The wine ice cream law

mercers raspberry chardonnay

You got ice cream in my wine! No, you got wine in my ice cream!

Wine... and ice cream? Not since peanut butter and chocolate has the thought of a dessert combination so excited us. And we never would have known it existed if it weren't for... legislation!

Wait, what?

Last week Governor Paterson signed a new law regulating the sale of wine ice cream. Only a few places make it but Mercer's Dairy Ice Cream in CortlandBooneville, New York has made it a signature item -- and it turns out they're behind the new law.

A spokesperson for Mercer's says they've been selling wine ice cream for a few years now. And until recently it was classified as a confection by the New York State Liquor Authority. But back in November the Liquor Authority decided the frozen treat didn't really fit its definition of a "confection." So Mercer's got legislators to sponsor a bill creating a special classification for wine ice cream.

You can buy wine ice cream in a handful of stores in the Capital Region -- but only if you're over 21. Yep, under the new law purchasing wine ice cream requires I.D.

mercers_wine_ice_cream_label.jpgMercer's wine ice creams contain up to 5% alcohol by volume (about the same as a beer). In an attempt to keep kids from sampling, the state has restricted the ice cream to packages of 3 gallons, 5 quarts and pints -- no cups or merlot on a stick. There's also a warning on the label for pregnant women.

Mercer's currently offers six flavors. We found the Red Raspberry Chardonnay at Putnam Market in Saratoga (at $8.55 a pint). We admit we're ice cream snobs, but frankly we really weren't impressed. If you're willing to settle for wine ice cream without the "buzz" your better bet is Glace De Vino. We picked up BOTH the Chocolate Amaretto Cream Sherry and the Strawberry Cream Chardonnay at Hannaford for about the same price as one pint of Mercer's.

No, it doesn't have alcohol (it's cooked off in the process) but the ice cream is MUCH better.


Mercer's ice cream is actually not in Cortland NY, but in Booneville NY ( Rt 12n) I pass it every weekend when I drive up to my summer camp. Great ice cream!!

I'm not sure which surprised me more -- that something as awesome as wine ice cream could have come out of Cortland, NY, or that it actually came out of Booneville, NY instead.

Thanks Ryan! We got our NYS geography a little mixed up. Next time we'll post BEFORE eating the wine ice cream.

I had this Mercer's Dairy ice cream several months ago, and I thought it was deliciuos. I had the red raspberry chardonney, and you can definitely taste the wine. I guess the only thing that would make it better is if it didn't cost so much.

Having grown up a bit north of Boonville (yes, such places really do exist) I have enjoyed Mercer's ice cream on a fairly regular basis. While I have not tried their new wine ice cream, some of their other flavors may be a better representation of the company. My personal favorite is moose tracks - vanilla with fudgy swirls and peanut butter cup chunks...

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