Riesling Spoom

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: 5 cups ,



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Most of the time the particular character of a wine is lost in cooking: The basic structure and body may remain, but any finesse and identity are lost. Strangely, however, when fine wines are sweetened with sugar syrup, the character of the wine emerges in such a way that it’s easy to identify the varietal and even the region. Alsatian Riesling is a good choice for this foam because of its strong varietal character and its high acidity; the high acidity allows the addition of more sugar, which stabilizes the spoom.

This recipe uses a vacuum method in which the spoom expands considerably. Unlike the usual method of applying vacuum to a liquid in an Erlenmeyer flask, a spoom or other foam requires a vessel you can ultimately reach into with a spoon to serve. You'll need a large jar or beaker (at least 1½ quarts/1.5 liters), with a tight-fitting stopper; the stopper should have a hole in the middle with a tight-fitting 6-inch (9 centimeter) piece of glass tubing to connect with the vacuum pump, usually via rubber tubing. This may require an adapter. If you don’t have a setup for vacuum, prepare the spoom in the same way and just leave out the vacuum step and freeze the mixture in a bowl. The spoom won’t be as impressively foamy, but it will be as delicious.


sugar cups 340 g
water ¾ cup 180 ml
alsatian riesling or other wine with strong varietal identity, 1 bottle 3 cups 750 ml
albumin powder 2 g


  1. Combine the sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Combine the sugar syrup with the Riesling and taste the mixture to make sure it has the right balance of acidity and sweetness. Add more sugar (dissolve it first in water) if need be.
  3. Stir in the albumin and beat the mixture in a stand mixer for 4 minutes on high speed, until fluffy.
  4. Transfer to a vacuum chamber—be sure to leave room for the mixture to expand by as much as 100%—and apply a vacuum. (See Vacuum Pumps for instructions.)
  5. Once the mixture has expanded, seal off the rubber tubing leading to the vacuum pump so the vacuum doesn’t come undone, and detach the tubing from the pump. Put the mixture in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up.
  6. Take off the lid and serve as you would if serving sorbet.