At this point, most of the grape’s content consists of water that remains in the press in the form of ice, and only a small amount of highly concentrated juice is extracted and then fermented. The result is a deliciously sweet nectar that we often refer to as the liquid gold of Canada. When we talk about ice wine, we don’t mean cold wine or a glass of white wine with a few ice cubes. Ice wine is a very sweet dessert drink that is the end result of an unusual harvesting process.

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Wine is produced in extremely cold regions such as Canada, Germany, Austria, and parts of the United States. The frozen grapes are then crushed and pressed; the resulting juice is used to make ice wine. The extremely sweet juice is then fermented for three to six months before being bottled.

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In 2001, the EU allowed the import of Canadian ice wine, thereby recognizing the standard equivalence. Ice from Canada 2005, the first vintage of The Ice House in Niagara, a winery founded by winemaker Jamie Macfarlane. Some wineries replace this natural process of harvesting frozen grapes in the vineyard in winter with artificially freezing the grapes in freezers after harvesting. This enables ice wine to be made at a lower cost, while maintaining the essence and purity of the ice wine.

How To Drink Ice Wine

Unlike most other wine-growing regions, Canada, especially the Niagara Peninsula, freezes over continuously in winter and has become the world’s largest producer of frozen wine. As a result, Canada produces a greater amount of ice wine than all other countries combined. About 90 percent of all ice wine produced in Canada comes from Ontario-based wineries and wineries. Ice wine production is regulated by the Vintners Quality Alliance in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. If the sugar content of the grapes is less than 35 ° Brix, they cannot be used for ice wine, a minimum significantly higher than that of German ice wine. These grapes are often degraded to a lower denomination, such as Special Select Late Harvest or Select Late Harvest.

How To Drink Ice Wine

Canadian regulations were tightened in British Columbia in 2000 after a grower weathered the mild winter of 1999 by bringing grapes into the mountains to look for freezing temperatures. Ice wine is a dessert in itself, but if you want to pair it with a dessert, do so carefully. Follow the first rule for the combination with ice wine: food cannot be sweeter than ice wine.

Both can have a flowery nose and a lingering, silky, sweet finish, and tend to be low in tannins. Frozen grapes are harvested in the coldest and deepest winter, sometimes in the middle of the night. The still frozen grapes are pressed with immense hydraulic pressure. Since only 10 to 20% of the liquid is consumed, each frozen grape yields a single drop of frozen wine. The juice, also called must, then goes through the fermentation process. The high concentration of the must creates an incredibly sweet wine with intense, specific fruit and acid profiles.

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Chill the wine glasses in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, long enough not to heat the wine but not cold enough to form condensation. If you don’t have white wine glasses, serve chilled wine in red wine glasses, champagne flutes, or small wine glasses.

How To Drink Ice Wine

This makes Eiswein a younger type of German wine than botrytized wines. Eiswein is a completely unique wine made from grapes that are literally frozen on the vine, significantly concentrating the sugar in the grape and intensifying the flavor profile. The fruits are usually picked in the middle of the night in December or January when temperatures are below freezing. The frozen grapes are then pressed, squeezing out the juice droplets before going through the fermentation process. They were the first to start making ice wine commercially, and if you’ve seen Canadian ice wine for sale overseas, it is very likely from Inniskillin.

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In 1983, Niagara-based Inniskillin’s and Reif Estate Wineries and Hillebrand and Pelee Island Winery, two Austrian wineries in another part of Ontario, left grapes on their vines to make ice wine. Inniskillin and Reif lost all of their crops to hungry birds, while Hillebrand and Pelee Island were able to harvest a tiny amount of frozen grapes. Kaiser used nets to protect his vines and was able to make Inniskillin’s first ice wine.

How To Drink Ice Wine

You can serve a few ounces of chilled wine alone, or pair it with another type of chilled wine or clear liquor. You can easily find sparkling wine on ice to prepare great cocktails for your guests, to serve chilled ice wine to semi-sweet desserts or to spicy and strongly flavored dishes. Of the five taste experiences, sweetness is perhaps the most sought-after. From the fields of the Caribbean that produce fine sugar cane to the dessert tables in our own four walls, our craving to taste sweet foods and drinks is a constant search. Eiswein is a super sweet wine that was known as a rare delicacy for previous generations. Very specific conditions are required for the production of this sweet liquid, so that it will never be as widespread as an everyday Cabernet or Riesling.

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Eiswein is a very rich and super sweet dessert wine made from the intense liquid of the grapes frozen on the vine. The tradition of ice wine making is well established in Austria and Germany, but Canada is one of the world’s leading regions. Specialty wines are known to be difficult to make and are sold in medium-sized bottles for a premium price. Like many desserts, it is lower in alcohol than most wines and has notes of sweet fruits and honey.

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Cabernet Franc, an icy red wine, has a slightly different taste profile due to the red grape skins that remain during fermentation. This wonderfully sweet red wine has hints of rhubarb, red currants and even some spicy qualities. Natural ice wines require severe freezing (legally in Canada -8 ° C (18 ° F) or colder, and in Germany -7 ° C (19 ° F) or colder) to occur somewhere moment after the grapes are ripe. This means that the grapes can hang on the vine for several months after the normal harvest.

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Because of this, it’s not uncommon to pay more than $ 100 for a 375-ml bottle of quality Canadian ice wines. The terms “dessert wine”, “ice wine” and “ice wine” do not refer to real ice wine, but rather a wine made from artificially frozen grapes. It may still be tasty, but you shouldn’t pay the premium price of a real ice wine for it. To say ice wine is a complicated proposition would be an understatement. The grapes used for ice wines require heavy freezing after ripening.

Filled with tropical fruit aromas, honey aromas and delicious sweetness, this incredible dessert wine is a perfect indulgence or a thoughtful treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. While it can be tedious and heavy on your wallet to make, ice wine is a wine worth the wait. Dessert wines are generally served in 4-ounce dessert wine glasses as they generally don’t need to be poured liberally – 2 ounces is perfect. Dessert wine glasses look great with their sloping bowls and delicate stems, but they’re not the best choice for chilled wine. You can experience the “nose” of ice wine, inhale its aroma and bouquet deeply to attract the smell and prepare the palate, ideally in an all-purpose wine glass.

As with many other foods, technology has made ice wine easier to make, but it is still rare in most parts of the world. Ice wine generally has a slightly lower alcohol content than normal table wine. Some Riesling ice wines from Germany have an alcohol content of only 6%. Ice wines produced in Canada usually have a higher alcohol content, between 8 and 13 percent. Ice wines from Canada generally have a higher Brix value than those from Germany in most years.

Inniskillin produces ice wines from Vidal, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Franc grapes and also makes ice sparkling wine. Visitors can visit their Niagara-on-the-Lake winery for tours and tastings. Since the grape is frozen, only the sweetest juices come out of the press with a lower freezing temperature. Therefore, this process enables some of the tastiest, most concentrated and sweetest juices in the wine world to be obtained. While most ice wines are white, there are also some nice red wines on the market.

  • Eiswein is a completely unique wine made from grapes that are literally frozen on the vine, significantly concentrating the sugar in the grape and intensifying the flavor profile.
  • During this waiting period, they are susceptible to damage, rot, and forays into birds and other creatures.
  • Since the long cold months are essential for this process, the wine regions of Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are the most notable producers.
  • The fruits are usually picked in the middle of the night in December or January when temperatures are below freezing.
  • It doesn’t have to be as small as a liquor glass, but that’s an option if you only have a small amount to try.

Word with insufficient Brix value cannot be converted into ice wine and is therefore often sold as “special chooses late harvest” or “chooses late harvest” at a fraction of the price of real ice wine. Ice wines of the white varieties tend to be pale yellow or light golden in color when they are young and can become maderified with increasing age (take on a deep golden amber color). Cryo-extraction is the process by which grapes are frozen and pressed with refrigeration. Winemakers expose grapes to temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit (or -7 degrees Celsius) and press them while they’re still frozen.

Why Is Ice Wine So Expensive?

The ice crystals stay in the press while the concentrated juice comes out. The freeze distillation process is similar in its concentration effect, although it takes place after fermentation. After ice wine production established a commercial base, Canadian ice wine quickly became popular with domestic consumers and critics.

How To Drink Ice Wine

The details of the elaboration and description of these wines are unknown. It cannot be completely ruled out that the descriptions are about raisin wines, a type of wine common in Roman times, in which raisin-like grapes were harvested so late that the first frost fell. The Chiomonte wine in Val di Susa was popular in Roman times and this town still produces one of the few ice wines in Italy today. Because frozen grapes produce such small amounts of liquid, the total number of ice wines produced is significantly lower than that of table wines. In fact, in a few years, a region will not produce ice wine due to a warm winter.

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