With uncomfortable gatherings of all stripes coming up this month, sneaking drinks is the sign of a problem, but sneaking drinks into your desserts is the sign of a solution. If you have made it to dessert, you deserve a lit nip with your sweets.

This sorbet, made with super ripe pears and a split of late harvest riesling, is excellent. The wine, despite being a late harvesrt sweet dessert wine, is not cloyingly sweet, but has some citrus notes with relatively low acidity. The soft sweetness of the pears go really well with the wine (how I thought of the sorbet) and despite some big flavors the sorbet remains light.

I based the recipe on a recipe for pear sorbet in the Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, but instead of using water, I substituted the riesling and since it was late harvest, I backed off of the sugar. Since the riesling is not cooked long (and some not at all), the alcohol is tastable, but not overbearing and it keeps the texture of the sorbet from being very firm. You could easily serve a scoop of this with a slice of cheese for a nice holiday dessert.

Pear-Riesling Sorbet

  • 1 1/4 cup Riesling (I used a sweet late harvest dessert riesling)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 very ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • Juice of one half lemon

Step one: Combine pears, 3/4 cup wine, and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and cook until the pears are tender, but have no color.

Step two: Pour into a blender with remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Chill overnight.

Step three: Churn in your ice cream maker.