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

Johnson Estate 2019 Estate Grown Ice Wine Chambourcin
94 points
Garnet black color. Aromas of boysenberry, damson plum, birch, lilac, and rhubarb preserves with a round, lively, sweet medium-to-full body and a silky, complex, very long blackberry coulis, hints of ripe mango, candied ginger, and glazed pastry finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. An outstanding expression of Chambourcin; this is a great Ice Wine to let the grape’s best characteristics shine.
Awards: 2021 Best Ice Wine
Weis Vineyards 2019 Ice Wine Riesling
92 points
Golden straw color. Aromas of dried apricots and pineapple in yogurt and honey-nut granola with a velvety, vibrant, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a seamless, compelling, medium-long ripe peach, honeysuckle, and apple custard finish with no oak flavor. A juicy and balanced Ice Wine that keeps you coming back for more.
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
Tomasello 2020 Epilogue Ice Wine Riesling
89 points
Brilliant gold color. Aromas and flavors of honeyed sultanas, glazed dried apricots, tea with lemon, and honeysuckle with a velvety, bright, sweet medium-full body and a warming, intricate, long finish that exhibits nuances of peach-fig marmalade and apple cider with no oak flavor. A velvety and delicious ice wine that will rule with desserts and cheeses.
Jessie Creek 2020 Ice Queen New Jersey
87 points
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of pickled peach, dill, and toffee with a round, crisp, very sweet medium-to-full body and a sleek, brisk finish with elements of sweet peach pie, ripe melons, honey, and chamomile. An herbaceous Ice Wine with a lovely, rounded texture.
Weis Vineyards 2017 Winzer Select Finger Lakes
87 points
Yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of cider apples, whipped honey, pressed flowers, and golden raisins with a syrupy, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy finish with no oak flavor. A sweet, fruity Ice Wine that delivers rich notes of apples and honey.
Frost Bitten 2020 Ice Riesling Horse Heaven Hills
84 points
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of butted potato bread toast with berry jam and nougat with a silky, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a brisk finish imparting notes of grape skins and grilled cling peaches. A sturdy sweet wine for cheeses and nuts.