Ice Wine

We have just returned from a holiday in Canada and as a result we discovered ice wine. We have just placed an order with WS for half-bottle Vidal Ice Wine Signature Series, Peller Estates 2018.

I understand ice wine goes well with some deserts and cheese. I would be interested in any recommendations for accompanying food. It would make an interesting addition to a dinner with friends.


1 Like

Best to have it as a separate course before dessert, but I think that about all dessert wines.

You could serve it with fruit based desserts such as apple Strudel or a lemon tart/pie but would also
Go really well with strong cheeses such as Cashel blue or an aged cheddar. Enjoy :wink:

I know blue cheese is given as a match, but I find it kills any sweet wine. Try with caution.

There are varying levels of strong flavours on blue cheese which is why I specifically mentioned Cashel Blue. It’s not a particular strong blue cheese but is creamy with a little spice but also aged cheddar or aged Comte would work .


An interesting question, and a bit of a challenge because Icewine is quite different to (for instance) Sauternes or other Euro-centric desert wines.

Fiona Beckett is a good starting point for food-and-wine matches. This cheescake looks decent :slight_smile: But then, cheesecake is always decent ! although the recipe is more of a cheesecake CREAM so more interesting. I might have a go myself.

OR maybe a Nectarine based desert? they should be in season & are great baked with herbs and nuts + honey.

Google around and you will find the recipe online (its also here FETA & HONEY CHEESECAKE – Honey & Spice)


I too am an appreciator of ice wine - not least because of how work-intensive it is to make the stuff. Happy memories of one of the most bonkers cellar door wine tasting (the Ice wine samples flowed like…well, water really !) was at Inniskillin on Niagara by the Lake, where they make Icewine from Cab Franc and Riesling as well as Vidal.

IMO Vidal Icewine is one of the few examples were hybrids work - Sparking brut Seyval being another.

Icewine is delicate, lowish alcohol, quite floral and medium-sweet so I don’t think it would compete well with an overtly unctuous sweet dessert, but the suggestions above I by and large agree with especially the mild blue cheeses - works well with chèvre as well.

Little-known fact… Ice Wine is made in England. Tony Skuriat makes one from Madeleine Angevine in Loughborough - and, it’s quite nice

Like some other countries (USA for example), we are permitted to “cheat” in the UK, by freezing fresh ripe grapes, unlike in Canada where they have to wait for 3 nights of hard frost and pick from the vine whilst frozen

1 Like

Palates vary, as well. I find the contrast between blue and sweet unpleasant, but I know that others like it. That is why I would advise caution to anyone trying it the first time. Combining sweet wine with a sweet or semi-sweet dessert (the fruit suggestions) wouldn’t work for me, either.
Yes, to Comte.

1 Like

Oh, Mrs Page, I didn’t expect that from you! :open_mouth:


If the grapes are frozen in freezer then it’s not icewine. I don’t think there’s any regulations to prevent anyone making freezer wine, just that it cannot be labelled as icewine. Tho’ some makers of freezer wine in the US skate (geddit?) very close

On given link, I can’t see any claim to icewine, just North Star dessert.

Lidl often have Canadian icewine from Pillitteri Estate at Xmas time at cheap (for icewine) prices, an discount to ridiculous level those unsold after holiday

AFAIK there are only three countries regularly making icewine: Germany, Austria & Canada.

I have icewine with whatever dessert we’re serving wine-loving guests.

1 Like

Point taken, but anecdotally, Tony freely refers to it as “Icewine” in conversation. And I have seen bottles of freezer wine in the States labelled as “Icewine” - New York and New England wineries… but we know they label sparkling brut as “Champagne” and get away with it !

I have a bottle of sauvignon blanc icewine from Romania somewhere in my stacks but cannot immediately locate it. Maybe I’ve already consumed it…

At Christmas I was gifted a bottle of English Iced Cider - not the alcopop - made by freeze concentrating apple juice before fermenting up to 15% ish. Not unpleasant, but…

The US have only recently banned the use of icewine from any not made from grapes frozen on the vine.

People selling wines might - do - con consumers that something is other than what it is - but it’s funny that they always overstate - e.g. any wine with bubbles is ‘champagne’, never ‘babycham’.

I don’t know ‘Tony’ as you seem to, but I’m surprised an expert like you doesn’t at least snort loudly when he pretends he’s making icewine, or ask him why it doesn’t state icewine on the label.

For the record, freezer wine can make a very pleasant dessert wine, and I have - knowingly - bought them in the past. Real icewine is - of necessity - rare and expensive, and those claiming their freezer wine is the real thing are one step away from charging for it as if it was.

They have to state where it comes from - e.g. ‘California Champagne’, they cannot use the word Champagne on its own, and only those that were using the ‘C’ word before the regulations came about.

It’s the best the EU could negotiate with the US.

Any decent maker of methode champenoise - with the exception of Korbel - doesn’t use the ‘C’ word.

I wouldn’t stoop so low - happy to go with the flow !!
And - tbf - we last visited about 10 years ago and maybe it was actually labelled ice wine in them days

In fact - the example I was thinking of !!

Mind you, Firelands in Ohio are also braving it out

Their excuse is that they kept continuous production going throughout Prohibition as they were under the protection of a certain Mr Albert Capone and they kept vines growing on Pelee Island on Lake Erie…

1 Like

Deep apologies: rushing to get it off before going out.

I suspected something similar! But it did surprise me.

Yes, but the label does say American which means the grapes come from out of State

Well, the Peller Estates ice wine arrived. Although sweet it was not as intensely sweet as I expected, highly enjoyable taste, very different to other wines. We had it with friends, chilled, accompanying a cheese board from Neils Yard including Cashel blue and Isle of Mull cheddar. Highly recommended and great end to a meal. A nice treat. Thanks for the recommendations.

1 Like

Just a follow on to our exchanges over ice wine a few months ago; I’m now in France and able to go through my stash here (necessitated as the cellar was flooded a few weeks ago leaving a healthy deposit of mud, leaves and twigs - my very own “flutwein” !) - I did retrieve this Romanian Ice Wine made from SB in keeping with what I recalled, and the muddy deposit wiped off cleanly.

They do indeed make it “properly”; ie picking the fruit whilst frozen on the vine in mid-winter. I suppose I’ll have to drink it one day…

1 Like