Stephen Asprinio

Stephen Asprinio answers your questions.

on Dec 3, 2007

I just want to thank the readers of my new wine blog. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and I enjoy reading the questions that have been posted on the various subjects that have been discussed thus far. From time to time, I’d like to answer some of these questions. Last month one of the readers asked for a discussion on ice wine, so here we go.

Jane Claire wrote: I agree with Elisheba. I think you are incredible, Stephen! Anyway, I've just been introduced to ice wine, which is a very sweet wine that has been made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine. It's usually sold in half bottles and is a bit pricey. The wine I tasted was Austrian, and I think it was Hopler. It's also made in Germany and Canada. I am not a fan of sweet wines, but this was indeed quite delicious. Stephen, will you please discuss ice wine (or Eiswein) sometime in the future? That would be so great. *Jane posted on October 13, 2007 at 9:52 PM

Ice wine is defined as sweet wine made from frozen grapes (on the vine, not in a freezer). The water in the grape freezes, though the sugar and other dissolved solids do not. When the grapes are pressed, a highly concentrated liquid with a low water content and high sugar content is produced. This “liquid gold” is then fermented into ice wine. In an unexpected frost during the winter 1794, several German farmers made the first attempt at ice wine, desperately trying to salvage their lost harvest. What resulted was the birth of a whole new method for sweet wine production, and consequently years after, some of the finest ice wines in the world.