Sweet-Tooth Friday: Vegan Merlot-Berry Sorbet

Hi everybody!  Sweet-Tooth Friday is finally here, so this is Christine with your healthy dessert of the week.  Sorry for the late start today- I wanted to make sure you had plenty of time to register for Matt’s $50 shopping spree giveaway from iHerb.com.  Ok that would be a good reason, but honestly I just needed a little post-work nap today!

For this week’s dessert I made Vegan Merlot-Berry Sorbet, made with organic merlot and blackberries.  When my dad got an ice cream maker for Christmas, I knew I had to try it out.  I picked up a book from the library called Ice Cream! by Cuthbert and Wilson.  The title may be straightforward but the recipes are anything but!  They offer some really interesting ‘happens-to-be-vegan’ flavor combos like Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Sorbet, Melon and Chile Sorbet, and Pear and Bay Leaf Sorbet.

With a lot of deliberation, I thought a red wine sorbet would be the most daring—sure to impress my foodie friends.  The original recipe called for cabernet, but my favorite is malbec.  I found a $10 bottle of organic malbec called Vida Organica that was just delicious!  So good, in fact, that it never made it into my sorbet.  Oops!

I ended up using organic merlot, but if you have another preference or have just seen Sideways too many times, you can choose any red wine you like.  I was excited to tell you about all the heart-healthy resveratrol found in red wine but guess what—those antioxidants are oxygen sensitive, meaning that by the time this sorbet is prepared all those antioxidants are most likely out the window!  No matter, this is still a delightful no-fat vegan treat.

This is my version of the Ice Cream! recipe:

Vegan Merlot-Berry Sorbet


  • 1 cup turbinado sugar, ground fine in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups organic merlot
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Combine the fine sugar, water, and vanilla in a sauce pan.  Heat to boiling and then simmer without stirring until the color darkens to golden.  (This is a little hard to judge because of the vanilla extract, but about 5-7 minutes should be good.)

Pour in a splash of the wine.  If there aren’t lots of bubbles, heat the sugar mixture a little longer.  Pour in the rest of the wine, and stir until uniform.

Add the blackberries and lime juice and simmer for about 15 minutes.  You want this time to both cook off the alcohol and get all the juice from the berries, so every now and then smoosh the berries with a spatula to release more juice.  Strain.

Let the mixture come to room temperature, then chill for 2 hours.  I am usually pretty loose with chill times, but here it is important that it is as cold as possible before putting into the ice cream maker.  Follow the directions in your ice cream maker, then freeze again before serving.  If you don’t have an ice cream maker, try following the directions here.

Wow!  This sorbet was really yummy!  Very intense and  elegant flavors, but not overwhelming.  I was pretty sure I cooked all the alcohol off but I swear I felt a little loopy after a dish.  It would be great served for a dinner party or maybe just for your sweetie this Valentine’s day.

New Tastes of 2010: persimmon

This week I tried a persimmon for the first time.  I got the Sharon variety, which are sweet and seedless and come all the way from Israel.  They look like firm bright orange tomatoes, but taste like a mellow papaya or even honeydew.  I ate some with the skin on but preferred it peeled.  They made a super exotic addition to my salad!  Yum!

See you next week when hopefully I will successfully concoct a chia seed energy bar…

xoxo, Christine



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  1. The first time I had a persimmon, I had the wrong one which apparently wasn’t ripe enough which causes your mouth to go numb. Not fun. I still haven’t worked up the nerve to eat another. Glad your first experience went so much better!
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..The Seeds Make It Crunchy =-.

  2. That Merlot-Berry sorbet looks amazing. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a chef, so I’m not sure that I’ll actually try it myself!

    I’m glad you tried Persimmons! I love them because they have such a unique flavor. You do have to make sure that they’re ripe enough though!
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..Break the Cycle with Molly! =-.

  3. mm that sorbet sounds great! I haven’t brought myself to try a persimmon because they look too much like a tomato for me!
    .-= Heather @ Side of Sneakers´s last blog ..Ahhhhh, Friday! =-.

  4. Um, YUM!
    .-= Heather (Where’s the Beach)´s last blog ..Fabulous Friday, Follow Friday =-.

  5. I’ll confirm that! The sorbet was delicious! Very elegant.

  6. No ice cream maker here but think I am going to try the sorbet anyway. I can use it as a reward on long run days.
    .-= Nicki´s last blog ..Where Can You Find Me Today? =-.

  7. Looks good to me – love me some sorbet!
    .-= EE´s last blog ..Of Pacts and Parsnips =-.

  8. I once had persimmon cookies a while ago and have been meaning to make them sometime. I would love to see what you could come up with for a persimmon cookie!

  9. Andrew Viceroy says:

    I haven’t tried it (I think that my first recipe here will be the chipotle mole), but I must say… you have shockingly lovely eyes Christine. Boy bemused.

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