ICE WINE FOOD PAIRINGS; Be Daring!

Ice Wine food pairings are unlike any other wine pairing.

Each varietal of Northern Ice Premium Icewine provides a complex variety of fruit notes to gives guidance to Ice wine food pairings. The Winemaker, Jamie Macfarlane and I pay close attention to the sensory profiles of wine and we love Ice wine food pairing.

When Jamie first started developing Northern Ice, we did a sensory map of 14 Icewines on the market. We saw a range of different types of fruit notes and yet most of them had a primary note of sweetness that either lingered or extended throughout the flavour delivery. In our consumer research, we heard many consumers say they didn’t like dessert wine and they thought Icewine was too sweet. We wanted to reach them. The challenge was drawn in the sand. Jamie wanted to develop a new style of Icewine that North Americans would really enjoy drinking. He knew Icewine had an export following; he wanted it to be more welcomed on our own turf.

Enter the “toasting style” of Icewine. The optimal sensory profile was configured. Jamie worked on delivering a big intial fresh, complex fruit impact with a long flavour delivery that finished with an upexpected crispness to balance out the luscious creamy, honey caramelized notes.

His first production of Northern Ice Vidal 2005 blew us all away and it won Jamie his first Grand Gold medal at Monde Selection.

IMG 4240 300x184 Be Daring with Your Ice Wine Food PairingsWith a background in sensory research, my job was finding simple Icewine food pairings to serve to guests. I liked the idea of serving Icewine with appetizers that had a complementary sensory delivery. Tasty morsels with a similar big initial and complex impact that would round out and provide a long enjoyable flavour delivery. We were looking for “a party in your mouth” experience.

We began our study of Ice wine food pairings by choosing to serve Northern Ice with dishes had a similar big complex impact and a long enjoyable flavour delivery similar to Icewine. A favourite pairing was discovered on our deck one summer’s night while snacking on Wasabi peas; they were great but they overpowered the wine we were drinking. A light bulb went off; Northern Ice Vidal with Wasabi Peas? Could it be? After serving thousands of guests this unlikely combo we are convinced; the perfect pairing is often unexpected, a little wonky, complementary and it wakes up your senses; kind of like a perfect marriage.