To make ice wines, the harvests are postponed until the cold season arrives and the grape clusters endure their first frosts. The grapes are pressed while the water they contain is still ice so that the juice it releases is extremely rich in sugar and flavour.
Characteristics and pairing of ice wines
Visual: Straw-yellow to golden for the whites; the few red ice wines available are bright pink to light red.
Olfactory: Candied fruit, exotic fruit, orange peel, apricot, flowers, spice, ginger.
Taste: Ice wines have a high sugar content, with aromas of exotic fruit, lychee, apricots, peach, flowers and spice.
Pairings: Ice wines go well with desserts and blue-veined cheese.
Examples:Vin de glace from Québec, icewine from Ontario and British Colombia, eiswein from Germany and Austria.
Did you know?
Ice wine was first made in Germany, but since the late 20th century Canadian ice winemakers have proved particularly good at it.