Ice Wine from Buhl, Idaho


This is a very interesting article about making a great Ice Wine here in Idaho – Holesinsky Vineyards, Buhl, Id to be precise. The article comes from Magic Valley. [Robin received this article and sent the link to me.]

Ice in their vines: Holesinsky Winery pulls off tricky ice wine harvest
COLIN TIERNAN ctiernan@magicvalley.com

Dec 12, 2019

BUHL — He dipped his pipette into the barrel and pulled out a couple of ounces of liquid gold. “This wine is very, very, very, very, very, very special,” Holesinsky Winery owner and winemaker James Holesinsky said, carefully releasing the yellow-orange ice wine into his glass. Holesinksy has been making wine for 18 years. This is just the second time he’s had a chance to make ice wine. The conditions haven’t been right since 2006. The 2006 harvest was on Halloween; this year’s fell on Oct. 30.
“It’s hard to do,” he said. “The grapes have to be in the perfect condition. You can’t have an influx of an avian bird problem. … All of the stars have to align in order for this to be a reality.”

To make real ice wine, a winemaker has to let his grapes freeze on the vine, harvest them before sunrise while they’re still frozen and squeeze them without letting them thaw. Most of the world’s ice wines come from Germany and Canada. In Idaho, it’s a rarity. The process is risky, but it makes a complex, decadent wine. The winemaker’s harvesting the fruit when the nutrient content peaks. Also, because Holesinsky pressed the grapes while they were frozen, the water content in the wine is lower. It’s a more concentrated product.
“When we picked the grapes while they were frozen, all of the water was suspended as ice,” Holesinsky said. “So when you squeeze them, all you squeeze out is the sugar and the nectar, the flavoring.”

Normally, 2 acres of grapes make 12 barrels of wine. This precious barrel of ice wine — the lone ice wine barrel out of the 40 total barrels Holesinsky made this year — took 2 acres of white Riesling grapes, grown in Hagerman.
“The intensity of flavor is a thousand times a conventional wine,” Holesinsky said.
This ice wine has twice as much sugar as a conventional wine. Most wines are about 21% sugar. This ice wine checks in at 41%. Holesinsky’s ice wine tastes rich and juicy, especially compared to the lemonade-colored wines a few barrels down. Winemakers who can pull off an ice wine earn bragging rights, but the extra work can be lucrative, too. Ice wines are expensive.
This one barrel will sell as 600 half-size bottles and likely earn Holesinksy $30,000 compared to the $24,000 he’d fetch from 12 standard barrels.

Pain in the ice
An enologist has to have perfect weather conditions to make ice wine.
But special weather requirements aren’t the only reason the Gem State doesn’t dabble much in the dessert alcohol. Turning 2 acres of grapes into a barrel of ice wine is grueling.
“We were out picking ice wine at 4 o’clock in the morning at 5 degrees,” Holesinsky said.

It’s not easy to find people willing to wake up in the middle of the night, don headlamps and harvest frozen grapes by hand in Hagerman, Idaho. Labor for the ice wine harvest didn’t come cheap — Holesinsky had to pay his workers $20 an hour. It’s important to finish the harvest quickly — before the sun can start melting the ice in the fruit — so it takes a big crew.
After Holesinsky had the grapes off the vines, he had to press them in the cold.
Normally it takes about 45 minutes to squeeze enough grapes for a barrel of wine. But frozen grapes are tougher.
“You have to squeeze the living (heck) out of it for about four days,” Holesinsky said.
Because the fruit was so full of minerals, Holesinsky said the juice initially smelled like sawdust and dirt, almost like wet cardboard.
The challenge doesn’t end once the juice is in the barrel. Because the sugar content is so high, it’s more difficult to initiate the fermentation process, and it’s trickier to keep the yeast alive. This ice wine is 14% alcohol.
If Holesinsky had been unlucky, birds could have eaten up a large amount of his crop. If he’d waited too long, the grape plants could have taken up the water in the grapes, drawing it into their roots, leaving withered raisins on the vines. The fruit could have started rotting, too.
An ice wine harvest also taxes the plants in the vineyard. When a grape plant senses a freeze, it will pump nutrients into its grapes to provide nourishment for its seeds. That improves the wine, but it comes with a cost.
“They pull all of the resources out of that cane — extra sugar, extra amino acids, polysaccharides, you name it,” Holesinsky said.
That stress isn’t a big deal when you’re only doing an ice wine once every decade or so, Holesinsky said, but you wouldn’t want to weaken your plants with an ice wine harvest every year.

From the vineyard to the shelves
After aging the ice wine for about six months, Holesinsky will bottle it. He’ll filter it lightly before bottling, which will make it less cloudy, but he’ll leave some of the sediment in order to retain the complex flavors. He said a bottle will probably sell for roughly $71 in stores.

Holesinsky Winery last made ice wine 13 years ago. The 2006 Liquid Gold Ice Wine, seen Dec. 5, was an award winner.

DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS
When Holesinsky made his first ice wine in 2006, it was good, but a bit syrupy. This one will be better, he said. He hopes people get a chance to taste the wine after all the hard work that went into it.
“It’s very unique,” Holesinsky said. “You don’t get to experience this every day.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include that the ice wine was harvested at the end of October. In addition, due to an editing error, a previous version of this story misstated how many barrels of ice wine were produced. There was just one.

Oktoberfest at The Buzz


10Nov2015_1e_The-Buzz-Monthly_Blind-Tasting_Buzz-InsideA good, adventuresome wine dinner at The Buzz celebrating Oktoberfest. Roulade. Beer. Wine. Carmel Beer Ice Cream. And the ice cream that Cristi made was rich and smooth and delicious!! Keep it on the menu, Cristi!!! We took a culinary tour, as well as a wine tour and beer tour, through some of Germany. For instance, “…Schnitzel can be made with different types of meat. Jäger-Schnitzel – with mushroom sauce; Zigeuner-Schnitzel is a sauce of red peppers,mushrooms, onions, tomato paste, red wine and chicken broth; Cordon Bleu came from Switzerland and is a schnitzel stuffed with ham and cheese.” These are just a few of the culinary discussions we had.

One of the better wines for the evening. [19] I know, it's not German.
One of the better wines for the evening. [19] I know, it’s not German.
Pretzels and Pork Schnitzel Meatballs 2014 Julia James Pinot Noir. a13% alc. an OK wine. the Snake River Pakitos IPA went better, though

Pretzels and Pork Schnitzel Meatballs
2014 Julia James Pinot Noir
13% alc. an OK wine.[16]
Snake River Pakitos IPA went better, though [18]

Greens with Radish and Cucumber Salad 2014 Urban Riesling 9.5% alc [15] Humboldt Low and Easy Lager was a better paring

Greens with Radish and Cucumber Salad
2014 Urban
Reisling
9.5% alc [15]
Humbolt Low and Easy Lager was a better paring [18]

Beef Roulade with Red Cabbage and Spatzel 2011 Serrata Alc 13.5% OK paring [17] Weihenstephaner Korbinian [18] great paring!

Beef Rouladen
with
Red Cabbage and Spatzel
2011 Serrata

Alc 13.5% Good paring [17]
Weihenstephaner Korbinian [18] great paring!
Here is but one of many recipes for Rouladen

Carmel Beer Ice Cream with Honey Cookie 2011 Montgras Carmenere alc 13.5%  not a good paring [18] Madison River Hopper Pale Ale [16] the wine pared better

Carmel Beer Ice Cream
with
Honey Cookie
2011 Montgras
Carmenere
alc 13.5% good paring, better than the beer [18]
Madison River Hopper Pale Ale [16] the wine pared better

One absolutely awesome ice cream that Cristi made. It really needs to go on the daily menu! Robin liked the ice cream, too!

The Buzz October Wine Dinner


Aero Vin at the Buzz

The Buzz is having a different kind of wine dinner this month. To celebrate Oktoberfest, they are including beer and wine to go with the dinner. This should really be a fun evening for everyone. Make sure,l though, that you make a reservation by calling The Buzz at (208) 344-4321. We usually go on Tuesday evening, so see you there!

 

beer-and-wine-dinner

You’re invited!
Join us for our October Wine Dinner

We will be focusing on beer and wine for the dinner this month. Bring a friend on October 11 or 12 at 6:30 PM for a fun night of food, beer, and wine

Meal sample, not necessarily the one being served.
Meal sample, not necessarily the one being served.

We’ll have a four course dinner with beer and/or wine with each course.
Don’t miss the fun and festivities.
Cost is $20.00 per person
Reservations are sure to fill up fast!
Call us to book your table now at (208) 344-4321 or email at buzzwine@cableone.net
Make your reservation now!

tommy-and-cristi-2_better

 
 
 
 
Cheers,
Cristi and Tommy
Buzz Coffee and Wine,
2999 N Lakeharbor Lane,
Boise, ID 83703
(208) 344-4321, buzzwine@cableone.net

Fall at the TVWS Wine Dinner!


14Oct2015_1j_TVWS-BeerCiderTasting_Fall-LeavesAh yes! It is the season of Fall colors and Fall flavors. And the TVWS had a wonderful Fall Tasting last night and a superb dinner to accompany it.
They opened the evening a Chimay Yellow that is generally brewed to 8% alcohol. This Belgian Tripel was created in 1966. It pours a cloudy gold color with some centered bubbles and one finger of foam. The aroma is clove, sweet pears, banana, herbs and hints of caramel. Also served was a Chimay Reserve, Blue Label. 9% alcohol. “The copper-brown Trappist Belgian Strong Dark Ale, has a creamy head and a fragrance of fresh yeast and roasted malt. Considered to be the ‘classic’ Chimay ale, it exhibits a considerable depth of fruity, peppery character.”
Longdrop-Cider-Card-Back
It being Fall and the season of some delicious apples, it was fitting to pour two Hard Ciders from Longdrop Cider, from Eagle, Idaho. One of the ciders, was absolutely delicious and full of herbs and spices. The best cider was a Vanilla Honey Cider. “Longdrop Vanilla Honey, Offered: Year round in 12oz cans, draught. ABV: 6.0%, SG: 1.015. Apples: Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith.”
The other cider was a “Longdrop Semi Sweet. Offered: Year round in 12oz cans, draught. ABV: 5.5%, SG: 1.015. Apples: Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith.”

Then came 4 German wines. A 2014 Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer, a light, clean and fruity wine and a delicate hint of spice and a finish of fresh roses. Then there was a 2013 Dr H Riesling. From the Mosel River region with depth and a concentration of spicy aromas and tropical fruit flavors. That was followed by a 2011 Rietburg Dornfelder Trocken. This was a dry wine, as signified by the word “Trocken” in the name. Blackberry and blueberry flavors with some red cherry on the finish. The last wine served was a 2012 Cuvee Noir Pfluger. Intense granite tones lend elegance and complexity to this plump, cherried blend of Merlot, Dornfelder and Lemberger.

That was it for the beer/ale, cider and wines. But wait! If you read on, you will see the delicious meal that Chef Jake prepared for us. Enjoy! And please understand, this is a buffet, so help yourself. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Appetizer Plate of Cheeses and Fruit

Appetizer Plate of Cheeses and Fruit

Green Salad

Green Salad

German Potato Salad (This was delicious!)

German Potato Salad
(This was delicious!)

Red Cabbage (It was good but I missed caraway with the cabbage.)

Red Cabbage
(It was good but I missed caraway with the cabbage.)

Bratwurst This was yummy, but whole grain mustard to accompany it would have been great.

Brätwurst
(This was delicious, but whole grain mustard to accompany it would have been great.)

Sourbratten

Sauerbraten

Our plated meal.
Our plated meal.
Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

Can't forget the Blue Label Chimay!
Can’t forget the Blue Label Chimay!
Some of the 32 people who were there.
Some of the 32 people who were there.
More of the people. Hope to see you there next time.
More of the people. Hope to see you there next time.

Asian Fusion at the Buzz Wine Dinner


buzz_logo_cafeThis is the second year that Cristi has had an Asian food theme for one of the monthly Wine Dinners. I love the change! And then she also shares the recipes, if you ask. Or, if you joined us at the Wine Dinner last night, you already have the recipe for the Asian Salad. But I want the recipe for – Asian Nachos! These were delicious and interesting. And the way I scored the wines was interesting. Still using the [20] point scale, most came in at [17] – 5 of them! One [18] and one [12]. These monthly events are really interesting and one always comes away with at least one thing they learned. Join us for this fun evening and a scrumptious Wine Dinner. Cheers! (Cristi! buzzbeans.com needs renewal! Buzzwine on WordPress needs updating.)

Asian Nachos (these were delicious!)2012 Zocker Gruner Veltliner 13.5% alc. great color and clarity. balance and body were good. finish was awesome [17] $20.00

Asian Nachos
(these were delicious! I want this recipe!)
2012 Zocker Gruner Veltliner
13.5% alc. great color and clarity. balance and body were good. finish was awesome. wonderful paring with the nachos. [17] $20.00

Asian Salad (surprisingly good. loved the jicama) 2013 Sun Garden Gewurztraminer 11.5% alc super finish - long - and appeal. best wine of the night. [18] $13.00

Asian Salad
(surprisingly good. loved the jicama replacing the daikon radish)
2013 Sun Garden Gewurztraminer
11.5% alc super finish – long – and appeal. best wine of the night. wonderful paring with the salad. [18] $13.00

Yam Soup (spicy hot) 2012 Baileyana Pinot Noir 13.5% alc. good finish and generally appealing. [17] $22.00

Yam Soup
(spicy hot)
2012 Baileyana Pinot Noir
13.5% alc. good finish and generally appealing. this wine enhanced the spiciness of the soup. [17] $22.00

Chicken Thighs with Spicy Green Beans Rice 2012 Calcu Cabernet Sauvignon 13.5% alc. little light on the body, but good finish and appeal. [17] $15.00

Chicken Thighs
with
Spicy Green Beans
Steamed Rice

2012 Calcu Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% alc. little light on the body, but good finish and appeal. [17] $15.00

Poached Pear with Crystallized Ginger 2013 Rancho Sisquoc 14.4% alc. another higher scoring wine. just a good match with the pears. [17] $18.00

Poached Pears
with
Crystallized Ginger
2013 Rancho Sisquoc

14.4% alc. another higher scoring wine. just a good match with the pears. [17] $18.00

Boise Foodie Meet-Up at Bodovino


28Dec2013_1_Foodie-MeetUp-Bonovino_Card-FrontOn December 28, the Boise Foodie Meet-Up group – check out the hot link – visited Bodovino Wine Bar (an excellent website!) and the experience was a good one. Good food, really good service and a unique venue. You purchase a “card” with some dollar amount, and then you can visit up to 144 different wines (see photos below) and get whatever wine you desire and whatever amount you wish, 1oz, 3oz or 5oz. Each wine and each amount has a different price and they range from $1.00 to $12.00 (the highest I found).
The tapas that we had was very good. A nice selection of cheese, pasta (pizza) and antipasti. They have a full selection of menu items, including salads and sliders, and all seem to be reasonably priced. Overall – a good experience. I will rate them 4-Stars out of 5-Stars. The room that we were in, there are several, was very noisy and loud. Otherwise, good. We will probably return. Please enjoy these photos. You will get some idea of the ambiance and of the tapas. Cheers!!

"Still Life"
“Still Life”
Wine Bar overview.
Wine Bar overview.
Some of the 144 available wines. A unique idea for dispensing the wine.
Some of the 144 available wines. A unique idea for dispensing the wine.
French Cheese Selection
French Cheese Flight
Charcuterie Plate
Charcuterie Plate
"Baguette and Cheese"
“Baguette and Cheese”
Northend Pizza
North End Flatbread