In the winter season, an early frost can devastate crops for many farmers, but winemakers view it differently. Leaving the grapes on the vines until late fall concentrates the sugars, resulting in a sweeter flavor profile similar to that of raisins.
Although ice wine is less well-known than red, white, or sparkling wines, it’s worth trying if you have the chance. While some may not typically enjoy sweet wines, we encourage you to reserve judgment until after giving iced wine a taste and reading our blog on how to properly enjoy it.
So in this blog, we’ve prepared four ice wine drinking tips so that you can enjoy drinking an iced wine without questioning yourself anymore on “How to drink Ice Wine?”
What is Ice Wine?
Since most people are not familiar with what “Ice Wine” is, we’ve created an introduction regarding its history and its definition. Let’s proceed with reading!
Also known as Eiswein in German, Ice wine is a type of dessert wine that is commonly made from grapes that have been left to freeze on the vine.
The grapes are usually harvested at midnight in the dead winter when they are frozen. And since the liquid inside the grapes is frozen, only the potent juice of the pressed-out grapes is harvested–which is a sweet wine.
Ice wine is generally known for its intense sweetness that contains high acidity and complex flavors with a hint of apricot, honey, and peach. Usually, they are served in small portions–as a dessert that pairs well with any variety of sweet desserts.
This type of wine is produced severally in different wine regions such as Canada, Austria, Germany, and especially the United States.
History and Origin of Ice Wine
Ice wine boasts a rich and varied history, harking back to the illustrious Roman Empire, where its origins can be traced to the Germanic lands.
As the tale goes, a Teutonic vintner of the late 1700s serendipitously left some grapes on the vine for too long, leading to their wintry solidification. Pressing these grapes created a scintillating, flavorful elixir that he dubbed “Eiswein.”
It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that ice wine’s burgeoning reputation engendered greater popularity and production in Germany, with connoisseurs of the time appreciating its prized quality, reflected in its lofty price tag. By the early 1900s, this Germanic nectar had become an expensive and coveted wine throughout Europe.
Come the 1970s, ice wine production took root in Canada, where the frigid climate served as the optimal cradle for the drink. To this day, the cultivation of ice wine is practiced in several nations, yielding top-of-the-line wines sought after for those special moments shared among comrades.
4 Drinking Tips for Ice Wine
With our comprehensive tips on the best ways to indulge in Ice Wine, you’re sure to relish each and every sip of your drink while partaking in other indulgences.
Given ice wine’s distinctive and flavorsome profile, we’ve gathered a handful of guidelines to help you maximize your experience of this sweet, sumptuous beverage.
Throughout this discourse, we’ll delve into the proper methods of chilling and serving iced wine, selecting the ideal glass, expertly pouring a measured quantity, and pairing it with a luscious dessert to achieve a truly unforgettable tasting experience.
So, ease back and unwind, and let’s explore these six fascinating techniques to savor ice wine!
Chill The Wine
When it comes to serving Ice Wine, having the right temperature is crucial. You won’t get to taste the complex aroma and sweetness of this tasty beverage if you don’t serve it at its right and perfect serving temperature.
Although there are plenty of ways to chill a wine, not all of them are created equally. One of the most popular and well-known methods for cooling this type of wine is to put it inside the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving.
This chilling method is an excellent option for people who’re planning ahead, as it allows the wine to chill slowly without shocking the liquid inside.
However, if you’re in a rush and need to drink the Ice Wine as soon as possible, you can opt to put the bottle in a bucket filled with ice and water for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.
Checking the wine from time to time is vital since over-chilling an iced wine can damage the flavor and aroma, so not chilling it enough. So it is essential for you to remember that you shouldn’t put iced wine inside the freezer to avoid damaging the aromas and flavors of the wine.
Choosing The Right Glass
Another vital thing to remember when drinking Ice Wine is to choose the correct glass. The perfect glass for ice wine must be a small, tulip-shaped glass that has a narrow top and a wider bottom.
Because of the glass’ unique shape, it will allow the wine to breathe and release its aromas making the overall taste and scent–enhanced.
Additionally, the size of the glass must be small since iced wine is usually served in small portions, which are about 1 to 2 ounces only. Serving the iced wine in small amounts allows you to fully appreciate the wine’s color and clarity.
Sip and Savor
Experiencing the taste of iced wine requires a great deal of mindfulness and patience. Unlike other beverages that can be guzzled down in one sitting, savoring iced wine demands gradual sipping in order to discern the intricate balance of its sweetness and acidity, culminating in a complex and rich flavor profile.
To fully immerse yourself in this exquisite sensory journey, allow the wine to linger on your tongue and palate before indulging in its luxurious texture. As you do so, you’ll detect subtle notes of various fruits, including peach, citrus, and apricot, complemented by a hint of floral undertones, such as jasmine and honey.
Additionally, it’s crucial to take note of the wine’s thickness and syrupy consistency, which contribute to its overall richness.
Pair with Desserts
We all know that ice wine is a dessert wine that is known for its sweet and fruit flavors. So it’s not a surprise that it is usually paired with desserts creating a match made in heaven food pair.
The sweetness of an iced wine that comes from freshly picked frozen grapes intensifies the high sugar content, which makes it a natural pairing for desserts that are also similar in having a rich flavor.
The most classic and typical dessert pairing for ice wine is fruit tarts since the fruity notes of the wine complement the fruits in the pie, creating a perfect balance for its acidity in helping to cut through the richness of the pastry–known tart.
Another famous pair for iced wine is cheesecake. The creaminess of the cheesecake creates an excellent balance between the wine’s acidity and the fruitful flavors of ice wine adjunct to the dessert’s tangy flavors.
If you prefer white chocolate truffles and iced wine, well, let me tell you that they are the perfect pair. The sweetness in the wine enhances the richness of the chocolate, which creates a decadent dessert experience that will put you in heaven.
The acidity of the wine balances the flavors of the chocolate; it prevents the sweetness from becoming overwhelming!
We have created table suggestions that can be a perfect pair for your iced wine–hence, you must bear in mind that each and everyone’s preference differs from their own liking. However, experimenting with different food pairings and wine can be fun and a delicious way to enjoy drinking iced wine!
|Ice Wine Pairing
|Riesling Ice Wine
|Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
|Cabernet Franc Ice Wine
|Chardonnay Ice Wine
|Gewürztraminer Ice Wine
|Pinot Gris Ice Wine
5 Ice Wines to Try
Here are five different types of Ice Wine that you should definitely give a try. These Ice wines are just a few of those Ice wines out there, so if you want to try something new, you can always rely on the internet to look for some other best ice wines!
Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine
The first one is the Inniskillin Vidal Icewine; it is a type of wine made from Vidal Blanc grapes which is a type of Canadian ice wine that consists of a rich, honeyed flavor with a hint and notes of apricot and peach. This type of drink can be paired with fruit-based desserts such as peach cobbler or banana pudding.
Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Eiswein
This drink is a German Ice wine that consists of bright acidity with flavors of lemon, pineapple, and honey. This type of wine is made from riesling grapes which is a well-known type of grapes when it comes to creating wines.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Late Harvest White Riesling
The third on the list is this ice wine from Washington state that is also made from Riesling grapes, which has a tropical flavor with a hint of the sweetness of honey.
Trimbach Gewürztraminer Vendange Tardive
Another ice wine that you must try is this wine made from Gewürztraminer grapes which have a taste of floral combining the spicy aroma with a sweet and honey flavor.
Pillitteri Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Icewine
Last is this wine from Canada which is made from the grapes of Cabernet Franc that has a bold and jammy flavor with a hint of raspberry and currant.
To conclude, indulging in a glass of iced wine is a one-of-a-kind event! It is important to ensure that the wine is appropriately chilled and served in a dainty tulip-shaped glass, take delicate sips to truly relish the intricate flavors and aromas, and pair it with a dessert that complements its delightful sweetness and acidity.
By adhering to these recommendations, you can create an unforgettable and pleasant drinking experience that will leave you craving for more, and you won’t be left pondering on “How to drink Ice wine?”.
Therefore, the next time you acquire a bottle of iced wine, make sure to take your time and appreciate each sip, as every experience with iced wine is an extraordinary one that should be cherished.
George Moore, co-founder of Wine Flavor Guru, is a charismatic entrepreneur with a rich background in California’s wine industry. Alongside Sylvia, he transformed a Sonoma County vineyard into a source of premium wines. George’s expertise in sourcing exceptional grapes and his approachable style make wine appreciation both accessible and engaging.