What is the deal with Icewine?
If you've ever taken a fresh bunch of grapes from the grocery store or market and frozen them in the freezer to snack on later, then you already have an idea of why Icewine is so beloved. The freezing process makes grapes a wonderfully sweet treat that is unlike any other fruit. Frozen grapes on a snow covered vineyard may sound like horrible news for any winemaker, but that's not necessarily the case! In Canada — and Ontario in particular — the art of Icewine has become part of the wine culture here. In fact, Canadian Icewine is sought after worldwide, thanks in part to our consistently warm summers and cold winters. If you haven't tried it yet, let us talk you into giving this sweet Canadian drink a sip.
The Perfect Environment
Canada is definitely synonymous with a few things: hockey, beer, and cold weather. Lucky for us, there is a positive to the cold weather and that is Icewine! After an accidental discovery in Germany in the late 1700s, Icewine had its own small following in Europe. The tricky thing was Germany did not have reliably cold winter months, so Icewine production was intermittent. Once a sizeable German population immigrated to Canada, Icewine production ramped up in the 1970s. Warm summer months preceding cool winters, makes for the ideal environment where Icewine can thrive.
How To Drink Icewine
We definitely see the value in having Icewine as part of Canada's wine repertoire. It's something that cannot be created in most parts of the world, so that alone is reason enough to praise the Icewine wineries. There are plenty of people who would argue they don't favour sweet wine, which may put them off of giving Icewine a try. However, we think that's a mistake! Icewine can be used many ways that cuts down on the sweetness:
- Wine cocktails. We have a past blog post with some really delicious recipes and there are tons of resources online. This is a great way to take charge of the sweet-level in your drink.
- Sparkling wine. Add a splash of Icewine to a particularly dry sparkling wine and you will have the best of both worlds!
- Alongside sharp cheese. Pairing the sweetness of pure Icewine with sharp, pungent cheese is truly a match made in heaven. Think Gruyere or Roquefort.
No matter how you enjoy it, the key is to give it a try. We think you'll love Canadian Icewine and will even make it part of your special occasion traditions.