I'm so excited to be hosting Wine Blogging Wednesday #27, but before we move on to November's theme I want to remind people that Beau Jarvis at Basic Juice will be posting the results to his WBW #26 Contest very soon now. It's not too late to head on over and take a guess at at the mystery wines. You have until Saturday, October 21.
Photo taken by Dominic Rivard. Licensed under Creative Commons
Attribution ShareAlike License v. 2.
It's a good time to be hosting Wine Blogging Wednesday #27, just in time to find something special to share with family and friends for the winter holidays. For those who are new, Lenn at Lenndevours proposed a monthly wine blogging event back in July 2004 and it's been running ever since. I put in my request to Lenn back in April 2005, and I must admit there were a few moments — with job changes, classes, and other twists and turns in life — when I wondered if I would still be blogging when my time came around, but I've survived! I think this calls for a celebration.
I have a very, big soft spot for icewines, and I invite you all to join me in tasting this "sweet seduction in a bottle."
We first came across icewines when visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. I was amazed and delighted to discover this unique style of wine thriving so close to home. Icewine (Eiswein in German, but it means the same thing and is basically pronounced the same) is a late-harvest wine made by picking frozen grapes and pressing them before they thaw. To prevent premature thawing, the vineyards must pick the grapes at night or at latest in the earliest dawn hours (before the sun can have a chance at warming them), and all the grapes must be pressed within a few hours of being picked.
With so much water locked up in the ice, the resulting juice makes for a concentrated rich wine that is very high in sugar but also balanced with high acidity. It's most commonly made from Vidal and Riesling grapes and a few other white grapes, but you can also find red icewines made from Cabernet Franc grapes.
The main icewine/eiswein producing areas are Canada, Germany, Austria (and neighboring countries), with wineries in other cold-weather areas like the Northern U.S. and New Zealand experimenting with icewines, too. Genuine icewines must be made from grapes that froze on the vine and were pressed before they could thaw. There is another dessert wine made by artificially freezing already picked grapes and pressing them. In Canada or Germany, artifically frozen grapes aren't true ice wines and cannot put "icewine" or "eiswein" on the label. In the U.S. you'll see such wines called "vin de glaciere" or "icebox wine".
I'm not going to be too much of a stickler for WBW #27. Ice wines are uncommon enough that I don't want to make it harder, so if what you find is "icebox" wine, go ahead and join in anyway! Dessert wines not made with frozen grapes, however, would not fit the theme.
How to participate:
- Between now and November 8, 2006, enjoy a bottle of ice wine (preferably with friends!), with or without dessert.
- On November 8th, post a review of your chosen ice wine on your blog. (Advice: icewine can change quite a bit when given a bit of time to open up. So taste it right after pouring, then wait 10 minutes or so and taste again.)
- Email email@example.com on Wednesday, November 8th 2006 with the URL to your Wine Blogging Wednesday #27 post, and I will include you in the WBW #27 Round Up.
- Optional: include your location (as general or specific as you like).
And I will do my best to have the Round Up as quickly as possible to do some holiday wine shopping.