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Mar 17, 2007 02:29 PM

Ice wines?

Can you suggest a decent priced ice wine? and a wine store in and around NYC that has a nice selection? Thanks Cheers!

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  1. There's very little in the way of cheap eiswein these days - but if you're into sweet, fruity, full-bodied dessert wines, try a Hungarian Tokaji - a 4-6 puttonyos aszu will be as sweet and tasty as most riesling eisweins. They are not frozen, but are botrytised, like sauternes. Eisweins typically become botrytised after freezing, which gives them the high sugar content. There are also drier Tokaji region wines - some are like drinking a decent Riesling Trokenberenauslese. The Hungarians are cheaper than German wines, in general. I don't know much about American/Canadian eisweins, but the ones I've seen are also more expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: applehome

      Actually, the cold, that causes the grapes to freeze on the vine, does not usually allow for the formation of Botrytis Cinerea. Instead, the result is simple physics - sublimation. The water in the grapes freezes (solid) and then evaporates, without ever going back to a liquid state. Yes, there are similarities in the resulting wines, but there is almost never "Nobel Rot" in an Eisewein/Icewine.

      In GR, the grapes affected with Botrytis Cinerea are hand-picked and pressed into Trokenbeerenauslese (dry selected berries), while grapes affected by a frost, adequate to dessicate the grape, is hand-picked and pressed into Eisewein. There are some similarities, but I find more differences between the two.


    2. Suggest you go for a Canadian ice wine. Inniskillin is a good choice, but expensive. Jackson-Triggs is usually less expensive. Any decent wine store in the city should carry both.

      1. I agree with the Canadian suggestion. Inniskillin has a great Ice Riesling that I can personally vouch for. Delicious!

        1. The very method of producing a true eiswein means that they will be expensive. That said, true Canadian ice wines will be less costly than a German eiswein of equivalent quality. I concur that Inniskillin and/or Jackson-Triggs is a good way to go.

          For a lower end option, you can always opt for the "fake" ice wine -- Bonny Doon makes a Muscat Vin de Glacière, made from grapes that were frozen AFTER harvest.

          1. Dexheimer Doktor Silvaner Eiswein
            Duerkheimer Fronhof - Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese
            I haven't tried but, maybe these will suit you
            Out here in S. California (!) Yep, there are harvesters who capped on our heavy frost that settled back in January/February. Probably the only growers that did, as the frost killed much of the citrus and avocado orchards. Call around and do some investigating because I know it was on the news about the "new ice wine" craze/excitment. Try these places too:
            Laguna Canyon Wines Santa Barbara// - 001 Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest Ice Wine
            Good Luck :)KQ

            3 Replies
            1. re: Kitchen Queen

              Dang, even though we were out there, just as the freezes abated, I had forgotten about this event, and had not thought of the possible implications. The thought of maybe having a real Californian Icewine intrigues me. I have a "thing" for Icewine/Eisewein, and will have to look for/inquire of my normal suspects, if they did one. Thanks for the memory jog.

              As has been mentioned already, Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon), has done a lot of different "cryo-icewines." At one time, his portfolio of such wines was extensive, and the wines were good, though lacking in authenticity. Lately, I have only seen a few varietals from Bonny Doon.


              1. re: Kitchen Queen

                The Laguna Canyon Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc appears to be an ice wine only in that the juice was 'frozen for three years' to carmelize the flavors (I alwaysthoughtthat freezing suspended changes in things), and some of the fruit was botrytised. Not an authentic method I don't think......but if it tastes good.....

                1. re: Midlife

                  Midlife -

                  You may be right. When reported on our local news about "icewines", technically, to be a true ice wine, my understanding is that the grapes must be frozen (by weather) kept frozen and squeezed while frozen, then processed to assure the transfer of the sugars. I'm sure there's plenty of pseudos comin' round as a result of the latest freeze and trying to pass themselves as authentic...So. Cal stigma sorry to say, (trying to pass as authentic) guess the vintners have picked up on the idea too.....(ha ha) :)KQ