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How to Drink Ice Wine for Savoring Liquid Gold

Ice wine, often referred to as "liquid gold," is a sweet and luxurious treat that has captivated wine enthusiasts around the world. Made from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine, this dessert wine is renowned for its intense sweetness and complex flavors. However, enjoying ice wine isn't as simple as uncorking a bottle and pouring a glass. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the art of how to drink ice wine, from understanding its production to serving it perfectly, and even pairing it with delectable dishes.

How To Drink Ice Wine

How to Produce Ice Wine?

Before delving into the finer details of savoring ice wine, it's essential to appreciate how this liquid nectar is crafted. Ice wine production is a meticulous process that relies on the perfect blend of nature's elements and human expertise.

Ice wine grapes are left on the vine until the freezing temperatures transform them into natural jewels of sweetness. This process, known as "cryoextraction," concentrates the sugars and flavors in the grapes. However, it's crucial to strike a delicate balance, harvesting the grapes precisely when they are cold enough to crystallize the water content naturally.

Unfortunately, ice wine production isn't guaranteed every year, as it heavily depends on the weather conditions. Global warming has added unpredictability to the mix, making ice wine a rare and precious gem. In regions like Canada, where strict regulations govern the production of genuine ice wine, wineries often succeed in crafting this delicacy nearly every year, celebrating it through events like the Niagara Icewine Festival.

How to Serve Ice Wine?

The process of enjoying ice wine starts with its impeccable service. To truly appreciate its nuanced flavors and aromas, follow these steps:

  1. Chill to Perfection: Begin by chilling your bottle of ice wine to the ideal temperature of 50 to 54°F (10 to 12°C). This cool but not overly cold temperature allows the wine's intricate characteristics to shine.
  2. Select the Right Glassware: Traditionalists often choose white wine glasses, ideally with smaller bowls resembling champagne flutes. These glasses allow you to savor the captivating aromas of ice wine fully. However, if white wine glasses are unavailable, red wine glasses, champagne flutes, or small cordial glasses will suffice.
  3. Moderate Portions: Ice wine is profoundly sweet, so a little goes a long way. Pour approximately 1.5 to 2 ounces (50 to 60 mL) per person, filling the glass to about a quarter full. Remember to keep the bottle in the fridge to maintain its chill for subsequent servings.
  4. Preserve Freshness: Once opened, an ice wine bottle should be consumed within two weeks. Seal it with a cork and store it in the refrigerator. The high sugar content of ice wine helps it stay fresh as long as it's sealed and refrigerated.

Enjoy Ice Wine

How to Drink Ice Wine?

Drinking ice wine is a delightful sensory experience that can be taken differently. Here we have some great ways to drink it directly or enjoy it with additional food.

Different Ways of Drinking Ice Wine

Try these ways below to enjoy a beautiful cup of ice wine on different occasions:

  • Savor the liquid treasure slowly: Swirl the wine gently in the glass and let it aerate slightly for a full range of flavors. Take small sips and allow each one to coat your palate. Pay attention to the wine's sweetness, acidity, and the nuances of fruit, honey, and floral notes that dance on your taste buds.
  • Ice Wine Slushies: Blend 6 ounces (200 mL) of ice wine with 8-10 ice cubes until you achieve a slushie-like consistency. Serve this refreshing concoction in a chilled glass, making it an excellent choice for hot summer days.
  • Craft Ice Wine Cocktails: Get creative with ice wine by mixing it into cocktails. A classic Canadian Manhattan blends 1 ½ ounces (50 mL) of ice wine with 1 ½ ounces (50 mL) of bourbon, ½ ounce (15 mL) of maple syrup, and a maraschino cherry. It's a sophisticated treat for any party.
  • Ice Wine Sparklers: Combine 1 ½ ounces (50 mL) of sparkling ice wine with 1 ½ ounces (50 mL) of vodka and 1 ½ ounces (50 mL) of lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake with crushed ice and serve in a martini glass garnished with a lime slice. You'll love it after a big meal.

Ice Wine Cocktails

Pairing Ice Wine with Different Food

Ice wine's versatile sweetness makes it an excellent companion for various culinary delights:

  • Strongly Flavored Foods: Ice wine beautifully complements strongly flavored dishes like aged blue cheese, wasabi peas, black olive tapenade, or foie gras. The sweet and acidic profile of ice wine balances these intense flavors.
  • Rich Seafood: Seafood lovers can pair ice wine with rich dishes like crab cakes, lobster, or scallops sautéed in butter. The wine's sweetness harmonizes with the seafood's natural richness, creating a delightful contrast.
  • Spicy Cuisine: Ice wine offers a cool and sweet contrast to spicy foods, making it an ideal match for dishes like curries, cajun cuisine, and spicy Asian fare. The wine's fruity notes help temper the heat.
  • Sweet Desserts: Ice wine finds a natural home alongside sweet desserts, especially those with chocolate. Try it with rich milk or white chocolate desserts to create a harmonious symphony of sweetness.


Now you know how to drink ice wine. Drinking ice wine is an art that marries nature's wonders with human craftsmanship. From understanding its production to serving it at the perfect temperature and exploring various ways to enjoy it, ice wine offers an exquisite journey for the senses. Whether you sip it slowly, blend it into cocktails, or pair it with diverse cuisines, ice wine remains a liquid gem that promises moments of unparalleled pleasure. So, raise your glass to this remarkable elixir and savor the magic it brings to your palate.

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