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 Chambourcin
94 points
$49
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.
Ferrante 2016 Ice Wine Vidal Blanc
94 points
$29.99
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
Weis Vineyards 2019 Ice Wine Riesling
92 points
$59
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
$14
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
Frost Bitten 2018 Ice Wine Riesling
90 points
$14
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.
Weis Vineyards 2017 Winzer Select Finger Lakes
87 points
$89
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.
Point of the Bluff Vineyards 2017  Riesling
86 points
$80
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.
Frost Bitten 2020 Ice Riesling Horse Heaven Hills
84 points
$14
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.