When the grapes he expected to buy froze on the vine in 1973, he recalled the German tradition of eiswein
, and a practice was born.
Ice wine, or Eiswein
as it is called in its spiritual home of Germany, is tricky to produce to say the least and has to be picked at a moment's notice.
Wines that are "fortified" with distilled spirit, like Port and Sherry, can be simultaneously high in sugar and alcohol, for example, while "dessert wines" made from dried or late-harvested grapes, like Passito and Eiswein
, can feel rich and viscous in the mouth even when they are quite low in alcoholic strength.
It's called eiswein
in Austria and Germany, where it began; icewine, one word, in Canada, where it's become something of a signature wine; and ice wine, two words, in the United States, where vintners in New York state and few other regions are experimenting with the hard-to-make, easy-to-drink product.
Muskateller, Durkheimer Hochbenn Eiswein
Weingut Kurt Darting Pfalz, Germany 1996
Be-fore dinner, there was some wine-tasting to be done in a cellar with accompanying mood music and light show as we sipped fruity rieslings and sweet eiswein
Before dinner, there was some wine tasting to be done in a cellar, with accompanying mood music and light show as we sipped some fruity Rieslings and sweet Eiswein
He also praised Post's Eiswein
- that's "ice wine" in English - made from grapes that have been allowed to stay on the vine even until frost, concentrating the sugars and flavors.
Locally, Carruthers & Kent stock a super ice wine: Weingut Trk, Grner Veltliner, Eiswein
2009 (pounds 27.50 a half bottle) from Upper Austria, but the best selection of Ausbruch and other stunning sweet wines from Rust in the UK is almost certainly from specialist merchants Nick Dobson Wines, who also have a vast selection of wines in other styles from the surrounding region of Burgenland: www.nickdobsonwines.co.uk WINE OF THE WEEK Barbaresco DOCG, 2008 Sainsbury's, Taste the Difference pounds 7.49 Sainsbury's (offer) Wonderfully complex, fragrant red wine from northern Italy, full bodied, despite its light, almost garnet hue.
Wines that are made from frozen grapes are called Eiswein
(ICE-vyn), or ice wine.
They are labelled in order of sweetness from kabinett, sptlese, auslese, beerenauslese, eiswein
They also make Eiswein
from grapes that freeze on the vines and are pressed when solid.