Ohio is blessed with a climate conducive to making ice wine, the indulgently sweet and lush dessert wine made from grapes that have frozen on the vine. The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy these luscious wines, alone or paired with dessert. We tasted a sampling of ice wines from around the state. Here are some choice picks:
Debonne Vineyards Barrel Fermented Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2007 (Grand River Valley); $34.99/375ml
Buttery honey pear aroma; extremely rich and viscous, with flavors of candied pear and apple, caramelized sugar and nougat.
Ferrante Winery Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, 2010 (Grand River Valley); $34.99/375ml
Strawberry compote aroma with a hint of spice; intensely sweet and buttery, with caramelized strawberry/rhubarb pie flavor and good balancing acidity.
Firelands Winery Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2009 (Lake Erie); $29.99/375ml
Lush with aromas of caramelized apple, honey, butterscotch and apricot; opulent flavors of golden raisins and candied pineapple balanced by crisp acidity.
Grand River Cellars Sparkling Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2009 (Grand River Valley); $34.99/375ml
Dried fig aroma with hints of hazelnuts and butter; gently fizzy, with sweet caramelized apple flavor.
Laurello Vineyards Sweet Genevieve Estate Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, NV (Grand River Valley); $29.99/375ml
Rich honeyed aroma with nutty caramel overtones; sweet and lush with flavors of candied walnuts and vanilla caramel.
St. Joseph Vineyard Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, 2009 (Grand River Valley); $35/375ml
Spicy, rich, dried berry aroma; intensely concentrated with flavors of blueberries, black currants and boysenberries.
Valley Vineyards Estate Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2009 (Ohio River Valley); $29.99/375ml
Opulent, lush candied peach aroma with butterscotch notes; luscious – almost thick – with buttery baked apple and crème brûlée flavor.