A New Addition to the Guilty Pleasures List?

   A friend of mine was talking about guilty pleasures the other day. Specifically, guilty food pleasures.

     Hers was pizza. Doesn’t matter what kind. Deep dish. Thin crust. Deluxe with the works. Plain ol’ cheese.

     Just hold the anchovies.

     When she asked me what my guilty food pleasure was, I could not come up with an answer off the top of my head.

     For one thing, I’ve never considered food to be something about which one should feel guilty.

     For another, I eat a lot of things I probably shouldn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve climbed up on the treadmill during the early morning hours, cursing my splurge of the night before.

     It took a while, but finally I came up with an answer.

     A Snickers bar.

     That’s my guilty pleasure. It’s the perfect candy bar, containing everything one could want in a sweet treat.

     The next night,  however, I realized I’d made a mistake. I realized that while the Snickers bar may well be proof of the existence of God, it’s not my number one guilty food pleasure.

     I don’t know why, but while channel surfing just before bed, my REAL number one guilty food pleasure popped into my mind — although, sadly, not into my mouth.

     It’s a flavor of ice cream from the old Swensen’s chain called Swiss Orange Chip. The flavor is rich dark chocolate infused with a hint of orange, and packed with chocolate chips.

     Pardon me while I drool…

     I could write an entire column (or two) about Swiss Orange Chip ice cream, but this is a wine blog, so let’s get refocused here…

     The topic of the day: wine ice cream. (Sorry… couldn’t refocus completely.)

     I have to admit, I have not tried much wine ice cream in my time. I’ve never sought it out, and I believe the only times I’ve had it were when restaurants offered it on their dessert menus.

     There are all kinds of exotic ice cream flavors these days — I guess you could even call Swiss Orange Chip exotic —  but some of those flavors just don’t SOUND good.

     An example would be avocado ice cream. I love avocados. It may be my favorite food of all. I’ll slice it into a salad, chop it into an omelet, and change a BLT into a BLA. It’s also great on a burger, and even on a grilled cheese sandwich.

     But avocado ice cream? That’s where I draw the line.

     And I feel similarly about wine ice cream. Aren’t some things best left to be what they are? Wine should be wine. Ice cream should be ice cream.

     The reason I’m obsessing over this topic is the news that came out of New York last week: The Empire State’s Senate and Assembly gave final approval to legislation that will place wine ice cream in the same category as other confections with slightly adult content. (Does that mean we’ll see a big “R” on the ice cream containers?)

     The bill places a limit of 5 percent alcohol by volume on wine ice cream, and also prevents its sale to anyone under the age of 21.

     Among the flavors we’ve heard about:

     *** Chocolate wine (wine type not disclosed).

     *** Dark cherry and Merlot.

     *** Nut brown ale.

     Okay, that last one is a beer ice cream, and it sounds even worse to me than the wine ice creams.

     But that’s just me. Consider the words of New York Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairman William Magee: “There is no doubt that New York agriculture is steamrolling ahead with the creation, production and marketing of splendid and scrumptious new agrigoodies.”

     Yes, wine ice cream ranks right up there with maple syrup cotton candy.

     But you’ll excuse me if neither makes it onto my guilty food pleasure list.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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