Vin Berries & Cream

What can be more heavenly than an evening involving creamy mascarpone, fruity wine, and sweet berries. It’s perfect right?  Did I have you at the cheese part?  The base of the recipe is a sweet cardamom cream, topped with a silky red wine reduction, and made complete with a crunchy, nutty finish.  In terms of taste, the wine reduction sauce stands out with a bold fruity flavor. The reduction is as simple as pouring into a saucepan on high flame, and waiting!

Vin Berries & Cream

The inspiration for this simple dessert comes from Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza, Argentina.  If ya’ll ever venture to this glorious wine tasting region, be warned!  There wine tasting is slightly different than in Napa, California (Yep, that’s our stomping ground). And by that, I mean full glass pours, several flights, and then some. It just keeps a’flowin!

Vin Berries & CreamThe lodge sits at the foothills of the Andes with vineyards as far as the eye can see.  It was on this trip that I built up my tolerance for wine in every capacity: wine in food, wine in dessert – there was even a wine salt bath experience. Smitten over the wine reduction dessert with simple cream and fruit, I had to bring this recipe home, as with it came a flood of fantastic memories!

Vin Berries & Cream

The three components to the dish: Red Wine Reduction, Mascarpone Cream, and Hazelnut Crunch Topping.

For the reduction, boil the wine until it reaches a syrupy consistency (be patient, this should and will take a while). A good measure of doneness is to coat the back of the spoon, and run your finger across to see if it holds a line.  If it does, you’re done.  If not, keep on reducing!

The silky smooth rich cream is even more simple to put together, if you can believe it. Just combine all of the ingredients and pop in refrigerator so it thickens, then you are ready to serve.

Vin Berries & Cream

I used Heidi Swanson’s Hazelnut Spice Recipe for the crunch on this Vin Berry Dessert.  It is simple, beautiful, and the smells combined are intoxicating.  The toughest part of this recipe is when you’re preparing the hazelnuts. No mortar and pestle? A spice blender works just as well, and doesn’t really leave you sweating away in this summer heat!

Vin Berries & Cream

Recipe Credit: Near & Far Hazelnut Spice, Heidi Swanson

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Vin Berries and Cream

By TheSweetNerd  

June 5, 2016

Recipe inspired by Cooking with Wine
Cream inspired by Ottolenghi

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins


Vin Berries

1 bottle pinot noir

1 half cinnamon stick

1 clove

4 peppercorns

Hazelnut Crunch Topping

½ orange dried zest

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup toasted hazelnut

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon espresso beans

1 teaspoon sesame seeds


2/3 cup heavy cream

6 ½ Tablespoons yogurt

6 ½ Tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1 Tablespoon superfine sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ star anise, ground


Wine Reduction

1Make a reduction on the stove. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer to reduce pinot until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Strain and cool.


1Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Take care not to over whip... (It shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.) Pop in refrigerator if it needs to thicken.

Hazelnut Crunch Topping

1Use a mortar and pestle to crush the orange zest with the salt. Add the hazelnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and espresso, and continue to crush until it is sandy. Stir in sesame seeds.


Vin Berries & Cream

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