Ice Wine Better Than Whine

January 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Food & Recipes, General

I have never been a wine drinker, and often I have a hard time with most alcoholic beverages, because I somewhat allergic to it.  I am also not a big fan of the strong taste of wine or alcohol in general.

I started to investigate the world of wine after reading numerous articles about the health benefits of drinking wine.  Well over half of the wines that I tried, just weren’t my style because of the stronger taste and since I really don’t drink, not much appealed to me.  If it is alcohol, it shouldn’t remotely taste like it for me to actually enjoy drinking it.

I am a white wine girl, and although most of the health benefits of wine come from the “red wines”, I figure I could start here and possibly work my way into the red stuff.  According to this article by the Mayo Clinic:

“Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.”

After my recent check up at the doctor, I found out my good cholesterol was a little low so I went looking for ways in which to help the process along.    This doesn’t mean we all go out and become alcoholics, but an occasional glass of wine is a good thing and may help the old ticker!

Although the wine I have discovered isn’t red, I thought I would mention how delightful this stuff is.  It’s called Ice Wine and it is considered a sweet dessert wine.  It is more like drinking grape juice, it is just that sweet.  After discussing with my neighbor that I liked a sweeter taste to my wine, she suggested a Moscato, which I tried and likes, but Ice Wine is even better.  What makes it so sweet?  According to good ole Wikipedia:

Ice Wine is produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine.

With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines, such as Sauternes,Tokaji, or Trockenbeerenauslese, are made, ice wine grapes should not be affected by Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year, on a northern hemisphere calendar. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. When the grapes are free of Botrytis, they are said to come in “clean”.Due to the labour-intense and risky production process resulting in relatively small amounts of wine, ice wines are generally quite expensive.

Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines. About 75 percent of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario.[1]


My husband was “sweet enough” to get me a bottle for Christmas. The name Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine, from a supposedly good year (2005). We were eager to try our first glass, and I had mine while soaking in the tub. I fell in love at first drink and I could hardly tell I was drinking wine. The nice part is, I still experienced the mellowed out effects of a nice glass of wine without me wincing from the strong taste that, comes from me being unaccustomed to drinking wine.    I think I have found a new favorite!  You can find out more about Inniskillin Ice Wine, I know I would love to be invited for a tour to experience the process first hand!