A sommelier’s guide to drinking icewine

Sommelier Erin Henderson shares her tips for enjoying Canada’s frozen treasure.
January 12, 2021 7:03 a.m. EST

Cold, frigid Canadian winters may not be fun for everyone, but for winemakers, they're a chance to make Canada's frozen treasure - Icewine. This luxurious beverage follows strict harvest rules to preserve its delicious flavour, making it something to savour. Sommelier Erin Henderson shared her knowledge about the sweet drink, along with some amazing recommendations and tasty cocktails. 


In the winter, grapes are left on the vine to naturally freeze. Temperatures must hit at least -8°C before picking can begin, which usually means crews have to be out in the middle of the night! Then, the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance – the governing board of quality wine production in Ontario and British Columbia) legislates only certain grapes are allowed to be turned into Icewine. The sugar levels (Brix) must be at least 35° in Ontario and 32° in BC (regular, dry wine has somewhere between 20-25 Brix).


If you're looking to pick up a bottle of Icewine, Erin shared some amazing recommendations to try. Check them out below.

  1. Inniskillin Riesling Icewine
  2. Kacaba Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine
  3. Creekside Vidal Icewine


Don't want to enjoy Icewine on its own? Erin also shared some delicious cocktails that make use of the sweet drink and, spoiler alert, they're both amazing. Click on the images below for the recipes!

Ice cosmo

French 75

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