Have You Ever Heard Of Ice Wine, The Rarest of Rare Wines?
One of the rarest wines in the world is called ice wine. You will not find it in your local spirits shop and you probably have never heard of it. True wine aficionados refer to the rare spirit as the ultimate dream for vino collectors but few will ever experience it for themselves.
Ice wine is a sweet dessert wine with a medium to full body. Those who have been fortunate enough to taste it say that it has tropical overtones and bouquet. It also tends to have a slightly lower alcohol content than other table variety. The sweetness of the ice wine is balanced by higher acidic levels which keep it from being cloyingly sweet.
Ice wine can only be produced in specific weather conditions found in few places in the world. It is produced mainly in the Canadian Pacific Northwest and a few wineries in Germany. Because the process is so sensitive and difficult, it is only made in small quantities.
High quality fully ripened grapes must be hard frozen while still on the vine and stay that way for a few days. Temperature must stay at approximately 17-18 degrees Fahrenheit during that time. This does not occur until well after the traditional harvest time so the right weather must occur before the grapes begin to rot.
The frozen grapes are then picked by hand at night as the grapes must be pressed while still frozen in order to produce ice wine. Only the running juices of these frozen grapes will be used to make the fine spirit. These juices have a high concentration of the naturally occurring sugars which is why it creates such a sweet wine. This juice can then take months to fully ferment, as opposed to the days or weeks required by most table spirits.
As you can tell by the sensitive and detailed process, ice wine is produced in limited quantities. Some years, wineries will not be able to even attempt the ice wine if the weather conditions aren’t right. This scarcity is what creates the rarity of ice wines. Due to the rarity, the cost of ice wine is prohibitive to most vino lovers. A wine collector will find themselves paying an easy six figures to purchase one small bottle of ice wine.
Obviously, although many may dream of experiencing this fine spirit, the majority of us will never be able to afford it. Even if you are wealthy, ice wine can still be difficult to find. Even though the price will still be high, you may be able to find a vineyard with some on hand by checking with wineries in the Pacific Northwest. Those who have tasted ice wine tell us that it is worth the effort.
Gregg Hall is an author living with his beautiful wife and family in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about wine as well as wine gifts at http://www.winegiftbasketsplus.com