Best Ice Wine Brands: A Guide to the Sweetest Sips
Ice wine is a dessert wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The frozen grapes are then harvested and pressed, resulting in a concentrated and sweet juice that is used to make ice wine. This unique production method makes ice wine one of the most expensive and rare wines in the world.
Germany and Canada are the top producers of ice wine, with Inniskillin being Canada’s leading producer. Ice wine is typically made from Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Vidal Blanc grapes, but other grapes can be used as well.
The wine is known for its sweetness, with flavors and aromas of apricot, cherry, apple, and honey. Ice wine is best served chilled and pairs well with cheese, foie gras, and other fatty foods.
- Ice wine is a rare and expensive dessert wine made from frozen grapes.
- Germany and Canada are the top producers of ice wine, with Inniskillin being Canada’s leading producer.
- Ice wine is best served chilled and pairs well with cheese, foie gras, and other fatty foods.
Understanding Ice Wine
If you’re a wine lover, you’ve probably heard of ice wine. This unique dessert wine is made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine, resulting in a concentrated, sweet flavour. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the history, production methods, grape varieties, climate, and harvest of ice wine.
Origin and History
Ice wine has been produced for centuries in Germany and Austria, where it is known as Eiswein. The first recorded production of ice wine was in the late 1700s in Franconia, Germany. Today, Canada is the largest producer of ice wine in the world, while Germany and Austria remain significant producers.
Ice wine is made from grapes that have been left on the vine until they freeze. The grapes are harvested and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a small amount of concentrated juice that is high in sugar and acidity. The juice is then fermented and aged in oak barrels before being bottled.
Not all grape varieties are suitable for making ice wine. The most common grape varieties used for ice wine are Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Vidal, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Sylvaner, and Grüner Veltliner.
These varieties are chosen for their ability to withstand freezing temperatures and maintain their acidity and flavour.
Climate and Harvest
Ice wine can only be produced in regions with a cold climate, where grapes can freeze on the vine. The ideal temperature for harvesting ice wine grapes is -8°C to -12°C (17.6°F to 10.4°F).
The grapes must be harvested quickly and pressed while still frozen to ensure the juice is concentrated and high in sugar.
In conclusion, ice wine is a unique and delicious dessert wine that requires a specific climate, grape varieties, and harvesting methods. Whether you’re a fan of Riesling, Cabernet Franc, or Vidal, there’s an ice wine out there that’s sure to please your palate.
Top Ice Wine Brands
If you’re looking for the best ice wine brands, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the top ice wine brands that you should definitely try.
Inniskillin is a leading producer of ice wine in Canada. Their Vidal Icewine is a great introduction to the style, with tropical fruit tastes and aromas offset by solid natural acidity. Their Gold Oak Aged Vidal Icewine is also a must-try, with its rich and complex flavours of honey, apricot, and peach.
Peller Estates is another top producer of ice wine in Canada. Their Cabernet Franc Ice Wine offers notes of wild strawberry jam, ripe rhubarb, candied cherries and fresh pomegranate.
It is a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. Their Riesling Ice Wine is also worth trying, with its delicate floral and citrus notes.
Hunt Country Vineyards
Hunt Country Vineyards is a family-owned winery in New York State that specializes in ice wine. Their Vidal Blanc Ice Wine is a standout, with its aromas of honey, apricot, and peach, and its rich and complex flavours of dried apricot and honey.
Jackson-Triggs is a Canadian winery that produces a range of ice wines. Their Proprietors’ Reserve Vidal Icewine is a standout, with its notes of honey, apricot, and peach, and its long, smooth finish. It is a perfect dessert wine and pairs well with blue cheese, foie gras, or fresh fruit.
Red Newt is a winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York that produces a range of ice wines. Their Riesling Ice Wine is a standout, with its aromas of honey, apricot, and peach, and its rich and complex flavours of dried apricot and honey. It is a perfect dessert wine and pairs well with blue cheese, foie gras, or fresh fruit.
So, there you have it – some of the best ice wine brands that you should definitely try. Whether you’re a seasoned ice wine connoisseur or just starting out, these brands are sure to impress.
Tasting and Pairing
Ice wine is a dessert wine that is known for its sweetness and concentrated flavours. It is made from grapes that are left on the vine until they freeze, which concentrates the sugars and flavours in the grapes.
When the grapes are pressed, the frozen water is left behind, resulting in a small amount of concentrated juice that is used to make ice wine.
Ice wine is known for its sweetness, with a high sugar content that gives it a syrupy texture. It has a range of flavours, including apricot, cherry, honeyed fruits, cranberry, mango, lychee, and more. The wine also has a high acidity that balances out the sweetness and adds a refreshing finish.
Ice wine is a great dessert wine that pairs well with a variety of sweet dishes. It is also a great after-meal digestif that can be enjoyed on its own. Here are some food pairing suggestions to try with ice wine:
- Cheese: Ice wine pairs well with a variety of cheeses, including blue cheese, goat cheese, and aged cheddar. The sweetness of the wine complements the saltiness of the cheese, while the acidity cuts through the richness.
- Desserts: Ice wine is a perfect match for sweet desserts like pecan pie, fruit tarts, and honey cake. The sweetness of the wine complements the dessert, while the acidity balances out the sugar.
- Foie gras: Ice wine is a classic pairing for foie gras, a fatty food that needs a wine with high acidity to cut through the richness.
- After-dinner pairing: Ice wine is a great after-dinner drink that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with dessert. Its sweetness and concentrated flavours make it a great choice for a dessert pairing.
When pairing ice wine with food, it is important to consider the sweetness of the dish and the wine. The wine should always be sweeter than the food to avoid making the wine taste sour or bitter. Ice wine should also be served chilled to bring out its flavours and aromas.
In conclusion, ice wine is a sweet and concentrated dessert wine that pairs well with a variety of sweet dishes. Its high acidity and range of flavours make it a versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with food.
Investing in Ice Wine
If you’re a wine enthusiast, investing in ice wine can be a great way to diversify your portfolio. Ice wine is a rare and expensive type of wine that is made from grapes that have been left on the vine until they freeze.
This process concentrates the sugars and flavours in the grapes, resulting in a sweet and flavourful wine.
Ice wine is a rising star in the wine world, and its popularity is only expected to increase in the coming years. As a result, investing in ice wine can be a smart financial decision. However, it’s important to note that ice wine is a rare and expensive wine, so it’s not for everyone.
When it comes to investing in ice wine, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to do your research and find reputable ice wine producers.
Look for producers with a long history of producing high-quality ice wine. Second, you’ll want to consider the price. Ice wine can be quite expensive, so it’s important to set a budget and stick to it.
Another thing to keep in mind when investing in ice wine is rarity. Some ice wines are produced in limited quantities, making them more rare and valuable. Look for ice wines that are produced in small quantities or that are only produced in certain years.
In conclusion, investing in ice wine can be a smart financial decision for wine enthusiasts. However, it’s important to do your research and consider the price and rarity of the ice wine before making a purchase. With the right investment strategy, ice wine can be a valuable addition to your portfolio.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some top-rated ice wine brands for beginners?
If you’re new to ice wine, there are a few brands that are great for beginners. Peller Estates, Inniskillin, and Jackson-Triggs are all well-known and respected brands that produce high-quality ice wine. These brands are widely available and offer a range of ice wines at different price points.
What makes ice wine so expensive?
Ice wine is expensive because it is a labour-intensive and risky process. The grapes must be left on the vine until they freeze, which means the harvest can only take place in the middle of winter. This makes the grapes more difficult to harvest, and the yield is much lower than for regular wine. Additionally, the freezing process concentrates the sugars in the grapes, which means that more grapes are needed to produce the same amount of wine. All of these factors contribute to the high cost of ice wine.
What is the price range for ice wine?
The price of ice wine varies depending on the brand, the region it comes from, and the quality of the grapes used. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to £100 for a bottle of ice wine. Some of the more expensive brands can cost several hundred pounds per bottle.
What is the most expensive ice wine in the world?
The most expensive ice wine in the world is made by the Austrian winery, Kracher. Their wine, called “Nouvelle Vague No. 9,” is made from the rare Welschriesling grape and is aged for five years before it is released. A single bottle of this ice wine can cost over £1,000.