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Ice wine (or icewine, as one word, or in German, Eiswein) is a type of dessert wine 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.

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Wines, Gourmand, Dessert Wines


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review by . January 30, 2009
I really don't like the fermented taste of wine, but I keep trying different kinds anyway. Every once in a while, I come across one I enjoy.     And then there's ice wine. I not only enjoy ice wine, I CRAVE it. Probably because it's really really sweet and kind of feels like I'm biting into a grape without tasting like Welch's. Ok, granted, I've only had one kind from Canada, but I can imagine that most of them are just as good.    The reason why they call …
Grapes frozen on the Vine
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