Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Being a smartass

iced grape

iced grape

iced grape

I'm not a partisan of ice wines. Labour-intensive, if made in the right way, definitely. But the wines are chronically boring, just a confected mass of sugar and alcohol with little complexity and no finesse. As more than a few ice wine producers have told me, it's just concentration isn't it, chuck it in a freezer and you'll get the same result.

Let's put that to the test.

I learned to freeze grapes from my university roommate. We were in school for a summer term, stuck in a residence with no air conditioning. As these things go, southern Ontario experienced one of the hottest summers that year. We had to get creative to avoid heat stroke. Frozen grapes came out sweeter, with the added bonus of being like little ice pellets. So I tried to recreate something similar here, except to make it into a drink. Muddle the frozen grapes, strain out the juice, rum and soda water.

I failed miserably. It tasted awful. They say it takes the fruit of an entire grape vine to make a single glass of ice wine. It only took a handful this time to make this smartass look dumb.