produits-neige.jpgStop, collaborate and listen . . . Gothamist only breaks out the 90’s music pun for special occasions, and believe us, this is one of them. Last week, Gothamist traveled far and wide (well, to Canada – but we’re pretty sure that counts) to push and explore the limits of dessert wines.

Gothamist loves ice wines - those concentrated honey notes, that rich velvety texture – so when we heard there was a new ice wine made from apples, we had to check it out. For those not familiar with ice wine, it’s a type of wine that is typically made with frozen grapes – where the water in the grape separates from the juices, sugars and other yummy stuff. The result is a luscious dessert wine with intense fruit flavors. Our neighbors to the north created a unique spin on this classic by using frozen apples versus grapes – interesting idea, but would this ice wine leave us cold?

Last week Gothamist traveled to Hemmingford, Quebec to visit the La Face Cachee de la Pomme – home of the apple ice wine. We toured the orchard, learned how apple ice wine is made and finally, after great anticipation, got to try this innovative wine.

There were two apple ice wines that we tried: Neige and Frimas; which were magically paired with hors d’oeuvres by renowned Canadian chef Laurent Godbout.

Neige, Hemmingford Quebec, 2003 $25
What makes this ice wine so special is that it has the wonderful character that you would expect from an ice wine without the overboard sweetness. The crisp acidity cuts through the sugar to create a wonderful balance of fruit and honey. The nose had subtle notes of apricot, apple and pear, which came to life on the palette. The wine continued to slowly reveal its complex personality with hints of lychee and petrol that lingered on the finish.

For maximum impact, pair this wine with creamy, rich foods like a triple crème cheese or foie gras to accentuate the crisp, sweet fruit in the wine.

This wine can be purchased at Park Avenue Wine, Union Square Wine and Spirits and 67 Wine and Spirits.

Frimas, Hemmingford Quebec, 2003 $45

Gothamist is almost tempted not to tell you how good the Frimas is because, unlike the Neige, it cannot be purchased in New York due to limited quantities available but . . . secrets don’t make friends (and we bought our stash) so we’ll fill you in. Frimas, first lures you in with its rich amber color and delicate exotic aromas. With one sip your mouth is bathed in flavors of lychee, baked apples and a hint of caramel. The wine continues to open with notes of apricot and fig. And the finish . . . it continued up through our check-out in US Customs.

Like the Neige, the Frimas goes very well with rich, creamy cheeses or desserts.

The Frimas can be ordered directly from La Face Cachee de la Pomme by e-mailing info@cidredeglace.com

While it took three days and 2 bottles of apple ice wine to defrost from our journey to Canada – it was well worth the trip. This winter, mix things up with a bottle of apple ice wine – we are excited to say, ice is back with a brand new addition.

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