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French winemaker creates red wine sorbet for summer

The sorbet is 5.8% ABV and was made with a local artisan chocolatier-ice cream maker

Pots of the Vinsobres Crue Glace sorbet. French winemaker creates red wine sorbet for summer

The sorbet is flavoured with red wine and named ‘Cru Glacé’. It is 5.8% ABV and designed to be "fresh and fruity" Pic: / @Covigneron / Vinsobres

A winemaking company in southeast France has developed a fresh idea for summer – a red wine sorbet aiming to be “crisp and fruity”.

Vinsobres, based in Drôme (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) came up with the idea after looking for a way to highlight the “freshness and summery” nature of its wine.

It worked with local chocolatier and artisan ice cream maker Marc Chaloin at Chaloin Chocolats, in the local town of Puyméras, to produce the sorbet, which is flavoured with red wine and named ‘Cru Glacé’. It is 5.8% ABV.

President of the Vinsobres appellation, Anaïs Vallot, told BFMTV: “We presented the idea to a chocolatier in the region, and we did several taste tests. And that’s how we settled on vintages that were quite young, to maintain the freshness, the crispness, and the brightness of the fruits.

“It has a wine flavour, but people who don’t drink wine may also like it too.”


‘Gastronomic experience’

The sorbet is made with a Syrah-Grenache vintage, and has no colourings, added flavours, lactose or preservatives.

Ms Vallot said: “You can taste the fruit, and the alcohol is not the first thing you taste.

“It opens up some incredible gastronomic opportunities. You can have it outside of a meal, or as part of a restaurant meal, as a transition to a Vinsobres glass at the table. 

“Such a gastronomic experience, with wine and sorbet, is very interesting. It can be appreciated all year round.” 

It is currently selling for €9.50 per 460ml pot in the region – from the Vinsobres shop and Marc Chaloin chocolaterie – and is set to arrive in more food shops and delicatessens in Paris, Lyon, and Marseille in the coming weeks.

Wine, work, and wordplay

Vinsobres first began producing wine in its current style in 1956, after a frost destroyed the area’s olive trees, prompting locals to change crops. It is now created by 27 domaines including three cooperatives: Vinsobraise, Nyonsaise and Coteaux de Saint-Maurice.

The red wine from the area was, until 2006, classified as Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, but on February 17 that year, the red wine of Vinsobres became the first local appellation of Côtes-du-Rhône in Drôme Provençale.

The name, which ironically juxtaposes the idea of ‘wine’ with being ‘sober’, is actually thought to come from the Latin for ‘wine’ and ‘work’, denoting the area’s long history of winemakers. 

The name is also thought to have been used in the region since 1663, due the bishop of Vaison-la-Romaine’s love of language wordplay. 

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