On the Ice

In the spirit of opening dessert wines while we visit, my dad pulled out a bottle of Ice Wine from Niagra, Canada. Now, dad had never heard of Ice Wine until a couple years ago when we went to Farrah Olivia for dinner and I ordered a glass with my cheese course. Since then, he picks up new bottles whenever he sees them at the store.  Tonight he opened the 2002 Trius Vidal Ice Wine.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $40 for a 375mL bottle.

I first noted the dark color of the wine in the glass. 7 years out and it looked well aged.  On the nose I found honey ,apricot, white flowers, nectarine, and orange blossom.  In the mouth, more apricot, honey, stone fruits, orange, and other citrus. It had great acidity and was very smooth.  Even my mom, an total non wino, loved this one!

NY Ice Wine!

We headed up to NYC this weekend to visit with my inlaws (thankfully we took the BoltBus were I could catch up on email and such uninterrupted for 4 hours!!).  While there, we stayed with some family friends who left us a bottle of Finger Lakes Ice Wine on the counter! I don’t get many chances to try wines from NY, so I’m always happy to taste one…I imagine it’s a bit like VA wines, you don’t see them too often outside the state of origin.  After a long day spent watching the Yankees lose (sob) though enjoying the fact that Matt’s birthday wishes got posted on the big screen at the game, we retired to our friends’ apartment and cracked open the 2005 Standing Stone Vineyards Vidal Ice Wine. It has a plastic cork closure, clocks in at 11% alcohol by volume, comes in a 375mL bottle, and looks to retail for somewhere between $20 and $25 for the bottle. I’m unsure if this is made in the ice wine style or if the grapes are actually frozen on the vine.

The color on the wine almost looked like brandy to me…I was surprised at how dark this wine was.  On the nose I found honey, flowers, apricot, sweet apples, candied pear, and a general sense of candied fruit. In the mouth I got flavors of honey, sweet pear, yellow apples, apricot, and candied pineapple.  While the wine was definitely sweet, it had great acidity.  I would love to try this with a selection of blue cheeses…it could take the place of the honey I usually drizzle on blue cheese!  Oh, and I can picture pouring this over some of the homemade French vanilla ice cream that I like to make….yum!

Local Vino

A quick review this morning (have to go to work super early today!) of a local wine from Rappahannock Cellars. I owe you a review on our tasting experience at Rappahannock, which I will get around to eventually, along with a million reviews from Sonoma and the DC Wine and Food Festival!

The wine for the evening was a 2006 Rappahannock Cellars Vidal Blanc. We see quite a bit of Vidal Blanc and Seyval Blanc here in Virginia, both grapes grow fairly well in our climate. I’m pleased to notice that the quality has grown in leaps and bounds in the 5 years I’ve lived here and been drinking VA wines.

The wine had a nose of pear, honey, apricot, and tart tropical fruit. In the mouth, apricot and spiced pears dominated the flavors. The wine was tart, with good structure and solid acidity to keep the sweetness that this grape can demonstrate in check.

Oddly enough, I can only find information about the dessert variety of this wine on their website, and the bottle appears to have disappeared from my house. I believe we paid around $14 for this, it had a real cork closure, and was about 12.5% alcohol by volume.

VWV #2 (Visiting Virginia Vineyards)

On our recent venture to VA wine country, we also stopped at a vineyard named Hidden Brook This was our second stop of the day. I really loved the look of this vineyard. It reminds me of a log cabin or a hunting lodge. Inside, it was big and open, with a very large tasting bar. There were 2 or 3 other groups there at the same time, but it didn’t feel crowded at all. We had intended on stopping here for lunch, but there were running low on their supply of cheese that day. Another time.

We purchased a few bottles here and drank one yesterday. While there, I was sad to learn that their dessert wine, which is made in an ice wine style, was sold out. Yesterday we drank a bottle of 2005 Vidal Blanc.

It smelled like pine. At first I thought it might be me, but my husband actually said it first. Pine. A touch odd for a Vidal Blanc. Honey, very sweet, maybe a hint of pear in the taste. Overall, very sweet. I think it must have a lot of residual sugar, though my huband threw out the bottle this morning before I could read the label again.

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