Culinary Arts Phenomenon: Ice Wine

by Olivia DeWolfe
CulinaryEd Columnist
February 15, 2011

Ice wine grapes.When it comes to the culinary arts, one remarkable creation that deserves special recognition is ice wine. This is a uniquely-flavored, sweet-dessert wine that is made in a memorable way.

Because authentic ice wine must be made solely from grapes frozen on the vine under exact conditions, most wineries don't produce it, lending it a rare and special quality. The grapes are usually late-harvest varieties such as Riesling, Vidal, or, as of late, reds like Cabernet Franc. These grapes must be picked and pressed in temperatures between 12 and 17 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the picking usually occurs during the coldest part of the night when the skies are clear, the earth is frozen and there is no snow. It takes many more grapes to produce ice wine than dry wine, meaning that the resulting product is expensive.

In fact, ice wines made in Ontario, Canada can sell for four dollars per ounce and more. Thanks to its ultra-cold winters, Ontario produces more icewine (one word there, according to the Wines and Vines web site) than all the other countries combined--though Austria and Germany are also famous for their "eiswein."

The unique flavor of natural ice wine comes from what happens when grapes freeze, thaw, and refreeze on the vine. The cold water in the grapes stay frozen as crystals, which leaves only concentrated juice behind. As the fruit dehydrates and its sugars and acids intensify, a sweet and complex flavor is created that brings to mind lychee nuts, mango, and peach. Faux ice wine is made from grapes that have been artificially frozen, creating a delicious but far-simpler flavor.

If you're obsessed with wine, you can attend the Annual Niagara Icewine Festival and enjoy some of the best ice wines in the world. Or consider some courses from a traditional or online culinary degree program. You could even attend a culinary school for a sommelier career. Whatever you do, you can learn enough to make you the expert at your next dinner party.



Culinary Art Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            Hospitality Food & Beverage Management (BS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Hotel & Restaurant Management
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Professional Pastry Arts
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Search Schools Near You
            Subject :
            Degree :
            Zip Code :

            Culinary Schools
            Culinary Articles
            10 Colleges with Delicious Dining Hall Food
            Forget boring college cafeteria dining. Campus food can be exciting, healthy and delicious. Here's a look at 10 of America's best colleges to get your grub on.
            Four International Cuisines Influencing the American Foodscape
            Ethnic cuisines are an integral part of America's culinary landscape, and none more so than these perennial favorites.
            5 Ethnic Cuisines for Serious Foodies
            Love food? Want to broaden your culinary horizons? These five international cuisines provide an excellent starting place.
            Healthy home cooked meals can improve health, longevity and family social community
            Read how cooking at home rather than eating out can help you live longer, reduce the risk of cancer and improve family dynamics. Not only has cooking at home become the hip choice, it's also become the smart choice.