About Ice Wine

About Ice Wine
Ice Wine is a dessert wine that is made from frozen grapes that are harvested very late, anywhere from December to early March. At peak, these frozen grapes have at harvest, a water content in which 80% remains as frozen crystals. Fermentation takes months to complete.

Ice wine is made from white and red grapes, primarily Riesling as well as Vidal, while Cabernet Franc is the leading red variety. Most examples of ice wine are still, but there are also sparkling versions produced.

Canada is a major producer of Ice Wine, most notably in the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Residual sugar is quite high (about 150 grams per liter, similar to Sauternes from France), but since the acidity is usually high, ice wines do not taste overly sweet.

Ideal consumption time is from eight to ten years; these are best enjoyed on their own or with blue cheeses.

Top Picks for Ice Wine

Parallel 44 2016 Estate Ice Wine Wisconsin Ledge
95 points
$55
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of golden raisins, dried apricots, butter roasted nuts, and kidd leather with a tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an interesting, long finish conveying notes of caramelized green apples and citrus and honeyed spiced peaches. A great American ice wine that drinks like a fine Austrian or German riesling eiswein.
Johnson Estate 2017 Ice Wine Chambourcin
91 points
$35.99
Brick red color. Fruity aromas of spiced orange peels, fruit punch, bergamot, sugared strawberries, honey, and rainbow sherbet with a syrupy, lively, very sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, nuanced, medium-long pear cordial, bananas in whipped honey spread, and tart apple candy finish with silky tannins. A very pleasant ice wine with vibrant acidity and honeyed charm.
91 points $35.99
Frost Bitten 2016 Ice Wine Riesling
89 points
$14
Best Buy
Bright golden yellow color. Inviting aromas of sweet peach pie, honeysuckle, lychee, and gingerbread with a glycerous, bright, very sweet medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length honey nougat, pears in syrup, white pepper, and cantaloupe finish. A fragrant and likable ice wine with great spice nuances sitting just below honeyed fruit.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Tomasello 2015 Ice Wine Vidal Blanc
88 points
$28
Bright gold color. Aromas of golden raisins, sunflower, cheddar scone, and pineapple upside down cake with a round, crisp, very sweet medium body and a peppery, amusing, medium-length caramel, lychee, dried apricot, and peppercorns finish. A zesty ice wine, perfect for pairing with fruit desserts.
Bordeleau 2014 Ice Vidal Blanc Maryland
83 points
$20
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of honey-nut cereal, dried apricot, almond milk, and apple compote with a satiny, bright, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy finish that exhibits overtones of granola. An interesting, grainy take on ice wine.
Trout Springs Winery 2017 Below Zero Estate Bottled Red Ice Wine
81 points
$100
Black garnet color. Aromas of chocolate syrup, macerated boysenberry, fig roll, peach liqueur, and baking spices with a satiny, puckering, sweet-and-sour medium body and a swift sour raspberry candy finish. An ice with with racy acidity; best as a unique cocktail ingredient to add distinctive flavor and structure.