Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Can you explain to me what ice wine is? I thought it had to do with when the grapes are harvested—or am I completely wrong?
—Judi C., Elizabethtown, Ky.
You're on the right track. Ice wine (sometimes spelled "icewine" or, in German, eiswein) is a dessert wine that's made from grapes that were frozen while still on the vines. Since the water in the grapes freezes but the sugars and other dissolved solids don't, the result is a very concentrated and sweet wine. There are also "non-natural" ice wines, when grapes are picked and then frozen mechanically. Sometimes these are referred to as "icebox wines" or "iced wine" to give them a slight distinction from the original.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered