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Ice wine (Eiswein in Germany and icewine in Canada) is a rich, flavorful and rare dessert wine. To make ice wine, the winemaker leaves the grapes on the vine, long after traditional harvest season has ended, hoping neither rain nor hungry wildlife gets the grapes first. As soon as the temperature drops sufficiently and the grapes freeze, the grapes must be picked before dawn, and pressed before they thaw. Because much of the water in the grapes is frozen, the pressed juice is concentrated, rich in flavor and high in sugar and acidity.

Ice wines are extraordinarily sweet, yet balanced by bright acidity. Ice wines tend to be spicier and fuller-bodied than traditional late-harvest wines. Germany, Canada and New York – having early and cold winters in common – produce the best ice wines in the world. These sweet nectars are excellent alongside nut and fruit desserts, but they’re impressive enough on their own to be dessert.

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