Patrick Chan “On Ice” Icewine

Yes, I realize that I have a LOT of catching up to do but I’ve been trying to keep up with friends and bringing work home the last little bit so personal time has been scarce and precious. Not that I don’t love you all but I do need time to recharge so thank you for understanding. In any case, while you’re waiting for the boatload of posts, I thought I’d share with you my fun little experience over the winter holidays.

NOTE: This POST is for educational purposes only. If you’re not of legal drinking age, please respect the laws in your respective region and if you are legal, please drink responsibly.


Patrick Chan icewine

So for those of you who aren’t familiar with icewine, it is a dessert wine that has its origins in Germany but Canada has now become one of the major producers of ice wine in the world, with most of it being made in the Niagara region in Ontario. The grapes are left on the vine to freeze and must be handpicked when the temperature reaches a sustained -8 degrees Celsius or lower. Between the end of the growing season and harvest, the grapes get dehydrated and freeze, which concentrates the sugars and flavours of the of grape. At the same time, this means that you get less juice per grape, which is part of the reason why ice wine is rather expensive, even for a common bottle you get at the liquor store.

To get a general sense of ice wine production, Rick Mercer (a Canadian comedian) visited and (sort of) worked at a winery that makes ice wine.

Rick Mercer’s video is a little outdated now – apparently the biggest buyers of icewine are from mainland China nowadays. In fact, they don’t even bother selling the most expensive stuff in Canada anymore.

In any case, the Patrick Chan ice wine! I was getting some drinks for a get together with friends when I remembered the Patrick Chan ice wine on my Twitter feed.

Flat Rock Cellar Tweet

I’ll have to admit – I was super curious and wanted to get a bottle for shits and giggles. It was around Christmas-time, I was splurging here and there, I was going to have an Audrey Hepburn movie night with friends and I was already in the LCBO (a government-run corporation that sells alcohol – they have almost a monopoly on alcohol sales in the province of Ontario) so I thought, ah, what the heck and bought a bottle.

Admittedly, the wine is not cheap (it was around $35 Canadian plus taxes) and it’s actually a rather small bottle too. (Still, that’s nothing to the purported $250,000 bottle of ice wine.) If you look at the photo above, that is literally how much ice wine my friends and I got from that one bottle – about a mouthful and a half for 5 people.


It was Audrey Hepburn movie night!

None of us are wine connoisseurs and I thought it would be fun to rate the wine on a 6.0 scale but… considering how we’re wine n00bs and considering how my friends did not really understand the 6.0 system (they were really surprised when they heard that 4.8 and 5.1 was a bad score), I’ll just provide a general summary of the comments. Also, apparently the 6.0 system is hard to understand – so ha! (And we weren’t even inebriated either.)

So according to the LCBO website, this is what Patrick said about his wine:

‘It’s subtle, and I think that complements my skating perfectly.’

Which is weird, because ice wine is pretty unique and in a way, anything but subtle if you’re not familiar with it. It’s thick, more viscous than your regular stuff, has a high sugar content and doesn’t have that strong alcohol flavour, which makes it dangerous for those who enjoy their drinks on the sweet side.

I thought that the wine smelt rather like honey and pears, which apparently is pretty close to the LCBO’s description of it, saying that it had peach and pear notes. Overall, I thought that it didn’t quite pack that deep honey smell I associate with white ice wines (there is such thing as red ice wine but it’s rare) – almost like a raw nectar on the flower fragrance. (I’ve only had icewine a handful of times and I really love the smell though the smell of a butterfly bush/summer lilac is a close approximate when I don’t have money to splurge on sweet wines.)

A few of my friends thought that the wine was sweet (no duh), though some found it unpleasantly so – which is strange because I know for a fact that this entire group of friends enjoys Moscato, which is also a sweet dessert wine. However, a quick look at the LCBO website reveals that this particular icewine does have quite a high sugar content (277g/L), even for an icewine or a Riesling icewine. (Most of the other icewines had sugar content around 195g/L to 250g/L).


His name is all over this thing. Including on the cork.

Verdict: Most of my friends (some of them who tried icewine for the first time) enjoyed the wine while others (myself included) thought that it was a little too sweet. I’d say that if you’ve never tried ice wine before and if you like dessert wine, this would be a decent enough choice to begin your icewine experience.

For readers in Ontario – a private source has told me that Patrick has autographed six bottles of ice wine that have been distributed to various LCBOs throughout the province. In addition to getting his autograph, there is also another perk (which may be some time with him but that is unconfirmed) that comes with getting one of these bottles.

Have you tried icewine before? Or even this particular icewine? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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