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
Winter is the season of cooking. It’s cold outside so you stay inside and make tasty things that warm up your home and your bellies. We all know that fruits and vegetables are a bit limited during the winter season but that doesn’t mean they should sit in the corner and feel sad about not - Read More
Mother Nature is about to dump a whole lot of snow on us which means it’s time to gather up the tasty snacks, download a whole bunch of movies, and settle in for a snow day (or weekend.) Times like this call for adult beverages and projects that take up all the free time you - Read More
The Trebbiano grape is one of the most widely planted grapes in the entire world, particularly in Italy and also in France, where it’s actually called Ugni Blanc. It’s a white grape that tends to be slightly dry, medium-bodied, and has a medium-high tannin and is used for things like brandy and vinegar because it - Read More
Oh, Canada! Our beautiful neighbor to the north isn’t usually associated with the wine industry but there are definitely some gorgeous hidden gems up there. In the great state of Saskatchewan, there is a city called Saskatoon which is known as the “Paris of the Prairies.” Saskatoon gets this nickname primarily from the recent surge - Read More
As red grapes go, we think of noble grapes first: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. While these are all lovely and delicious, there are so many other fabulous red wines to try, and many that aren’t from France. One of these is the Tempranillo grape from Rioja, Spain. The name itself comes from the - Read More
By now, you all know that we are obsessed with wine. Really, really, obsessed. However, that doesn’t mean we’re discriminating against other kinds of alcoholic beverages. In fact, we are equal opportunity, open-minded consumers here, and we want you to be too. So, for a little departure from our regularly scheduled programming, we want to - Read More
In recent years, the popularity of wine drinking in the United States has flourished in ways that surprised and excited those in the industry. Of course, wine has always been a commonly consumed beverage around the world, and here at home, however, there is a new obsession with it that has sparked interest within one - Read More
Can you believe it? We’re just a few days away from ringing in yet another year! It seems like 2018 totally flew by right before our eyes but we’re ready for 2019 and all the fabulous things it will bring. Of course, there are no true New Year’s Eve festivities if there isn’t any delicious - Read More
We don’t know how it happened but Christmas is finally here! That beautiful time to gather with family and friends and celebrate with a giant meal, because nothing brings people together better than food. If you’re hosting this year or you’re going to someone else’s house, it’s important that wine makes an appearance at your - Read More
Fun fact: Lebanon is actually the smallest sovereign state in the entire continent of Asia, amassing only 4,036 square miles. At the heart of Lebanese viticulture is the Bekaa Valley, home to one of the most magnificent Greek temples that was once dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine. There is actually viticultural evidence showing - Read More
A region that gets plenty of publicity but isn’t often recognized for their wine is the Middle East. Comprising of the nations in Western Asia that surround the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, plus Egypt in Africa, and Turkey in Europe, the Middle East is commonly known for political strife and conflict. We’re here to - Read More
Turkey is a pretty big country; the second biggest country, in fact, in Europe by square mileage, if you count the part that technically resides in Asia. This giant nation holds so many historical treasures, gorgeous foods, and most importantly (in our opinion), beautiful wine regions. With over 1.5 million acres of grapevines planted for - Read More
Tis the season and the holidays are officially upon us! December usually kicks off the holiday spirit but this year, we get to start the month with Hanukkah. A little background for you: On the Jewish calendar, the lunar calendar, the holidays are the same days every year. However, Western society follows the solar calendar - Read More
The West Coast has definitely made a name for itself as a key player in the global wine industry with California, Washington, and Oregon all being at the top of the list not only in America but throughout the world as leading wine producers. However, there are some places along the Eastern side of our country - Read More
It is known that the Greeks were a foundational aspect of the creation of Western culture. Their love of food and wine, theatre, and art has transcended through the centuries and is quite relevant still today. Despite the fact that wine has been produced in Greece for thousands of years, in our current wine industry, - Read More
When we think of lakes in New York that contribute to the greater wine community, it’s usually the Finger Lakes and their Riesling. However, what most don’t realize is the Lake Erie AVA is a large participant in the New York wine industry. Over 42,000 acres of vineyard exist in the Lake Erie American Viticultural - Read More
It’s that time of year again- we don’t know how time flew by so fast- and we’re about to be sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you’re headed home to your family, traveling to see friends, or just going out to your favorite restaurant, the wine you drink is almost as important as the food - Read More
Europe has many gorgeous cities, many of them crucially important to some of the world’s biggest industries. However, European countries are also known for their tiny little gems of cities, the ones that are tucked away and off the beaten path. One of those such places is called Cinque Terre, and it’s a little coastal - Read More
If you didn’t know, Macedonia is a small country nestled above Greece, in between Albania and Bulgaria, and was once part of Yugoslavia. When it was a part of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Macedonia produced both wine and vodka but now their focus is their 55,000 acres of vineyard. The climate of Macedonia is relative - Read More
The nation of France is a wine-producing powerhouse, with over 8 billion bottles of wine being created in a year. There are hundreds of AVAs, thousands of acres of vineyard, and many, many famous regions throughout the entire country, each one with its own unique niche within the gigantic market. One of those regions is - Read More
Kentucky has its own claims to fame- the Derby, great bourbon, bluegrass music- and we can all agree it tops the charts for all of these things. But did you know the Bluegrass State also has some fantastic wineries? Yep, you read that right- Kentucky has wineries and it’s part of the Ohio River Valley - Read More
Champagne: a gorgeously bubbly beverage with which we love to toast to life, to love, to a Friday night. Champagne: a region in northeastern France where the aforementioned beverage is exclusively produced. To clarify: Champagne is only Champagne if it comes from said region, otherwise it is just sparkling wine, or maybe Prosecco or Cava, - Read More
We’re always on the hunt for something new and different in the wine world, and although they’ve been around for millions of years, we’re becoming quite infatuated with the wines of Moldova. To be specific, there are fossils of grape vines near the Naslavcia village in the northern part of Moldova, a tiny country seated - Read More