I first encountered “Vin Piscine” last year in South Africa on a very hot January day in Johannesberg. Being the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons of South Africa are opposite of North America, and I had spent the hot and humid day on a tour of the city. By the evening, I was ready for a cool glass of chenin blanc wine, but was surprised when the small outdoor café where I went for dinner brought me a bucket of ice, tongs, and my wine in a large balloon glass. Looking around the café, I saw other people with similar glasses and they were all putting ice cubes in their wine, creating a beautiful spectacle of light dancing around the crystal ice cubes and shimmering golden and rosé wines.
What is “Vin Piscine?”
“Vin Piscine” means “wine swimming pool” in French, and refers to a glass of wine – usually white or rosé colored – served in a large glass with lots of ice. The ice, which is swimming around in the pool of wine, slowly melts creating an icy refreshing drink referred to by the French as “Vin Piscine.” Apparently, it is all the rage in Paris this summer, as well as last summer, according to a report in Meininger’s. Another popular drink is the “frosé,” which is wine mixed with crushed ice, similar to a crushed ice margarita or daiquiri, but made with wine.
Special Types of Wine Used to Make Vin Piscine
In France, they have actually created a new category of wine designed to add ice. It is usually stronger tasting so when the ice melts, the wine still retains good flavor. Examples are illustrated in this advertisement for Blanc Piscine and Rosé Piscine by VinoValle.
Try Making Vin Piscine Yourself at Home
Since it is currently difficult to find this special type of wine in the US market, I decided to try making my own “Vin Piscine.” I pulled out two large balloon wine glasses and filled them half-way with ice cubes. Then I poured a French Provence rosé in one and a California white blend in the other. The rosé, which was dry, quickly became diluted and didn’t taste as good after some of the ice had melted. The white wine, however, which was fruitier and more concentrated with a hint of sweetness, actually improved with the ice, and I ended up relaxing by the pool and enjoying my glass of “Vin Piscine.”