Icewine Tips and Tricks

By / Wine + Drinks / January 6th, 2012 / Like

Alright, so I did write only yesterday that this would be an entire month of icewine recipes. It will be. I promise. But, I thought I’d pass on a few tips and tricks related to that sticky so that you know how to best enjoy it. The outlined points below are recommendations offered by the wineries, themselves. These guys know of what they speak. Winemakers (and everyone else enlisted to trek out to the vineyard and pick the grapes when temperatures are hovering around -8°C and -10°C) really want to make sure that you’re enjoying the fruit of their labour in the best way possible.

Extracting the juice from those frozen grapes is a lot more complicated and fraught with more potential disaster-inducing problems than when making regular wine. Because natural sugars are so high, the fermentation process is carefully monitored. Sometimes, simply filtering the wine is a problem. Icewine is so viscous that simply it gels before it can drip through the filters. Then there are the bottles. Ask any winemaker if the pretty little bottles that icewine is poured into causes them night sweats, and the answer will be a resounding ‘yes’. Picture a row of those little bottles on a conveyor belt; one falls over and all the others follow suit, and hopefully the icewine dispenser will stop before too much of that liquid gold is spilled!

– Serve chilled at 8°C to 10°C in small white wine glasses, 1 to 2 oz per person.
– Make a Hillebrand Royale by adding 1 oz of Icewine to 4 oz of Trius Brut sparkling wine.
– Sip icewine during a meal with chicken liver pâté, black olive tapenade, spicy crab cakes, or spicy Asian vegetable rolls.
– Sip with the cheese course.
– Enjoy with fruit based desserts of strawberry, blueberry, rhubarb, raspberry, blackberry and Saskatoon berry.
– Drink with strawberry rhubarb pie, strawberry tarts, berry crumble, and blueberry turnovers.
– Icewine is particularly good with dark chocolate desserts.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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