Ice Wine: The Fascinating Dessert Wine Everyone Must Try
Ice wine is a must-try for individuals who can’t get enough of dessert wine in their lives. This decadent wine, which was created in a completely unique manner, is the ideal way to cap off a special dinner. However, this delectable delicacy might be difficult to come by. Even while there are a plethora of wines on the market that claim to be ice wine, many of these are actually counterfeit. Winemakers must use old, labor-intensive winemaking procedures in order to produce a true ice wine that may be consumed.
What Is Ice Wine?
Ice wine, or “Eiswein” as it is known in its homeland of Germany, is a sweet wine prepared from frozen grapes that is served chilled. Ice wine is a dessert wine in every sense of the word; it has some of the highest quantities of sugar found in any wine on the globe. Ice wine grapes are selected for their naturally high acidity and aromatic character in order to produce a well-balanced wine. A sweet honey-like confection is produced as a result of this process. This wonderfully sweet dessert wine is a labor of love to make, as it is to consume.
Prior to thawing, the grapes are crushed whole in a press to extract the juice.
Icing wine is manufactured from a wide variety of grape varietals, including Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Gewurztraminer, among others.
Ice wine is notoriously difficult to get by.
Furthermore, although most wines are offered in 750-milliliter bottles, ice wines are sold in half bottles, which contain around 375 milliliters of liquid.
The Very First Ice Wine
Ice wine has a rich history, which you can read about here. According to legend, the creation of the first ice wine was a joyful accident. According to legend, during a particularly hard winter in the 18th century, several German winemakers decided to leave some grapes on the vine rather than harvest them. When the winemakers arrived to press the grapes, they discovered that they were frozen solid, but they proceeded with the sweet juice regardless of the conditions. The resultant wine was a success, and people praised the distinctive flavor of the frozen grapes, prompting the process to become widely used by the mid-1800s.
Despite the fact that the story has been called into question, we chose to trust this uplifting tale of overcoming adversity. When life offers you frozen grapes, make ice wine, according to the traditional proverb.
Where Is Ice Wine Produced?
While ice wine has its origins in Germany, Canada is by far the world’s leading producer. Ice wine is produced in Ontario because of the very cold temperatures that prevail in Eastern Canada throughout the winter months. In reality, the bulk of ice wine produced in Canada is produced by wineries in the province of Ontario. Ice wine is also made in chilly areas around Europe, such as Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, and Luxembourg, among other places. However, as compared to Canada, the quantities produced by these nations are insignificant.
Northern Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York’s Finger Lakes are just a few of the cool climate wine areas that have successful ice wine producers that are well worth visiting.
It is only the wineries who utilize these traditional processes that are legally permitted to name their wines “ice wine” or “Eiswein,” while the remainder attempt to circumvent this law by calling their products “iced wines” or “Riesling Ice,” respectively.
What Does Ice Wine Taste Like?
The fact that ice wine may be made from a variety of different white grapes and red grapes means that no two ice wines are alike. Despite this, there are several characteristics that all ice wines have in common. To give you an example, all ice wine is extremely sweet and full of intense fruit tastes. Riesling ice wine offers aromas and flavors reminiscent of cooked apples and stone fruits such as apricot and peach, among other things. Vidal Blanc ice wine contains characteristics that are akin to stone fruit, but it also includes hints of tropical fruit.
Because the red grape skins were left on during fermentation, Cabernet Franc, which is a red ice wine, has a somewhat distinct flavor profile than other red wines.
How To Pair Ice Wine
Ice wine is a decadent beverage that should be enjoyed with something as sweet and delectable on the side. Pairing your wine with something sweet and fruity will help to bring out the best in the wine’s characteristics. The more you concentrate on the wine’s tasting notes, the more prominent they will appear to be. So if your ice wine has hints of stone fruit in it, serve it with a beautiful tray of grilled apricots and ice cream to complement the flavors. Because of the rich richness of cheesecake, it is an excellent partnering choice for ice wine.
ice wine is the excellent wine to store for special occasions since it is rich, decadent, and a bit expensive. Drinking a bottle of ice wine over the fireplace after a holiday meal with family and friends is a particular kind of pleasure.
How To Serve Ice Wine
Ice wine, like retribution, is best enjoyed when served cold. A few hours in the refrigerator before serving should be sufficient to give your wine the much-needed coolness it requires. Because of the reduced temperature, your wine will not taste excessively sticky in the tongue when drinking it. When serving ice wine, be sure to use a glass with a wide mouth so that the scents may be appreciated to their fullest. It’s also vital not to overfill the glass with liquid. As with most things in life, less is more when it comes to ice wine, as the tastes can be extremely powerful.
A Treat Worth Waiting For
It’s likely if you’re like us and when you think of a glass of wine to unwind with at the end of a long day, you think of a classicMerlot, Pinot Noir, or Chardonnay. A little glass of anything sweet and syrupy is seldom what we’re in the mood for these days. Ice wine, on the other hand, is the stuff that dreams are made of. This amazing dessert wine is bursting with tropical fruit tastes, honey aromas, and delightful sweetness, making it the perfect treat or thoughtful present for anybody with a sweet tooth.
Ice Wine, You’re So Fine (A Detailed Guide)
Welcome to the delightful world of ice wine, which is considered to be one of the nicest blunders that Mother Nature has ever created. It’s difficult to imagine why someone would ever set out to brew this wine on purpose. True ice wine is one of the most difficult and depressing wines to make since it requires so much patience and perseverance. Consider the following scenario: you’re outside in sub-zero temperatures, in the dark, on a slick slope, in the middle of a frozen winter, and you’re attempting to pick grapes.
Ice Wine, You’re So Fine
It’s one of those wines that some of us despise but really don’t. After all, it has nearly twice the amount of sugar found in Coca-Cola. Even still, it’s difficult to dislike the great gift that grapes and a chilly environment combine to produce.
A Lil’ History
Some believe that during a particularly hard winter in Franken, Germany, around the year 1794, winemakers in the region were obliged to develop a product out of the grapes that were available for harvest. The wines produced from that vintage had an astonishingly high sugar level, as well as a rich and complex taste. As a result, the approach gained widespread acceptance in Germany. By the mid-1800s, the Rheingau area started producing a kind of wine known as eiswein in German. Purchase the book and receive the course!
Read on to find out more
Making Ice Wine
The key to making ice wine is to process frozen grapes at a temperature of roughly 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 degrees Celsius). Frozen grapes are harvested while still frozen on the vine and transported to the winery. Consider the impact of thousands of hard, ice pebbles crashing into a grape crusher and a grape press at the same time. Ouch! Many historic presses have been destroyed by the strain of squeezing frozen grapes! As a result, only around 10–20 percent of the liquid contained within these frozen grapes is utilized to make ice wine.
The fermentation process is long, sluggish, and picky!
220 g/L is twice as sweet as a Coke, which is a significant difference. Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, and Vidal Blanc are among the cool climate wine types that have been utilized to manufacture ice wine (aFrench Hybridvariety).
Grapes Used To Produce Ice Wine
The grapes that do well in cold areas are the ones that produce the greatest ice wines, and these are Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc, and Vidal Blanc, among others. Cabernet Franc is a stunning wine with a vivid orange-ruby colour, but it is difficult to locate outside of Canada’s province of Ontario. True ice wine can only be made from grapes that have been harvested frozen from the vine. Andrew McFarlane’s photographs of vineyards in Michigan
True Ice Wine
These are the grapes that do the best in cold areas, and they are: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc, Vidal Blanc, and other white varieties. Its bright orange-ruby colour draws attention, yet Cabernet Franc is difficult to locate outside of Ontario, Canada. Ice wine can only be made when the grapes are harvested off the vine while still frozen. Andrew McFarlane’s photograph of vineyards in Michigan
Pairing Food With Ice Wine
Ice wine is a dessert wine with intense fruit notes and is on the sweeter end of the sweetness range. As a result, you’ll want to match it with sweets that are more delicate in flavor yet have enough fat to balance the flavor profile. A terrific matching choice with ice wine if you prefer savory late-night nibbles is soft cheeses, which are especially delicious with the chilled wine. Desserts that go well with ice wine include cheesecake, vanilla pound cake, ice cream, coconut ice cream, fresh fruit panna cotta, and white chocolate mousse, to name a few.
Expect To Spend Over $30
Ice wines are extremely expensive to produce. Ice wine necessitates the use of 4–5 times the amount of grapes as regular wine. Furthermore, they have all been hand-picked. Despite the fact that the market for these wines is modest, it is feasible to find excellent bargains around the $30 range in this category (for 375 ml bottle). A 375 ml bottle of several excellent Canadian ice wines costs more than $50, which is prohibitively expensive. In the case of ice wines that are significantly less expensive, they are almost certainly created using professionally frozen grapes (“iced wine” or “Riesling Ice”) or have been contaminated in some way.
Aging Ice Wine
The majority of people assume that ice wines have a shelf life of around 10 years, while specific kinds (Riesling and Grüner Veltliner) have a longer shelf life. Still, if you enjoy the tingling sensation of acidity in an ice wine, don’t intend on keeping it for an extended period of time. After some time has passed, the glitter has faded away, revealing a syrupy, rich, deep bronze-colored wine. In an ice wine that has been matured for a lengthy period of time, tastes of molasses, maple, and hazelnut can be expected.
Up Next: Dessert Wines
Learn more about the different classes of dessert wines and discover new favorites in this informative article. Refer to the Guide.
What is Ice Wine? (Eiswein) – A Quick Guide • Winetraveler
Learn more about the different classes of dessert wines and discover new favorites in this informative article! Reference this guide for further information
Why does freezing grapes on the vine make wine sweeter?
Grapes that have been allowed to freeze while still on the vine have been shown to freeze only the water that has accumulated within the grapes. A regular occurrence at the conclusion of the growing season is for the grapes to be frozen, thawed, and then frozen again. Every time this occurs, the grape’s taste profile and complexity grow as a result of the process.
Sugars and other polyphenol chemicals contained therein will not freeze, and their concentration increases considerably when the water is removed from the equation. Ice wine is notoriously sugary, and for good reason! Learn More About How Tannins Affect the Flavor of Wine in this Related Article
The Production of Ice Wine
When the grapes are ready for harvest, they are de-stemmed and pressed while still naturally frozen in the ground. Before the fermentation process begins, the extremely concentrated sweet grape juice is squeezed out and separated from the frozen water. As fermentation progresses, it’s normal for Ice Wine to have an alcohol concentration of no more than 12 percent, owing to the high sugar content, which prevents most of the sugar from being converted to alcohol, or the fermentation being stopped just before bottling.
Types of Grapes Used to Make Ice Wine
The grapes Vidal, Cabernet Franc,Riesling, and Gewurztraminer are the most typically utilized in the production of Ice Wine. They tend to be more acidic in nature, which serves to balance the wine and prevent it from becoming too syrupy after the winemaking process is complete. Other grape varietals, including as Seyval Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay, are being experimented with by New World winemakers these days as well.
Food Pairing Ice Wines
They should be served with sweets that are just as sweet as the wines and have a small amount of fat to balance off the sweetness. Some of our favorite dessert combinations are creme brulee, pecan pie, banana pudding, and french vanilla ice cream, to name a few. Ice wines can also be served with particularly fatty meals, such as foie gras, as an alternative match. To create a super-secret and fascinating match that defies conventional wisdom, consider mixing your favorite ice wine with sushi!
You’ll be pleasantly pleased.
Photo courtesy of Wine-Searcher.com.
Notable Ice Wine Producing Countries
- Canada, Germany, Austria, the Northwestern and Northeastern United States, and China are among the countries represented.
Because the grapes must be chosen and the harvest must be timed to coincide with the attainment of certain temperatures, yields for most Ice Wine winemakers are modest compared to other varieties. Many Ice Wines are often more expensive as a result of these qualities, and some of the greatest can cost more than $100 per bottle. It should be noted that Ice Wine is a dessert wine that is not produced by allowing botrytis (also known as “Noble Rot”) to take root. Many other dessert wines, such as French Sauternes and certain Rieslings, are produced by exploiting this rot, which is an assumption that is frequently made with respect to Ice Wine.
What is Icewine? – ask Decanter
Have you heard of the term “Icewine,” but aren’t sure what it is or how it is made? Please continue reading.
What is Icewine?Ask Decanter
Icewine, also known as ‘Eiswein,’ is a sort of sweet wine that was initially produced in Germany and Austria, but has since become popular in Canada and China as well. After being kept on the vine over the winter, grapes gradually lose their ability to retain water because of freezing temperatures. These frozen grapes are swiftly harvested and pressed, resulting in juice that is extremely rich in sugar. This juice is then fermented to produce wine that is lusciously sweet and luscious. The most commonly used grapes for making ice wine are Riesling and Vidal Blanc.
At this time of year, when the vineyards are typically coated in a thick coating of snow, harvest is frequently completed overnight. This must add to the dangers of picking grapes on the already treacherous Mosel hillsides, yet harvesting fatalities are fortunately infrequent.
What Icewine tastes of
Ice wines are typically flavored with citrus and tropical fruits, as well as honey and marmalade, among other things. It is doubtful that any of these grapes will have developed botrytis because the goal is to produce wines with rich fruit flavors, according to Hughes.
See also: Tasting notes decoded
The Wayne Gretzky Estates, No.99 Vidal Icewine was awarded a Platinum medal at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards in London. With traces of orange and honey on the scent, the taste is robust with peach and mango flavors as well as a well-balanced caramel over citrus zest. A gold medal was also awarded to the Chateau Changyu Icewine 2015 from China. The judges applauded it for having’savoury notes on the nose that are covered by florals and lime.’ The taste is dominated by candied peel, with traces of tea and a generous amount of marmalade.
More wine questions answered
Discover more about our review method here. Our editors independently investigate, test, and suggest the finest goods. We may gain a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links. Ice wine is the perfect glass to serve at a special event. With its syrupy full-bodied consistency and rich liquid-gold colour, dessert wine is perceived as intensely luxurious, despite the fact that it contains less alcohol than other wines, at roughly 10 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Squeezing frozen grapes into tiny but tasty concentrations is an ancient Roman method that has been used for thousands of years.
- Making ice wine was once a last resort for farmers who needed to salvage their crops after an unexpected frost, but it is now a disappearing skill.
- Warm weather in Germany, which is currently the world’s second-largest producer of ice wine behind Canada, has created an unusual situation: all but one harvest has failed as a result of the warm winter of 2019.
- “Ice wine grapes are harvested at minus 7 degrees Celsius because of global warming.” Eisweine, according to Büscher, have a long shelf life and may be preserved for several decades.
- It is already well-known for being on the pricey side, and costs are continuing to rise.
What is Ice Wine?
Merlot, Cabernet, Riesling, to name a few. Colors such as red, white, and glittering. When it comes to wine, there appears to be an infinite number of variations and styles to pick from, making it difficult for a person to know which is the best choice for them. Unfortunately, the quickest and most accurate method to ascertain this is to attend a tasting or to sample a variety of flavors to decide which ones you prefer. Once you’ve determined the sorts of wine you prefer, you may filter your search even further by focusing on certain brands or styles.
When compared to other, more popular wines available today, ice wine is distinct in the method it is harvested and the way it is processed.
A wine may only be labeled as Ice Wine if it is produced using highly particular processes throughout the whole process of making it. Wines that do not adhere to these requirements will not be branded as Ice Wine, but they may be referred to as such by other names.
Ice Wine Harvesting
First and foremost, what comes to mind when you hear the word “Ice Wine” is a frozen beverage. I’m hope you said “ice,” because you’d be absolutely correct. Ice plays a significant role in the reason that Ice Wine is referred to as ice wine, but the exact explanation for this may astound you. It is recommended that you serve this exceptionally sweet wine cold, but the name “Ice Wine” does not refer to the fact that the grapes used to make this wine must be gathered while they are still frozen to the vine.
- Once the grapes have been picked, they are transported straight to the winery for processing and bottling.
- A little percentage of the liquid in the frozen grapes is used to make excellent ice wine, and the liquid is extraordinarily sweet, perhaps even more so than the sugar content in a 12-ounce can of your favorite soda.
- In other words, these grapes are cultivated in very cold climes, such as those found in Germany, Austria, Canada, and, occasionally, China.
- To summarize, if you’re seeking for authentic Ice Wine, make sure you read the labels carefully.
What Does Ice Wine Taste Like?
Ice Wine, as previously said, is a particularly sweet kind of wine. Because the water in the grapes freezes, but the sugars and other dissolved solids do not, the result is a wine that is even sweeter than most sugar-filled sodas because the sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze. Because of the sweetness of the wine, it is typically served as a dessert wine rather than something that would be served with a meal; nevertheless, if you are searching for a food combination, it may be paired with some softer cheeses.
There is considerable variation in the amount of alcohol in it, but it normally has approximately 10 percent alcohol, which is a bit less than standard table wine, while some sweeter wines can have alcohol levels as low as 6 percent.
Why is Ice Wine Expensive?
In average, Ice Wine is a little more expensive than a standard bottle of red wine. A typical bottle of Ice Wine will cost you between $30 and $50 a bottle, depending on where the wine is sourced from in the world. Because the process of manufacturing the wine is so complicated, and because it necessitates harvesting at extremely particular periods, the expense of producing Ice Wine is more than the cost of producing most regular wines, which is then passed on to the consumer. It also produces less wine when compared to grapes that are picked unfrozen, which is in part due to the difficulties associated with harvesting frozen grapes.
Furthermore, all of the grapes are manually selected to guarantee that they are in the greatest possible condition to produce the best wine.
Alternatively, if you’re searching for a terrific dessert wine and want to try something a bit different, pick up a bottle of genuine Ice Wine and give it a shot.
Everything you need to know about icewine
Bunches of riesling grapes for making ice wine. In fact, icewine is one of the most recently harvested of all the grapes, and while higher average annual temperatures in traditional production regions such as Germany and Canada have reduced yields, newer production regions such as China now have the opportunity to develop their own varieties and profit from a highly sought-after product. Due to the fact that one of the stars of this year’s Apprentice season will be debuting her own icewine at the WineSpirits Show this week, we wanted to educate our readers on this specialized, but pricey, beverage.
- It is during the winter months that these ice wine grapes are picked and placed directly into this press to extract the juices.
- An ice wine (also known as Eiswein in German) is a sort of dessert wine that can only be made in cold areas.
- Unlike water, sugars in fruits do not freeze.
- Due to the fact that the grapes are not damaged by noble rot, unlike other sweet wines such as Sauternes, the wine has an unique refreshing sweetness that is tempered by a high acidity.
- Despite the fact that we know that ice wine was being produced in ancient Rome, the first modern instance was discovered in Franconia, Germany, in 1794.
- The entire procedure, from harvest to pressing, can take up to six hours and must only be completed when the weather conditions are favorable, making it a potentially hazardous endeavor (in some years, the grapes might not freeze at all).
- After that, the juice is removed from the seeds and stems before the fermentation process can begin.
A procedure known as cryoextraction is used by certain wineries to artificially freeze their grapes.
Although any grape may theoretically be used to create icewine, the most commonly utilized varieties are Riesling, which German winemakers regard to be the noblest kind; Vidal, which is popular in the province of Ontario, Canada; and Cabernet Franc.
When produced with white grapes, they are often pale yellow or light gold in color when young and deepen in color as they mature.
Cabernet Franc is a red wine made from the grape Cabernet Franc.
An unfortunate mix of danger, labor-intensive winemaking, and government requirements makes it impossible to locate an inexpensive icewine on the market.
In reality, as a result of rising yearly temperatures connected to climate change, German icewine producers are producing less icewine now than they were in the 1990s and 1980s.
As a result of freezing the grapes, there is a naturally reduced yield, which means there is less wine in circulation overall, making it more precious and rarer to find.
It is the ice wine produced by the Inniskillin Winery in Ontario that is well-known across the world.
Ice wine, on the other hand, is produced in European nations where frosts are assured.
Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland are among countries that have a history of icewine production.
Furano Winery in Japan produces a red ice wine every winter, which is a specialty of the region.
Icewine manufacturers may be found in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, among other states in the United States.
The fact that icewines are not damaged by noble rot and are fermented slowly allows them to maintain many of the traits that distinguish them from their botrytised rivals.
The same way that Sauternes complements strong cheeses like Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Parmesan, icewine complements strong cheeses like Roquefort.
Adding salty hours d’oeuvres to the table, such as tapenade or salted almonds, can accentuate the fruity acidity of the wine while also balancing off the high sugar content.
In case you’ve already eaten foie gras with Sauternes, you might want to try it with icewine next time.
This is due to the greater sugar content of the fruit.
Cabernet Franc-based red icewines stand well when coupled with richer sweets such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, which bring out their red fruit flavors even more.
What Is Ice Wine?
Wine formed from the concentrated juice of grapes that have been frozen on the vine is called ice wine. It is an ultra-rich, extremely sweet dessert wine. The history of manufacturing ice wine (also known as Eiswein in Austria and Germany) is well-established, but Canada is one of the world’s major producers of this beverage. The speciality wine is famously difficult to create and is only available in half-size bottles, which are marketed at a premium. It’s lower in alcohol than other wines, and it has flavors of sweet fruits and honey, just like many dessert varietals.
- Origin: Germany
- Regions: Canada, Germany, Austria, United States (Finger Lakes, Upper Midwest), United Kingdom Sweetness: It is really sweet. Colors range from light gold to pink. ABV ranges from 7 to 12 percent.
Taste and Flavor Profile
Ice wine is a sweet dessert wine that is made from grapes. Despite the fact that it’s one of the sweetest wines you’ll ever taste, the overpowering sweetness is countered with an abundance of sharp acidity. Although ice wine created from white grapes has rich notes of honey, citrus, stone fruit such as peach and dried apricot, as well as luscious tropical fruits such as mango, it keeps a refreshing freshness on the tongue. Red grape ice wine features hints of fruit, such as strawberry, as well as a hint of mild spice.
According to the grape varietals utilized and the method of production, the specific features of ice wine will vary widely from batch to batch.
How to Taste Wine
When tasting wine, there are a few procedures you should take to guarantee you get the greatest experience possible:
- Take a careful look at the wine, paying attention to the color and opacity as you look through the glass
- Aroma: Swirl your glass for 10 seconds and take a brief smell of the liquid within. After that, insert your nose into the wine glass and take a deep breath, soaking in your first impressions of the beverage
- Taste: Take a little sip and allow it to roll about in your tongue for a few seconds. When tasting for the first time, take notice of the acidity, sugar, tannins, and alcohol concentration, then go on to the taste notes (berries, spice, oak), and lastly the finish.
Grapes and Wine Regions
Ice wine is a one-of-a-kind wine created from grapes that have been allowed to virtually freeze on the vine, resulting in a substantial concentration of sugars in the grapes and an intensification of the taste profile. Fruit is often collected in the middle of the night during the months of December and January, when the temperatures are incredibly low. A press is used to press the frozen grapes and squeeze out any remaining juice before they are subjected to a lengthy fermenting process. The most commonly used grapes in the production of ice wine are Riesling, Vidal blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, and Cabernet Franc—grapes with high levels of acidity that allow the resulting wine to be refreshing rather than heavy or unduly “sticky,” as is the case with many other wines.
The growth conditions vary based on the type of wine grapes utilized.
The refreshing taste of ice wine can be enjoyed as a sweet sip on its own, or it can be matched with particular items that are traditionally presented at the conclusion of a meal. Make a simple vanilla dessert like yogurt panna cotta, sour cream pound cake, or orice cream to go with it. Brie or mild goat cheese are good pairings. Ice wine should be served in two-ounce serves (rather than the typical wine pour of four ounces) in a tiny white wine glass or tumbler, rather than a larger glass or tumbler.
It’s best served slightly cold, between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit; place the bottle in the refrigerator approximately an hour before serving.
Key Producers, Brands, and Buying Tips
Ice wines are produced in smaller amounts than table wines as a result of the limited amount of liquid produced by the frozen grapes. As a result, ice wines have a lower total production volume than table wines. It is possible that a location will not produce any ice wine at all in certain years due to an exceptionally mild winter. In order to compensate for this, high-quality ice wines from Canada can fetch upwards of $100 for a 375-milliliter bottle. Ice wine is not often found in supermarkets or liquor shops, but you may be able to find a bottle or two at a reputable wine shop if you look hard enough.
Aside from naturally frozen grapes, it’s worth mentioning that some winemakers are artificially freezing grapes post-harvest in order to replicate the process of generating ice wines, however the results aren’t as as impressive as those produced by naturally frozen fruit.
When looking for ice wine, consider the following brands, which make high-quality selections that are readily available:
- Peller Estates, Hunt County Vineyards, Matteo, Kiona, Riverview Cellars Estate, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Dr. Loosen, Casa Larga and Inniskillin are just a few of the wineries that make up the Inniskillin Winery.
What is a true ice wine?
|” Ice wine(oricewine; German:Eiswein) is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing for a more concentrated grape juice to develop. The grapes’ must is pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine. With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines are made, such as Sauternes, Tokaji, or Trockenbeerenauslese, ice wine grapes should not be affected byBotrytis cinereaor noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year, on a northern hemisphere calendar. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. When the grapes are free ofBotrytis, they are said to come in ‘clean’.Ice wine production is risky (the frost may not come at all before the grapes rot or are otherwise lost) and requires the availability of a large enough labour force to pick the whole crop within a few hours, at a moment’s notice, on the first morning that is cold enough. This results in relatively small amounts of ice wine being made worldwide, making ice wines generally quite expensive.”Source:Wikipedia|
Ice Wine – Germany’s Frozen Dessert Wine
Creating exceptional wines is a difficult endeavor, and winemakers must overcome several challenges in order to achieve success in this endeavor. One of these factors is the weather. Excellent vintages may be produced when the combined effects of sunlight, temperature, and rain are present. However, rapid changes in weather can also destroy a crop – and, in some situations, result in the creation of a new sort of wine. Ice wine is one of those exceptional situations.
What is Ice Wine?
Ice wine is a highly sweet sort of dessert wine that is prepared by freezing red or white grapes and then fermenting the resultant juice. Because it can only be produced under very particular conditions, it is extremely uncommon and hence quite costly in most regions of the world.
What Is Ice Wine Made From?
Ice wine is made from conventional wine grapes, which are grown in the same vineyards as regular wine grapes. For this purpose, both red and white grape varieties are acceptable. White wines made fromRieslinggrapes are produced by German vintners, whilst Vidalgrape wines are produced by Canadian vintners. However, they also employ a variety of other grape varieties, such as Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Malbec are just a few of the red grape varieties that yield excellent ice wines.
How Ice Wine Is Made
The method of manufacturing ice wine differs from the process of producing red or white table wine in a number of ways. The harvest season for table wine typically begins in the middle of September and lasts until the beginning of November. Fruit for ice wine, on the other hand, is harvested when temperatures drop to at least 20°F (-7°C) during the winter months. The water contained within the grapes freezes when the temperature drops to that low. Only a little percentage of the juice remains liquid, and the sugar content of the grape concentrates on this small bit of juice.
- In order to compensate for the frozen water that has remained in the fruit, each grape produces only 10 to 20 percent of the amount of must that can be extracted from a non-frozen grape.
- In addition, the fermentation process takes longer for sparkling wine than it does for table wine.
- In part because of the low temperatures and high sugar content of the must, fermentation takes three to six months to complete.
- After fermentation, the majority of ice wines do not go through an aging procedure.
- Because the conventional method of making ice wine is a time-consuming and expensive procedure, some winemakers opt to use shortcuts instead of following the rules.
Instead of waiting for the ideal conditions to naturally freeze grapes, they harvest the grapes and artificially freeze them to save time. However, despite the fact that this approach is simpler and less expensive, it is not permissible if vintners wish to use the name “ice wine.”
Where Did Ice Wine Originate?
It is thought that winemakers in the German area of Franconia made an unintentional discovery of ice wine (also known as “Eiswein” in German) in the late 18th century by mistake. A abrupt arrival of winter prevented them from bringing in their crop before it had a chance to ripen. They were unwilling to give up their harvest, so they gathered and pressed the grapes nevertheless, and were pleasantly surprised by the extraordinarily delicious result. Since then, German vintners have created ice wine on a sporadic basis during the following decades, depending on the weather conditions.
- High-quality ice wines are being produced by winemakers in Rheinhessen and other German wine areas, who employ highly professionalized production procedures and careful monitoring to achieve their results.
- However, the sweet dessert wine is also produced in other nations.
- They took advantage of favorable conditions in Ontario and British Columbia and used them to propel Canada to the top of the world in terms of production output.
- Austria, the United States, and New Zealand are among the other major manufacturers of this product.
What Does Ice Wine Taste Like?
Ice wines are naturally quite sweet, but they also include a high level of acidity. This outstanding balance is frequently seen in combination with bright and fresh floral and fruity scents and flavors. Their alcohol concentration is typically low: expect between 6 percent to 13 percent alcohol by volume, with German Rieslings at the lower end of the spectrum and Canadian Vidal wines at the upper end of the spectrum. White types are often full-bodied and include notes of honey, peach, lemon, mango, and other tropical fruits, as well as hints of vanilla.
Aromas such as dried figs, cherry, pomegranate, and red berries can be found in these blends.
How to Serve Ice Wine
You should establish the optimal circumstances in terms of temperature and aeration in order to enjoy ice wine to its maximum potential. Furthermore, be certain that you are wearing the proper glasses.
What Is the Right Glass for Ice Wine?
Consider serving ice wine in dessert wine glasses instead of regular wine glasses (also called aperitif glasses). These glasses are tiny in size, with a volume of around 4 ounces (120 milliliters), to make it easy to offer appropriate servings to customers. They are, however, not the best of friends.
White wine glasses in the form of tulips are preferable. They give the wine more space to breathe and allow you to properly swirl the wine before tasting it, both of which are beneficial. Fill them halfway with parts of 1.5 to 2 ounces of ice wine and serve immediately (45 to 60 ml).
What Is the Right Serving Temperature for Ice Wine?
Ice wine should be served cold, but not frozen, to provide the best flavor. Temperatures between 43 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (6 and 10 degrees Celsius) are ideal. Place it in the refrigerator for approximately one hour to allow it to cool down fully. As an alternative, you may chill the glasses for 10 to 15 minutes in the refrigerator before pouring the wine into them.
Should You Decant Ice Wine?
No. Ice wines are complex, and allowing them to breathe allows them to express their full potential. As a result, decanting appears to be a logical next step. This, however, is not something you should do. They would simply become too hot to handle too quickly. It is preferable to pour them into glasses as soon as the bottle is opened and swirl them for a couple of seconds to ensure that they are in contact with oxygen.
How to Store Ice Wine
If you intend to keep ice wine for more than a couple of days, be certain that the following conditions are met in the cellar: It requires a continuous, cold temperature of around 54 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (12-15 degrees Celsius). Place the bottle on its side to prevent the cork from drying out and becoming ineffective. Otherwise, air might sneak in and oxidize the wine, causing it to get stale. More information about storing wine may be found at: BEFORE AND AFTER OPENING WINE: HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR WINE
Can Ice Wine Be Aged?
Yes, some varieties are suitable for older people, but not all of them. Their capacity to increase complexity is dependent on their ability to maintain balance: A good acidity to balance the sweetness is the determining factor in producing deeper depth and a wider range of scents. Here is a list of wines arranged according to their age-worthy status:
- The greatest wines to cellar are Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, which are both made in Austria. You may preserve them for decades while they release scents of maple or hazelnut
- They will last for centuries. Vidal can be aged for a period of five to seven years. Gewürztraminer should not be aged for more than three to five years in the cellar. There is very limited aging potential in dessert wines made from Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It’s best to consume them when they’re still fresh and crisp.
You should be aware that when you age fruits and vegetables, part of their sweetness will be lost.
Can Ice Wine Go Bad?
Yes, ice wine has the potential to become sour. Exposure to oxygen in conjunction with high temperatures can cause it to deteriorate over time, just like any other type of beverage. If the water smells like vinegar, it’s likely that it’s no longer drinkable due to bacterial growth.
How Long Does Ice Wine Last When Open?
Because ice wine includes a high concentration of residual sugar, which acts as a preservative, it may be kept for a lengthy period of time when compared to most table wines. In principle, an open bottle of wine may be kept for several weeks if it is resealed and kept in the refrigerator. However, the likelihood of spoilage increases with each passing day of storage. It is preferable to consume it within 3 to 5 days of opening rather than risking this chance.
Ice Wine And Food Pairing
As a result of its sweetness, ice wine is an excellent wine to pair with dessert. However, it is also a good match with several appetizers and even some main courses as well.
Wines with high acidity pair well with fatty meats such as duck or goose, as well as with delicacies such as liver pate (for instance foie gras). However, they are also a fantastic accompaniment to fatty fish such as eel.
When served with spicy meals from the Mexican, Thai, Indian, or Cajun cuisines, the cool dessert wine pairs perfectly.
The sweetness of the wine helps to balance the spices, and when served appropriately cold, it also helps to relieve the heat in your tongue in a nice manner.
Salty foods are also a fantastic fit for sweet personalities. Combine them with anchovies, capers, or oysters, or with salty nibbles such as olives or salty crackers to make a delicious appetizer.
Because ice wine is classified as a dessert wine, it may be paired with a wide variety of sweets, as you might expect. You should often go with a dessert that is a little less sweet and a little lighter in color than the wine. Desserts made with white varieties, particularly stone fruits such as peaches or nectarines, are particularly delicious. However, the fruity tastes of these desserts pair beautifully with creamy meals such as crème brûlée, cheesecake, or custard. Red wines, like Cabernet Franc, pair exceptionally well with chocolate-based meals such as chocolate mousse or chocolate desserts.
Because ice wine is classified as a dessert wine, it can be paired with a wide variety of sweets, according to logic. A dessert that is somewhat less sweet and lighter in color than the wine is often preferred. Desserts made with stone fruits, such as peaches or nectarines, pair particularly well with white varieties. However, the fruity tastes of these desserts pair beautifully with creamy meals such as crème brûlée, cheesecake, and custard. When it comes to chocolate-based meals such as chocolate mousse or chocolate cakes, red wines, particularly Cabernet Franc, are great.
- Brie and goat cheese are examples of soft cheeses
- Salty hard cheeses include Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano (commonly known as Parmesan). Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton are examples of tart blue cheeses.
More information on wine and cheese pairings may be found at: WINE AND CHEESE – 20 GREAT PAIRINGS FOR YOUR PARTY.
Shopping Ice Wine
When buying for ice wine, you should pay close attention to the label to ensure that it is authentic. According to the regulations governing wine in the United States, the term “ice wine” is a protected product name. The same is true for “Icewine” in Canada and “Eiswein” in Germany and Austria, both of which are alcoholic beverages. This label may only be applied to wines made from grapes that were plucked while still frozen naturally. Typically, wines made from artificially frozen grapes are labeled as “iced wine,” “dessert wine,” or a combination of the variety name plus the words “ice” or “iced.” These varieties are less costly, however they do not have the same level of quality as the original.
How Much Does Ice Wine Cost?
In most cases, ice wine is sold in 375ml bottles, with prices beginning at $30. If you come across wines that are significantly less expensive, it is likely that they were manufactured from grapes that were frozen artificially. The most expensive and complicated wines may sell for upwards of $100 per bottle. However, smaller bottles of wine, particularly in the United States, are frequently available in quantities of 200 mL or less. So, if you’re just getting started in the realm of frozen dessert wines, try starting with these smaller bottles to figure out which varieties you prefer the most.
Everything You Need To Know About Ice Wine
Shutterstock When individuals first learn about wines, they begin to categorize them into two categories: reds and whites. Afterwards, we’ll discuss the many grape varietals found in each category, such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, Malbec, and so on. Dessert wines, on the other hand, are sometimes neglected as a category. According to Wine Folly, there are historically five varieties of dessert wines: sparkling, gently sweet, lavishly sweet, sweet red, and fortified. Sparkling is the most common form of dessert wine.
According to Wine Folly, ice wine, also known as eiswein in Germany and Austria, is a special type of dessert wine made from grapes harvested late in the winter in cold climates after they have frozen on the vine.
According to The New York Times, in Canada, a product cannot be labeled as ice wine unless the grapes were plucked at a temperature of 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and US manufacturers typically adhere to Canadian rules in their production.
How ice wine is processed
Shutterstock By the time ice wine grapes are plucked, they have shriveled to the point that they resemble raisins. Because the grapes have been on the vine for such a long period of time, most of the water contained within them has evaporated, increasing the concentration of sugar and acid in the small amount of liquid that remains (viaForbes). Because the sugars in the grapes do not freeze, only the water does, the cold temperatures cause the liquid to solidify into ice crystals instead of liquid.
Because the grapes are still frozen when they begin the process, when they are pressed, the crystals of frozen water remain behind and only the concentrated juice with a powerful sweetness and high acidity is extracted.
If the temperature of the processing area is too low, frozen grapes can be a problem for older wine presses, which, according to Wine Folly, can sometimes even break from the pressure of processing and crushing the rock hard grapes.
Chemistry is important in making ice wine
Shutterstock Winemakers must quantify the amount of sugar present in their grapes before they can call their product ice wine. A Brix is a unit of measurement used in this context. According to Forbes, one degree Brix equals one percent sugar, or one gram of sugar for every 100 grams of liquid. Distinct locations have different standards that producers must meet in order to be termed ice wine, however generally speaking, it is regarded to be between 35 and 39 degrees Brix (via35Brix). After the grapes are pressed, a process that takes around six hours, according to 35Brix, the juice is filtered to remove seeds before being progressively added to a mixture of yeast and water, which is then allowed to ferment in tanks until it becomes wine.
Bench 1775 Winery in British Columbia sent a press release in March following their ice wine harvest “We’ve moved on to the next step of our ice wine production, which involves monitoring and waiting for results.
As soon as they begin to shift, we begin to measure the amount of alcohol consumed.”
Fermenting and bottling ice wine
Getty Images/Bloomberg News When compared to the typical wine fermentation process, which might take several weeks to a few months, ice wines take three to six months, according to the Social Vignerons. Temperatures in fermentation tanks are likewise kept at a lower level during this period. Because of the high sugar concentration, the yeast stops fermenting more quickly than it would in regular wine, resulting in the sweet, typically lower alcohol content ice wine that we know and love. Upon completion of the fermenting process, the wine is bottled.
“You want to bottle the ice wine as soon as possible to avoid re-fermentation of the ice wine,” he explained.
Because of the high sugar content, ice wines may age well, darkening in color and altering the flavor profile from fresh citrus to more dried fruits and caramel as the wine ages.
Wine According to Folly, most ice wines should not be matured for more than 10 years, while others can be kept for up to 20 years. Nonetheless, the longer they are stored, the more they lose their brilliant, crisp flavor and become more syrupy in taste.
Originally from Germany, Canada is now the world’s leading producer
According to legend, ice wine was first created in Franken, Germany, in 1794, and has been around since (viaWine Folly). The grapes were frozen before they could be harvested because of an early and exceptionally cold winter, and the vintners were obliged to pick the frozen grapes from the vine. The sweet wine grew in popularity, and eiswein was frequently produced in Germany and Austria during the nineteenth century. It has been reported that they do not always have cold enough winters to dependably produce good ice wine, according to Social Vignerons.
As a result, ice wine began to be produced in North America in the 1970s.
Inniskillin of Ontario has established itself as one of the world’s leading producers of ice wines, and its 2003 aged vidal ice wine was served by President Obama at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2009, among other honors (viaTravel Awaits).
Different grapes change the flavor, as will what you eat with it
While ice wine is typically prepared from sweeter wine grapes such as Reisling, Viognier, or Vidal, practically any grape may be used to make ice wine, including red grapes like as Cabernet Franc, according to Wine Follynotes, including red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon. The variety of grape used will undoubtedly influence the flavor profile of the ice wine, although the acidity of the wine typically serves to counteract its sweetness. According to The Drinks Business, while most ice wines have a citrus-forward flavor with notes of honey and stone fruits, others can include floral or berry notes, as well as tropical fruits such as lychee and pineapple, depending on the variety.
Desserts with a milder flavor profile, such as crème brûlée, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, or vanilla pound cake, are recommended for an after-dinner match by Wine Folly.
To make ice wine, they need considerably more grapes than they do to make a regular bottle of wine.
Most ice wines are acquired directly from wineries, over the internet, or from speciality wine stores around the country.