We may complain about Ohio winters, but – primarily in the northern part of the state – the chill comes with its own reward: ice wine. These intensely sweet dessert wines are made from grapes that have been allowed to freeze on the vines. When picked and crushed, the grapes leave behind water crystals in the press, giving the resulting wine a very high sugar content. These labor-intensive wines are priced accordingly. The good news is that a little of these sweet sippers goes a long way, and they will keep well when re-corked and refrigerated.
Brandeberry Winery Polar Crush Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, NV; $30/375ml
Honeyed apple aroma with a hint of spice and pear; sweet and seductive with silky, lush fruit.
Kosicek Vineyards Estate Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, NV (Grand River Valley); $21.95/375ml
Luscious, opulent aroma of honey-roasted walnuts and ripe stone fruit; buttery crème brûlée and toffee flavor with good balancing acidity.
Kosicek Vineyards Estate Concord Ice Wine, NV (Grand River Valley); $29.97/375ml
Fresh Concord aroma; lush and decadent with intensely sweet grape flavor.
Kosicek Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine, NV (Grand River Valley); $39.99/375ml
Honeyed strawberry compote aroma; rich and sweet with creamy strawberry/cherry/vanilla notes.
Ferrante Winery Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2016 (Grand River Valley); $29.99/375ml
Lush honey, peach and apricot aroma with a touch of nut brittle; delicious, with beautiful intensely sweet fruit and lingering finish.
Laurello Vineyards Sweet Genevieve Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, NV (Grand River Valley); $35/375ml
Candied pear and spice aroma; extremely sweet with nutty apple-caramel flavor.
Laurello Vineyards Simply Mad Habanero Ice Wine, NV; $35/375ml
Baked apple aroma with interesting overtones of hot pepper. The heat creeps to the surface slowly and then really grabs on.
Camelot Cellars Riesling Ice Wine, NV; $25.75
Very grapey aroma with honey and floral notes; viscous, rich and intensely sweet with candied pear finish.
Camelot Cellars Ice Wine Blend, NV; $25.75
Crème brûlée and honeyed stone fruit aroma; lush and spicy with hints of allspice and baked apple pie.
Prices may vary.
Photo courtesy Laurello Vineyards.