies and candied nuts . . . Am I right, or am I right?!
illustration and lettering by Joya Rose 

I love the contrasts in life -- the sharp with soft, easy with hard, work with play . . . So dreaming up something tart and tangy to compliment the rich creaminess of a few scoops of local ice cream was a natural idea. Similar to the act of reducing balsamic vinegar for strawberries, reducing a beautiful red wine can yield a playful, tasty result -- a little sass to balance the sweet.

For this recipe I used DaVinci's Chianti. This is my favorite go to basic red (it's affordable and always available at my local groceries -- here's a link to find it near you). DaVinci winery hosted me on a whirlwind trip of remote Tuscany last Fall (read about my visit if you'd like -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and I couldn't be more grateful for the tremendous generosity and hospitality they shared with me there. Italy has a particular spell over me, I've worked there a lot the past few years (pinching myself again and again at this.) While staying within the walls of a 16th century hunting villa previously owned by the Medici family and waking up to little cookies and strong coffee each morning overlooking rolling hills of brilliant sunlight and vines, I couldn't help but have a perma-grin plastered across my face -- the whole place melted my heart into a puddle. I was a princess for a week with DaVinci then stayed on for a week as a pauper in Firenze, one of my favorite cities on this earth. Right now, the votes for this year's storyteller experience is on -- check it out here.

This summer is definitely the time to get your ice cream + wine sauce + whatever little fixins you enjoy! So think of this recipe as a riff, a place to start and assemble STAT.

Chianti Sundaes with Grahams, Stawberries & Candied Walnuts
serves 4

1 pint ice cream (I used Mcconnells vanilla bean)
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbles
1/2 cup candied walnuts, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons Chianti sauce per sundae

for the Chianti Sauce
2 cups DaVinci Chianti 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1" x 4" lemon peel

Heat wine, brown sugar and peel on medium-high heat in a small sauce pan on high for about 10 minutes. Sauce will reduce by 1/2, turn off heat and let cool.

When ready to assemble, scoop ice cream and top with strawberries, graham crumbles, walnuts and spoon plenty of wine sauce to finish. Serve immediately.

styling & illustration: Joya Rose
model: Laura Wiedland


  1. Wow that looks amazing. I never would have thought to do that with wine for an ice cream topping! I'll have to give that a try - I know my husband will love it.

  2. O. M. G..... This looks fantastic! I will definitely be trying this one (Why didn't I think of it?)
    Gorgeous pics as usual....

  3. Truly beautiful recipe. So pleased to have stumbled upon your blog via a friend. So gorgeous!!!


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