Periodically, one enjoys a wine after dinner. Dessert wines are typically sweet, like most delicacies that follow the multi-course meal. Unfortunately, the market is flooded by wines that are artificially sweetened with sugars; to a connoisseur's palate, these merely taste like the unholy union between old rum and a packet of Sweet n' Low.
Fortunately, God invented Ice Wines to fix this problem.
Ice wines are somewhat uncommon, and are produced when the grapes freeze while on the vine. An early frost on ripe grapes will create ice wine. Most people are familiar with those from Germany and Canada. But because of the specific weather conditions, good ice wine crops aren't produced every year.
I am currently trying the 2005 Selaks Ice Wine from New Zealand.
Well, I'm trying more New Zealand wines before I visit in a few weeks. This is a small bottle, so if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be terribly wasteful.
It is 11% alcohol by volume, and is a clear, golden color, akin to mead. In fact, the flavor is similar to mead in that the sweetness is less syrupy than artificially sweetened wines, but is definitley noticable. In fact, this may be too sweet of a wine for a person who isn't offsetting the flavor with sharp cheese. Keep that in mind.
Cost:Because ice wines are uncommon, they tend to be a little pricier than other sweet wines. A bottle of decent ice wine can easily run over $40, though most are sold in smaller bottles. This particular half bottle cost around $20.