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wine tasting

How is Icewine made?

It’s icewine season and what a great season it is for those of us who enjoy and appreciate it.

I am often asked how this wine is made and why it is so expensive.

A wine can only be called icewine if the grapes have been left on the vine to freeze, then picked and pressed while the grapes are still frozen.  With these conditions in mind, you have to realize that the grapes are often left on the vine well past the time most grapes are picked and made into wine.  The grapes for icewine will sit longer on the vine, exposed to all the elements, and will lose some of their juice and moisture.  The result is a lot less juice to come out of each grape.  The other factor to take into consideration is that the grapes need to be picked while still frozen, which means this is often done in the middle of the night/they are often picked in the middle of the night to ensure they stay frozen until they are pressed.

Can you imagine the size of the grape, shriveled and frozen?  It is not very big.

Wine Etiquette At SommEvents

It takes a lot of grapes to fill those tall, slim bottles of icewine. 

Which brings me to the next question I am often asked.  Why are the bottles so small and so expensive?

It takes a very large number of frozen grapes to make icewine.  The grapes are hand-picked in the middle of the night, which requires a lot of people to work at very unusual hours, which in turn adds to the cost.  Then is bottled in half-bottles because it is not consumed like other wines.  When you serve it, do it in small amounts, maybe 1 or 2 ounces (30 to 60 ml), so that the bottle will serve a good number of people. You will get about 12 pours of 1 ounce (30ml) per bottle.  Compare this to a bottle of red wine which will offer 3 people about 2.5 glasses of wine.

If you don’t use all the wine in one evening, you can easily put it in the refrigerator with a good airtight cap and enjoy it for a few consecutive nights. 

For those who don’t like their icewine quite as sweet, try a red, it’s just a little less sweet.  If you really enjoy the sweetness, then you will enjoy a Riesling or most white icewines.

Enjoy the season for icewine in the vineyards this winter and support all those courageous people who work nights in freezing weather to bring us such a great delicacy!

Interested in learning more about wine and how it is made please visit: www.sommevents.com/wine-tours/

Contact SommEvents for a personalized tour this winter season.

Wine Tours At SommEvents in Mississauga


Wine tasting is an art – More than just gulping it down!

Did you know to become a sommelier you have to do blind taste tests? This means you don’t see the bottle, so you know nothing about the wine before you taste it. A sommelier will be able to tell you the type of grape the wine is made from if it is from an Old World country or a New World country, the region in the country and possibly the name of the winery or chateau where it comes from. And don’t forget the year it was made!Read more ›

Old World vs New World Wine Class – May 4th – Ancaster

  • 2018-05-04
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

cost includes wine tasting, glasses & handouts – cost $75 per person Register by May 2nd & save $25.00! What is Old World vs New World wine? The differences in Old World and New World wines come from winemaking practices (tradition) and from the affect of the land and climate on the grapes (the “terroir”). Read more ›

What Does Your Wine Taste Say About You?

What determines your character? North Americans believe that the month you were born and the positions of the planet do. The Japanese are convinced that your blood type decides your personality. And for centuries, the Chinese have firmly claimed that it is the year of your birth that maps out your behaviours. At SommEvents, we believe that everything you need to know about a person can be found in their wine taste! So, what does your taste in wine say about you?

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Tips for Your First Wine-Tasting Experience

A question often asked of a sommelier (wine expert) why there are so many different types of wine.

Such a great question! My answer, there are as many wines as there are different taste buds.  Everyone will taste wine differently one from the other.

With access to wines from all over the world, there is no shortage of blends or varietals to try and to enjoy.  That being said, taking the time to learn about what you are drinking and be able to understand the depths and flavours of the wines you are tasting are just some of the reasons why attending a structured wine tasting is a good idea.

If you haven’t participated in wine tasting events before, here are some tips to keep in mind that will help you enjoy your first wine tasting.  Whether you attend a specific event or enroll in a wine tasting class, knowing these few pieces of information can help prepare you for the experience.

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