Ice Wine: The coolest drink ever-pun intended! And COOLest blog post ever–pun also intended. My mate, is going to help with a tandom post. She was the one who did most of the typing on this one:
Hi there. This is a guest entry from Cool (my last name - which is what LaVrel calls me by). This summer we re-discovered our passion for wine, in particular Ice Wine, which is a rare type of wine made from late-harvest grapes after the first frost after the harvest season. Here's my very non-technical description from information I gleaned visiting Walla Walla Faces tasting room, the only winery that consistently produces this beverage in Walla Walla: After most of the grapes have been harvested, the weather has to get really cold. At a certain freezing temperature, the few grapes that have survived are very small and frozen. Some poor soul has to brave the cold and go pick those tiny grapes, which don't yield very much liquid at all. Everything has been concentrated by the freeze. What little liquid is left is very sugary. Since the yield is quite low in this regard, ice wine comes in very skinny bottles. But it tastes like a little piece of heaven. Sometime in June of this year we grew more and more excited for Laurel's birthday, because we were going to Walla Walla - wine country. as a result, we picked up a good amount of ice wine and other kinds to try beforehand. We picked up a free wine guide from the store, and it gave us some hints and tips about tasting. Therefore, we decided to review each wine that we tasted. And here it is. Each wine review is broken down in 5 ways: Color, Nose (smell), Taste, Texture/Body, and Finish (the after taste). 1. The first we have on our list is Kiona ice wine, from Benton City, WA. It is a 2010. Its color is golden, and has a viscous swirl, much like extra virgin olice oil. Its taste is sharp, crisp, thick, and smooth. The finish reminds one of honey, and its finish is long, so it lingers on your tongue and back of the throat. It reminds us of a similarity with apple cider, almost. 2. Our next wine we tried was our favorite and a wine of my people!: Okanogan Reisling ice wine, from Orchard Hills in Oroville, WA. This one is a 2009. Right off the bat we enjoyed its color: Sunny, bright, happy yellow, lighter than the Kiona. After a swirl, we saw that it had nice legs, and had a consistency ot liquid honey. Its armoa is light and sweet, reminding one of pear, with floral notes and a hint of citrus. Its taste had a bit of a tang, or kick to it. You could taste the pear, and it felt thinner and lighter with a sort of prickley pre-sparkle to it. The finish to this one was very honey-like, with some floral aspects, and the entrancing finish was longer than the Kiona. The sweetness lingers and doesn't disappoint. 3. Next, we tried Buti Nages "Gather Nectar" from Rhone France, 2012. It has a pale, straw color, was very thin with no legs, has a very light armoa that is reminiscient of summer, citrus, and flowers. The taste was a bit dry, with wisps of fruit notes, light, sharp, and a bit prickly or tangy - more than the Okanogan. The finish resulted in a fruity short burst. 4. After that, we tried a red wine from Pesek Cellars from Mt. Vernon, WA. This had a dark burgundy color, rather opaque. The swirl was like syrup, or jam... and had no legs. The scent was sweet, with blackberry notes, but with an undistinguished alcohol-sharpness at the end. it tasted really dry at the start, but smoothed into sweet blackberry, with short, smooth, and warming finish. 5. The next was a sort of 'coffee' wine, Pesek cellars Arabic, also from Mt. Vernon, WA. Its color has red huses in its amber/brown appearance. Its body was thin, with no legs and close to translucent. The aroma brought to mind caramel, vanilla, and an overall sweetness. The taste was like brown sugar or maple. Very sweet and sticky. Its finish was long and syrup-like. Pretty interesting stuff. We enjoyed it. I enjoyed the first couple of sips, then it became too saccharine for my liking. This is one where a shooter will do you. 6. The next one we decided to try was Brovida Cordara, Langhe, Dolcetto, Italy, a 2010. A red wine with purple - maroon color, medium thick swirl, showing apacity with a small amount of legs. its aroma was sweet and gave off the oakiness of the wine itself. Its taste was very dry, deep, and bitter. Its finish was medium, dry and rather burning. Not my favorite. I'm not a real big fan, however, of red wine, so that could have influenced my perseption as well. 7. After that the next wine we had tried was the Walla Faces Verlynn, a 2010 reisling with a dilute gold color, thin swirl with no legs and a hint of viscosity. With a sweet, pear-like aroma bringing in a succulent apple and honey suckle nose, it has a crispy tartness to it. Very clean. Its finish was brief, and rather dry. The finish included notes of honey suckle, which was pleasant. 8. Our last that we tried was Tertulia Cellars Last-Harvest semillion, from Walla Walla, Columbia valley. This is very similar to an ice wine. In fact, so similar that it might as well be considered one anyway. It has a pleasant golden color, no legs but very syrupy. It smelled like a golden delicious apple, with pear, apricot, and very sweet. Its taste was very full-bodied, thick, and sweet like honey. The finish at the end was long, pronounced, and sweet, reminding us of carmalized sugar. We enjoyed this one a lot. Overall, the impression we got from tasting these wines and understanding how each one can be vastly different from another helped us with our tasting abilities when in Walla Walla. We had brought back the Walla Faces and Tertulia from there, as well as A chocolate champagne from The Chocolate Shoppe. I believe their wines can be found in stores. My favorite tasting at the chocolate Shoppe was the strawberry chocolate wine. We didn''t bring any others back to taste before this entry was written, but we will be sure to let you know how the chocolate champagne tastes after we drink it, which will be in November for our 4 year anniversary. And always remember: No matter how good or bad the wine, no matter the color, aroma, flavor, texture, or after taste - it is still wine, and you should have fun with it. Don't let any pretensions get you down. Its there to enjoy, above all else. And I hope YOU enjoyed reading. Until next time...