Ice wine—also known as Eiswein in German—is a sweet wine that originates from Germany and Austria. Ice wine has become more popular in places like China and Canada over the years, and is slowly making its way to the United States. Here’s how to tell the difference between regular wine vs. ice wine in Seymour, WI and what kind of pairings you might enjoy best.
What is ice wine, and how is it made?
Ice wine is made with late harvest grapes which are frozen right on the vine. The frozen grapes are loaded into the press and the juice, which is incredibly sweet, is harvested to make the wine. The fermentation process takes around three to six months, with a residual sweetness that’s about twice as sugary as a can of Coke.
The ice wine process doesn’t yield as much juice as traditional winemaking processes, so it’s significantly more expensive to produce. You should expect to pay about $30 per bottle for a decent ice wine.
Most ice wine is made from Gewürztraminer, Chenic Blanc, Riesling, Merlot and Grüner Veltliner grapes. In order to be a true “ice wine,” the grapes have to be frozen on the vine, naturally—be sure to check the labels before you buy. If you see a label that says “iced wine” or “dessert wine,” the grapes were probably commercially frozen before processing.
How does ice wine taste compared to regular wine?
As noted, ice wine is incredibly sweet, so you probably won’t want to break this out for a spaghetti or steak dinner. It can have some acidity, but that diminishes as it ages. If you like tartness in your wine, be sure to drink it right away.
If dessert wines like port and sweet Riesling aren’t your favorite, it’s probably best to skip the ice wine.
What are good pairings for ice wine?
When drinking sweet wines, either opt for a contrast or go all in and make it part of a dessert course. Ice wines can stand up to salty, bold-flavored cheese like Parmesans, blue cheese and sharp cheddars. They’re also great for contrasting with spicy foods like Mexican or Thai. The sweetness is a refreshing change from the strongly-flavored food.
For dessert, skip the chocolate and pick a fruit-centric option that echoes the flavors in your wine. Honey, kiwi, pineapple, raisin and citrus notes are all prevalent in most ice wines; try them with cobblers, pies, pineapple upside-down cake or berry-laden dishes. If your dessert is less sugary than most, the ice wine can provide a sweet-tart contrast that will bring out the best in both.
Choosing the right wine to pair with your dinner or dessert can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to wine. Ask the friendly staff at the Hotel Seymour Supperclub for help choosing the right ice wine in Seymour, WI to pair with your meal. Check out our menu, then get in touch with us today to make your reservation or place your takeout order.