By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
Ice wine (known as ‘Eiswein’ in Germany and ‘Icewine’ in Canada) has found its way on the wine menus in India. Traditionally from the vineyards of Germany and Austria, it’s the Canadian regions of British Columbia and Ontario which have emerged as the leading producers of this rare wine. A few facts about this delicious ‘liquid gold’:
Process: Grapes are allowed to naturally freeze on the vine and hand-plucked on cold winter nights when the temperature hits minus 8 -10degress Centigrade. As the grapes stay much longer on the vines, they are highly concentrated in both sugar and flavor. Since the frozen grapes produce very small quantities of juice, ice wines are extremely expensive.
Ice wine facts: This medium to full-bodied wine has a lingering honey finish. The common flavors are ‘fruity’ and it’s easy to spot traces of pears, peaches, plums and apricots. As acidic varieties of grapes (e.g. Vidal and Riesling) are used, this wine is high in acidity which superbly balances its excessive sweetness and makes it refreshing instead of sticky like sugar syrup.
How to serve? Serve chilled, ideally at 8-11°Centigrade.
Glass makes a difference: Ice wine is best enjoyed in a chilled tulip-shaped ice wine glass, which can show its amber/gold color in the bowl of the glass. Fill the glass half, ensuring the wine is exposed to the air and the aroma is released.
When to drink ice wine? Ice wines make an excellent dessert wine owing to their balance of sweet, sour and acid and it has lower alcohol levels (6-12%) compared with post-prandial liqueurs. Serve it with a fruit platter, light desserts (e.g. mousse / dark chocolate) or pour directly on ice-cream. Owing to its refreshing flavor, it makes an excellent accompaniment to appetizers like blue cheese or assorted cheese platter with nuts/ crackers. Its distinct aromatic flavor makes it an ideal base for cocktails.