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

Ferrante 2016 Ice Wine Vidal Blanc
94 points
Gold color. Aromas of lychee, ripe cantaloupe, golden raspberry, fresh grated ginger, peach candies, and honeycomb with a thick, vibrant, very sweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long roasted nuts and sesame seed candy finish. Bright aromas of exotic fruit beacon to a glass of this fantastic ice wine from Ohio.
94 points $29.99
Frost Bitten 2019 Ice Riesling Riesling
91 points
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of poached pear, wildflower honey, elderflower, dried apricot, diced pineapple, and sultanas with a round, lively, sweet medium body and a polished, subtle, long finish. Intense, sophisticated fruit leaps to the nose and palate in this concentrated Ice Wine pleaser.
91 points $14 Best Buy
Johnson Estate 2017 Ice Wine Chambourcin
91 points
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 2018 Ice Wine Riesling
90 points
Brilliant old gold color. Aromas and flavors of dried apricot, candied pineapple, baked pear, beeswax, allspice, and magnolia with a round, lively, very sweet medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length finish that exhibits notes of lychees and peaches in syrup with no oak flavor. A juicy, singing ice wine that will have you coming back for more.
Frost Bitten 2016 Ice Wine Riesling
89 points
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
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.
Point of the Bluff Vineyards 2017  Riesling
86 points
Old gold color. Aromas of dried pineapple, mango candies, and slate with a satiny, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, rapid honeyed pear, turkish delight, and rose petals finish with no oak flavor. A pleasing ice wine with luscious fruit.
Bordeleau 2014 Ice Vidal Blanc Maryland
83 points
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
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.