Ice wines, my first taste

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DLnWPBrown
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Ice wines, my first taste - Mon, 02/2/09 3:23 PM
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   Well all, I had my first taste of ice wine last night. I prefer a sweet wine and this hit the spot. We were over at a super bowl party and our friend Eric pulled a slender, tall bottle out of the fridge and poured samples for 3 of us. I was blown away, it was great. Mind you, I am not a wine drinker but loved this stuff. I believe it was Chinon Blanc. It was out of Canada and really a beautiful wine. I think it was $26. I plan on picking up a couple bottles soon.

Anyone else know much about ice wines?


Dennis in Cary

<message edited by DLnWPBrown on Mon, 02/2/09 3:28 PM>

sbpressman
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Mon, 02/2/09 4:38 PM
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It was likely a "Chenin Blanc" - a variety of grape suited to sweet wines. Chinon is a wine region in France, but one that is not known for dessert wines.  Ice Wines, like other dessert wines that are not "fortified," derive their sweetness from a combination of ripening on the vine and concentration of the juice.  In the case of wines like those from Sauterne, the botrytis fungus infects each grape, causing it to shrivel and lose moisture. This concentrates the juice. In the case of ice wines, the grapes are left on the vine during the first freeze.  They partially freeze -- the water turns to ice, but concentrated juice remains in a liquid state.  The grapes are pressed immediately, before the ice melts.

Dessert wines that aren't schlock can be pretty expensive -- usually over $20 and up to several hundred per bottle. But they are also some of the greatest wines on earth. Nothing like a Mogen David or jug wine, they are viscous, often have complex flavors/aromas like honey, butterscotch, grapefruit, almonds, etc.  Great with nuts and fruit, but also with foie gras.

CCinNJ
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Mon, 02/2/09 5:59 PM
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I ADORE ice wine. It is not very common  to see ice wine, served in a bar or restaurant, in the NYC area. I am going to focus on some creative ideas, to motivate the serving of ice wine. Many have never heard of it, but usually enjoy it (if they like sweet wine) after tasting it.
 
BTW, the first annual New York Ice Wine Festival starts this week, in Fairport NY (I think there are other ice wine festivals, but this is the first year for this specific IW festival). I hope to make a visit, on my way to Buffalo.
 
http://www.casalarga.com/IceWineFestival 
<message edited by CCinNJ on Mon, 02/2/09 6:17 PM>

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Mon, 02/2/09 6:20 PM
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Our local winery (Wollersheim) produces an ice wine from St. Pepin grapes and it's really good stuff.  The 2007 version is currently selling for $47 for a 375ml bottle.

Brad

seafarer john
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Mon, 02/2/09 7:56 PM
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Eiswines (icewines) made from Riesling are the standard against all others are measured. Sauterns and a few others are different in that they are made from mold infected grapes are are much rarer and expensive.

Just about all the better Finger Lakes producers make an icewine and they range in price from about 25 to 85 bucks per small bottle - and they are all good. The stuff is a delight to sip after dinner ay time you want to spoil yourself.

Cheers, John

NYNM
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Mon, 02/2/09 9:20 PM
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 I hear "eiswein" I think Germany: auslese, beerenauslese, trockenbeerenauselese, eiswein. Ja!

Sundancer7
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Tue, 02/3/09 5:57 PM
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I have always wanted to try a ice wine.  I understand they are produced after a frost or a freeze has encapulated the grape?  I also undertstand that the ice wine is not very common?
 
Perhaps I can try it sometime in the future.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

DLnWPBrown
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Tue, 02/3/09 7:54 PM
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I had heard of ice wines a few years ago and remember reading an article in Gourmet a couple of years ago. Sunday was my first chance to try them. I do know it was a white wine and I really liked it.


Dennis in Cary

WarToad
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Tue, 02/3/09 8:32 PM
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I love a glass of ice wine on a fall evening.  But they are so intense, just one.  Savored, slow, fully swished around and enjoyed.

And yes, Sundancer.  They are the very tail end of harvest, left on the vine to first freeze or slightly beyond.  A very limited crop, reflected in their price.

A favorite from an old stomping ground:

http://www.ste-michelle.com/wines/horse_heaven/ice_wine_chenin_blanc.cfm

Typically in the $45 zone. 

NYNM
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Wed, 02/4/09 7:53 AM
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 I have had icewine - It's good, quite sweet - just a few sips does it. Nice photo on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_wine


WarToad
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Wed, 02/4/09 8:04 AM
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NYNM

...  It's good, quite sweet - just a few sips does it. ...


Exactly.  I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  I enjoy one glass, but one glass is enough.

Scorereader
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Thu, 02/5/09 1:11 PM
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one glass?
I don't think I could drink a wine glass full of ice wine.
I treat ice wine like an apertif and pour into small apertif glasses like these:  
 
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/31176712_3b8ddd8778.jpg?v=0
 
you may have seen similar sets for sale at Linens and Things or Bed Bath and Beyond.
<message edited by Scorereader on Thu, 02/5/09 1:17 PM>

analei
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Thu, 02/5/09 1:39 PM
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Ice wine is classified as a dessert wine. I usually have it an apertif glass. I worked one year for vinter to learn about wine and such.

Its quite nice, but sweet, and thus best savoured in a small amount.  Usually they are white, however, Inniskillen has produced a pinkish red one that retails close to 100 dollars (CDN). I cannot afford it, but did sample some at a wine tasting.


RibDog
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Thu, 02/5/09 2:33 PM
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That is probably the Cab Franc ice wine that you are speaking of from Inniskillin.  It is excellent.  It is one my favorites.

But Inniskillin's other wines are good also.  I just opened a 2002 Vidal and it had aged very nicely.

analei
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Thu, 02/5/09 11:44 PM
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RibDog


That is probably the Cab Franc ice wine that you are speaking of from Inniskillin.  It is excellent.  It is one my favorites.

But Inniskillin's other wines are good also.  I just opened a 2002 Vidal and it had aged very nicely.

 
Yes, that is it!  Vidal is one my favourite whites. When I make shrimp with linguine, its the wine I use. I suppose a dryer one would be better, but we all like it with the Vidal.


WarToad
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Re:Ice wines, my first taste - Fri, 02/6/09 8:29 AM
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By 'one glass" - yes, small apertif glass is more than enough for me.