Most have never tried this sweet nectar from the vine that a German winemaker accidentally created 200 years ago. The Germans started and perfected the process. However, other countries are jumping into the game, most notably the Canadians. They are producing and receiving the most praise for their icewine.
How is Icewine made?
Icewine is made exactly how you’d think – the grapes are left on the vine to freeze. This freezing process raises the profile and flavor of the wine. Every country contains different standards on what “frozen” means. In Germany wine made from frozen grapes must be picked at or below 19°F. And within 24 hours of freezing the grapes, they are immediately pressed to make wine. While in Canada it has to be 17° F or below. Icewine is mostly made from Riesling, Vidal, Gewurtraminer, and Cabernet Franc because of their high acid levels. The alcohol level tends to be on the lower side with only 7-12% and is done in a medium to full-bodied style.
Recommendations for Ice Wine
Peller Estate Icewine Cuvée – a refreshing sparkling wine with a fantastic grape fruit finish. It is a sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. However, it is enhanced with Vidal Icewine. A great wine to serve with salty appetizers or creamy cheeses.
Inniskillin Icewine Vidal 2007 – intense peach, pears, and honey notes. Provides a different dessert drink from a very well known icewine producer. This wine has won many accolades and will be safe to pair with almost anything you throw at it.
Blees Ferber Eiswein 2007 – a great German 2007 vintage with tropical fruits and honeysuckle. The acidity is not lost in this Mosel Region wine. This wine would be great now or 20 years from now with lush desserts or strong cheeses.
Kiona Vine Vineyards and Winery 2008 Chenin Blanc Icewine – Burnt Caramel with white peach, apple and apricot flavors. This American producer from Washington always provides and excellent example of ice wine. Keep it simple with apples and light cheeses.
Do you have a recommendation? Please share with us your favorite icewine.