People are forever asking what's my favorite wine. For me it could be about the occasion or what I'm eating but mostly it's about the weather. I change my wine like my wardrobe. If it's cold I crave a big chewy red and if it's hot I only want chilly whites. Sometimes with the change of seasons I'm not always ready to completely switch. For instance, lately I've been really enjoying light Pinot Noirs. Yet, with summer upon us it's getting steamy in my neck of the woods. Typically I'd go for something white this evening but I've found a genius way to have my red wine and ease into summer simultaneously.
Kim Crawford, the New Zealand winery most famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, has teamed up with People's Pops, a New York-based ice pop company known for taking local, sustainably grown fruits and transforming them into mouthwateringly good ice pops. Don't worry — even if you don't live in NYC they deliver! (www.peoplespops.com) The winery/ ice pop duo has collaborated on two delicious wine-infused pops including this simple but super yummy Pinot Noir blackberry frozen treat. It's not cloyingly sweet and being that it's ice cold, it's sure to make any warm weathered happy hour even happier.
With a little foresight into your weekend you can pop these in the freezer earlier in the week and simply serve as friends arrive. The recipe is simple and the result impressive, which is exactly what every host wants.
Blackberry ice pops next to pops made with peaches — a treat for later in the summer!
Pinot Noir Infused Blackberry Ice Pops
4 ounces dark organic cane sugar
4 fluid ounces water
1 1/2 pounds fresh, ripe blackberries (about 5 cups), rinsed and dried
6 to 8 ounces 2010 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir
To make a simple syrup, combine sugar and water in saucepan. Gently heat while stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
Lightly puree the blackberries with a blender or mash blackberries, resulting in about 16 ounces of puree.
Add 6 ounces of cooled simple syrup, 6 ounces of Kim Crawford Pinot Noir, and taste. The sweet, lightly acidic blackberries highlight the natural fruit notes of the Pinot Noir, leaving a nice, slightly tannic finish. If stronger Pinot Noir flavor is desired, add remaining 2 ounces. (I say go for it. This is happy hour after all.)
Pour into molds, add sticks and freeze until solid (about 4 to 6 hours).
Unmold and serve at once, or place in plastic bags for storage. Makes 10 ice pops.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky
(Images and recipe courtesy of Kim Crawford)