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What in the World is Icewine?

grapesAlthough we always have champagne for New Year’s, we always have a bottle of icewine too with dessert.

In fact, we take every available opportunity to drink icewine, especially in the Niagara Region, that there is.

My birthday is in July, and guess what my drink of choice is…Icewine!

To tell you the truth, I have never met one that I didn’t love.

What is Icewine?
Icewine is when the vintner keeps the grapes on the vines until the weather dips below between -5°C – -20°C for at least 4-8 hrs. Now, that’s cold, and it has to be a “hard freeze”! This will often be in the middle of the night, when it dips down to be the coldest in temperature.

They do this to ensure maximum sweetness and in fact, they press those grapes when they’re still frozen. It’s a tough, labor-intensive, freezing-cold job that has to be done quickly. It’s a cold pressing, where the water in the grapes is frozen into crystals.

The Result?
Since the water is frozen, what comes out of the grape is the wonderful natural sugars and grape acids. You then get a very sweet dessert wine, rich in flavor and body…And boy-oh-boy, does it have legs!

There will be much less volume that they will produce with this type of pressing and therefore, due to the intensive labor, reduced output and all the trouble to keep them on the vine and employ people into the winter, the wine is much more expensive and the bottles are a great deal smaller.

They are drops of gold, in my opinion!

Often, at least anywhere else in the world other than the Niagara Region, they usually make icewine with a Riesling variety. However, here, they make beautiful Vidal, Muscato, even a new trend of Cabernet Franc icewine – which is especially beautiful, as it is a blush color. Delicious!

I’ve even had the opportunity to drink some of our area’s raspberry icewine! Oooh, now that’s a great flavor! Same principle.

If ever you get the chance to enjoy them, which is usually during dessert because it can go well with other sweets you’re eating, please take the opportunity! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!


I hope you enjoyed this Wine post on Cooking With Kimberly! Until next time…

Eat Deliciously,

Kimberly Edwards 🙂

P.S. Confused about what wine to buy for dinner or to bring someone as a gift? Tired of paying good money for wine and hating how it tastes when you get home?

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[tags]icewine, Niagara wine, wine, Vidal icewine, Lakeview Cellars, wines, Canadian wines[/tags]

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Author: Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is the web-chef behind CookingWithKimberly.com. Food writer, food consultant and general lover of the delicious treats on our planet, Kimberly brings you hearty content, delicious offerings, fun antics, and some down-home cooked love with her mom making cameos. Internet entrepreneur and marketer, International model, and Editor-in-Chief of a number of online publications. Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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  1. Hi Kimberly!

    I know that they’re awesome these type of wines, impossible to resist and to make in temperate climates..;)
    A real wine-gem!!


    Post a Reply


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