Late-harvest Sweet Wine and Icewine are often packaged in 375ml bottles, so from the outside, the average person cannot tell the difference between the two wines. Even after opening the bottle, pouring the two wines into a glass and analyzing them through the steps of color, smell and taste, many people still cannot tell the difference between the two. The two wines are very similar in color (in the case of white or red wines), both are served at 7-8°C, and both are relatively sweet, differing only in the degree of sweetness.
Ice wines are much more expensive than the average late harvest dessert wine. What exactly is the difference between them?Late harvest dessert wines are sweet, late harvest wines. It is a wine that is made from the raw material that is left on the vine after the grapes have ripened normally and then harvested after a period of time when the fruit has further concentrated its sugars and developed a special aroma. Late harvest dry wines are also produced when the winemaker stops the fermentation after the sugar has been fully alcoholic. The opposite is true for sweet wines, where fermentation is stopped after partial alcoholic fermentation of the sugars. Late harvest wines are usually labeled “Late Harvest/Vendange Tartive”.
Ice wines are sweet wines made from ice grapes and are only sweet on the palate. Ice grapes must be harvested between -7°C and 8°C, when the entire vineyard is covered in snow and the vines are covered in thick frost. Because of the stringent production requirements for ice wine, true ice wine is very rare and comes from cooler climates such as Germany and Canada.Ice wines are distinctive in style, smooth, sweet and full-bodied, often with ripe pear, peach, mango, almond and floral aromas, with slight variations in flavor depending on origin, grape variety and winemaking process. Due to its high sweetness, moderate acidity, aroma and low alcohol content, ice wine can be paired with fresh fruit, cheese, cake and other desserts. Late harvest dessert wines are now mostly sourced from the Loire Valley in France, Alsace, Germany, and many wine regions in the New World. In addition to the aromas of the grape variety itself, late harvest dessert wines have special aromas of ripe cantaloupe, jam, and dried peaches. Ice wines are more expensive to produce, have a purer taste, and are produced in smaller quantities than the average late harvest dessert wine.
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