Ice Wines, or Eisweins if you’re in Europe, are made when the winemaker leaves the grapes on the vine until temperatures drop below 19.4 (in Germany) or 17.6 (in Canada) degrees Fahrenheit.
This process causes the water in the grape to freeze, while the sugars do not, to make a more concentrated, sweet flavored wine.
The best ice wines come out of Germany, Austria, Canada and the United States, and come from grapes of the Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Vidal Blanc, Sylvaner and even Cabernet Franc varieties.
By Taryn Lachter
Ice Wines, or Eisweins if you’re in Europe, are made when the winemaker leaves the grapes on the vine until temperatures drop below 19.4 (in Germany) or 17.6 (in Canada) degrees Fahrenheit. This process causes the water in the grape to freeze, while the sugars do not, to make a more concentrated, sweet flavored wine. The best ice wines come out of Germany, Austria, Canada and the United States, and come from grapes of the Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Vidal Blanc, Sylvaner and even Cabernet Franc varieties but because only a few countries produce it, ice wine tends to be more expensive and sold in smaller quantities. As a resident of New York, you are more likely to find a wider selection of American and Canadian varieties simply because of distribution technicalities.
Alcohol content can vary from 6% to 13% depending on the country of origin, because of it’s sweet nature, ice wine is served in small amounts with dessert and sometimes even consumed as dessert. It’s composed of fruity flavors like tangerine or lemon and accompanied by a sweet, floral aroma like honey or honeysuckle.
Vibrant and rich, the 2010 Sheldrake Point Ice Wine comes out of the Finger Lakes region in New York. A winner of 13 awards since 2012, this elegant and rich wine brings delicate and complex flavors of peach, lemon and orange peel for a pure and smooth finish. $60, Finger Lakes, NY
Inniskillin Ice Wine is the most widely known ice wine producer in Canada, and their 2014 Vidal is a very popular variety. The flavor profile is very sweet and intense with notes of honey, peach, apricot and candied brown sugar, making it perfect on its own as a dessert. $49.95, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
The Gehringer 2014 Minus 9 Ehrenfelser gets its name from the temperature at which the freezing happens- negative 9 degrees Celsius. It brings intense flavors of stone fruits like apricot and peach, as well as honey and chamomile to complete a flavor profile that perfectly complements the rich weight. $41.99, British Columbia, Canada
Palatine Hills’ 2014 Gewurztraminer is well known for being the best of its variety around Canada. With its candied pineapple and citrus flavors, this wine is sweet and spicy, making it a unique and tasty dessert wine. $30, Ontario Canada
Out of Austria is the Markus Huber Reisling Eiswein, a perfect representation of the Reisling variety. It brings a great sweetness with its strawberry and caramel flavors along with a little spicy note of cinnamon. $48, Austria
Mission HIll Winery produces many wines but one of their best is the 2013 Vidal Icewine. Its sweet and fruity profile make it a very typical Vidal wine, and a delicious one at that. $45.49, British Columbia, Canada
The 2008 Jackson-Triggs Cabernet Franc is bright and fruity, with notes of cherry, fig and strawberry. It’s rich and full, but every so slightly acidic. Because of the red fruit, it goes extremely well with chocolate. $59.99, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Dr. Loosen’s 2012 Reisling Eiswein is a little different from the others with a deep, smoky texture that comes from saffron, along with the gentle sweetness of peaches and honey. It’s rich and silky with an acidic concentration. $31, Germany
The 2009 Gordon Wines Gewurztraminer Ice Wine is known for its delicate honey flavor. It’s balanced with orange blossom, honeysuckle and tangerine aromas for a clean and refreshing taste. At $37 a bottle, this is wonderful way to end a summer meal. $37, Columbia Valley, WA
The extremely popular Vidal Blanc from Hunt Country Vineyardshas been served at the United Nations, the White House and even on The Today Show. It’s extremely sweet and luscious, with fruits like apricot and pineapple, and gentle notes of honey to round it out. $49.99, Finger Lakes, NY
Join New York Wine Events for a full-day Wine Tour to Long Island Wine Country. Available every Saturday, this experience transports you to the North Fork of Long Island, 2 hours from Manhattan with farms, wineries & artisan food. TICKET INCLUDES: Round trip bus travel via motor coach from Midtown Manhattan. You pick your date – Read More
There are literally thousands of varietals of grapes grown around the world, plus about a thousand more waiting to be discovered. Some are grown for wine, some are grown for juice, but each tells a story of the land it comes from. The varietal is the actual grape from which a wine or juice is - Read More
It’s time, folks! Now that it’s finally May, we’re in food and beverage festival season and coming up this weekend is our personal favorite (duh!), the Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival! This is an event that we’re excited for, not only because it’s one of our own, but because it really brings a - Read More
We’ve all been there- you’re at a dinner party and someone pours wine, and you’re about to go for it when you look around and see everyone swirling and sniffing their glass. Confusion ensues. Don’t worry, we’ll help you and then you can do it too! Sure, the art of wine tasting is deeply involved - Read More
Say it with us: gahr-GAH-neh-gah. It’s not just a cool word, it’s the sixth most planted white grape in all of Italy. You can find it in the Veneto region which is in the northeastern part of the country in the provinces of Vicenza and Verona. In Sicily, the Garganega grape is locally known as - Read More
In our recent article, we discussed the idea of biodynamic wines and how they’re becoming more and more popular around the United States. We also mentioned organic wines, which are slightly different but are also showing up around wine shops and bars, especially here in New York. So what is organic wine? Well to put - Read More
Until recently, if you wanted a “quality wine list” you had to get a table at one of the top restaurants in New York. You know, the ones like Per Se and Le Bernardin- the extremely nice, quite upscale, fine dining establishments. These were the institutions with the best sommeliers that were taking trips to - Read More
These days, we’re seeing a huge focus on eco-friendly and sustainable everything from recycling to the making of clothes and home cleaning products to food and drink. Here at New York Wine Events, we totally support these efforts. Our earth is a magical place and we want to keep it as beautiful and perfect as - Read More
Hello, April! With spring comes flowers, sunshine, and the beginnings of a season of picnics in the parks and on balconies or patios (if you’re lucky enough to have one!) We’ve compiled a quick list of delicious spring wines whose vintages are coming into their own this season, and we think you should check them - Read More
Springtime is the best time, and it’s time to enjoy the outdoors while tasting wines and making new friends! Check out the list below for food and drink festivals happening in the city and upstate. April 5th and 6th: NYC Craft Beer Festival A ticket to this gets you samples from 75 breweries focusing on - Read More
Well, we have officially entered the season of spring, and you know what that means! Time to take some day trips with us to the lovely wine countries of New York. If you didn’t already know, you have the fantastic opportunity to meet and greet with some of this state’s finest winemakers and taste their - Read More
Whitecliff Vineyard, one of the Hudson Valley’s largest vineyards, is owned by husband and wife team Michael Migliore and Yancey Stanforth-Migliore. They met in the late 1970’s rock climbing on the Shawangunk Ridge, got married in the early 80s and quickly began building their winery. Michael had been living on their property while he was - Read More
Okay, so here at New York Wine Events, we sometimes occasionally drink things that aren’t wine. Obviously, wine is our number one choice but sometimes a moment calls for something with a bit more punch or just that little something extra. When those times come, we like to turn to our friend limoncello. Never heard - Read More
Although they purchased their land in 2003, Harry and Carole Robibero didn’t truly begin their winemaking journey until 2007 when the previous vineyard vacated the space. They spent the following years making renovations and planting three full acres of grape vines to create the Hudson Valley establishment it is today. Robibero Family Vineyards isn’t a - Read More
With a 200-acre property on the North Fork, Martha Clara Vineyards has made a name for itself in the Long Island wine community as well as throughout the state of New York. The land became a vineyard with the first grape planting in 1996 by the Entenmann Family, as in one of the largest baked - Read More
Although white wine gets a reputation for being more of a spring and summer beverage, we believe that all wines have the right to shine during any season. Now, of course, there are some whites that really are better when consumed on the patio of a cute bar in Brooklyn on a sunny June afternoon - Read More
Seated in that gorgeous North Fork of Long Island are the Pellegrini Vineyards, a 14,000 square foot winery complex that has been producing wines since the early 1990s. The land was purchased by Bob and Joyce Pellegrini in 1991 and they quickly began creating a facility that would be focused on every minute detail of - Read More
Sure, it’s already the end of February (even though January took two years) and we’re technically about to start looking into spring, but it really feels like winter has been dragging on forever. Waking up to bitter cold temperatures and dodging weird snow squalls halfway through the workday sure has gotten old. So what do - Read More
The Hudson Valley wine region is lush with fantastic wineries and beautiful vineyards, and it’s recently begun to make a national name for itself among the wine community. While more and more establishments pop up along the Hudson River, there is one winery that’s been there since the beginning. Cozied up in Marlboro, NY is - Read More
As we mentioned in the last article, hybrid wines are one of New York’s greatest assets in terms of the global wine industry. A key player in the hybrid community is Baco Noir, which happens to live in upstate New York as well. It was created by Francois Baco in the late 1800s by crossing - Read More
The Noble Grapes (the six classic varietals that began the wine obsession back in the day) are obviously an essential part of viticulture and will always hold an important place in the past and future of winemaking. That said, this is 2019, and innovation is the name of the game. This can be in regards - Read More
If you’ve been following along with your articles, then you know just how much we love New York wines and wineries. This state is a mecca for new and innovative creations, as well as classic and elegant centuries old varietals, and we are here for all of it. One of the organizations that support the - Read More
The Romans, as we know, are the ancestors of culture. Through the language of Latin, the architectural influence, the brilliance of engineering, and of course, the glorious art of viticulture, the effects of the Romans are still found consistently throughout modern society. In ancient Roman culture, wine was a “democratic” drink, and was offered to - Read More
The faraway land of Sicily is one that that has caught international interest for hundreds of years. Throughout the centuries, the now-Italian island of Sicily has been under the rule of many different countries, which has helped to develop quite the rich cultural history. Starting in 8th century BC, Sicily was originally colonized by the - Read More