Canada is recognized world-wide for our beautiful flag, colourful currency and of course the national passion for maple syrup over pancakes. What many Canadians don't know is that we have become a world leader with our very own signature wine style.
British Columbia is now renown for creating some of the best IceWine in the world, becoming rivals with Germany and Austria. This ‘liquid gold’ delicacy is sought after by the gastronomic industry and global travellers visiting the pristine and beautiful Okanagan Valley.
Considered a rare and luscious delicacy, the one word name ‘IceWine’ is protected under the Canadian Vintners Association as a registered trademark. Unfortunately for all wine producers, opportunists off-shore have made IceWine one of the most counterfeited wine products around the world.
Quality standards established within the Canadian wine industry require that IceWine be produced only with grapes left on the vine throughout the fall to naturally freeze. Handpicked often in the middle of the night under freezing temperatures of -8 C or colder, IceWine grapes are rushed immediately to the crush pad for pressing and fermentation.
Delicious and naturally sweet, the reputation of IceWine is rapidly expanding throughout the wine world with culinary pairing events. Well known as tapas in Spain or meze in the Mediterranean, exotically spiced finger food appetizers and desserts are being explored within the foodie realms. As we enter the festive season of winter solstice, try a few of these pairing inspirations with a sip of a locally produced and legendary Canadian IceWine.
WHITE ICEWINE VARIETALS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR TREE FRUIT FLAVOURS SUCH AS APRICOTS, PEACHES AND RIPE APPLES
GEWURZTRAMINER: oozing with honey and baked apple pie flavours pair with savoury hot cayenne spiced mixed nuts, slices of Fuji apple and a sliced sprig of basil over soft cheese such as chevre.
CHARDONNAY: citrus and spicy notes connect beautifully with dried apricots, seasoned creamy cheeses and exotically spiced almonds.
RIESLING: pear, apple and pineapple flavours align with chocolate coated ginger or ice cream and grilled pineapple gently seasoned with cinnamon.
VIOGNER: slowly baked pear and apples, apricots and lemony flavours connect with homemade ginger snaps, fresh pears or lemon curd.
RED VARIETAL ICEWINE TEEM WITH THE SWEET AND JAMMY FRUITS OF STRAWBERRY, POMEGRANATE AND RASPBERRY FLAVOURS
PINOT NOIR: strawberry, orange, lemon and spiced notes connect beautifully with coffee flavored ice cream dusted lightly with ground star anise.
MERLOT: cherry, plum, caramelized fig notes pair with firm cheeses, fig compote and fresh honey crisp apple slices.
SYRAH: bumble berry, rhubarb and baked apple pair with blackberry jelly and cheese biscuits.
PINOTAGE: raspberry, cranberries and spiced candied apple connects with warmed brie baked with spiced cranberries
CABERNET FRANC: notes of golden raisins and warm spices pair with dark chocolate Florentines, ginger snaps and raspberries.