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10.20.2006

WBW#27 Announced: Ice Wines

wbw_icon.jpgDo you ever wonder how someone figured out that artichokes were good to eat? I mean, someone had to really want to get some food out of what amounts to a huge prickly thistle in order to discover that there's a delicious little heart in there waiting to be devoured. But the human drive to eat is the strongest of our urges, so at some point, someone must have braved the thorns, and voila, we now have artichokes. The human drive to get drunk is probably a notch or two below food and sex but only slightly less urgent. Which is why I think we have ice wine. I'm betting that the first ice wine was made purely out of desperation -- leftover grapes on the vine or some neglected grapes pressed and fermented in the vain hope that some late season effort might translate into something drinkable. Imagine the surprise, when the first attempt might have yielded a gorgeous sweet golden nectar the likes of which no one had ever tasted before?

Ice wines are definitely an acquired taste, and one, I have to say, that I really have not fully acquired yet. They're generally just too darn sweet and syrupy for me. But thanks to the Kitchen Chick, I'll get a chance to explore ice wines as part of Wine Blogging Wednesday #27. On Wednesday November 8th, bloggers all over the web will pop open a bottle of ice wine and blog about it. Feel free to join us.

Technically there are two types of ice wine -- the type where the grapes are left on the vine to freeze (hard work and usually only possible in northern climes) and the type where the grapes are picked and then frozen using more....industrial means (read: big walk-in freezers). Both types are acceptable for the purposes of this wine tasting event, which is good, because the real deal are often very, very expensive.

Irrespective of price, they can sometimes be tough to find, so if you're going to participate, I suggest doing a little shopping around now.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.