January 8, 2016
Icewine is Canada’s gift to the world of wine. This sweet and delicious wine is created when grapes freeze on the vine and then are pressed. It takes a hearty grape to withstand our cold Canadian winters (and patient winemakers to see through the weather), but sipping and sharing it is worth all the effort. Each grape only gives us one drop of precious juice and Canada is the only place on earth than can make Icewine every year. Discovered in Germany (another cool climate region) this ‘liquid gold’ is higher priced than other table wines, but is a true delicacy and can be made from various different types of grapes. In fact, you can make Icewine from Vidal, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz. You may also want to try sparkling Icewine too – it’s just divine. One of the best things about Icewine (and there are lots of reasons to love it beside the great taste) is that it can be used in so many ways:
- Drink it on its own - Savour it from a custom designed Riedel Icewine glass or your favourite shot glass (even a small tumbler will work). Sip it slowly like a scotch or bourbon drinker would.
- Serve it with dessert – The rule of thumb is that your Icewine should always be sweeter than your dessert. If you love crème brulee, sip Vidal Icewine. If you prefer something light, an angel food cake with strawberries pairs perfectly with Cabernet icewine.
- Serve it with cheese - Next time you’re craving cheese and wine, open a bottle of Icewine. It pairs great with all types of cheeses and is perfect for entertaining.
- Keep it refrigerated – Keep Icewine with your regular wine bottles in your cellar or wine fridge (lower than room temperature, not in the freezer). Once opened, keep Icewine in the fridge to preserve its long life – it can last upwards of a month or more when airtight sealed.
- Save it for a rainy day - Icewine can keep in your cellar for decades. The older the Icewine, the more precious and special the bottle.
- Use it in the kitchen – Open up a bottle and keep it in the fridge with an airtight seal to use in your cooking (it can last a couple months). Add it to your favourite desserts, brunch menu, as part of a reduction, in sauces and even salad dressings. We're particularly fond of this Icewine Creme Brûlée recipe from Anna Olson - especially because you don't have to bake it!
- Use it in a cocktail - Make your guests an Icewine Martini. An Icewine Martini is made with vodka and Icewine, in any combination you wish. Add a frozen grape as the perfect garnish. Or get creative and add it to a glass of bubbly or your favourite cocktail!