Tag Archives: Ice Wine

Behold: The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival

Ice Wine, Ohio wineries, Ohio Booze Blog

Photo Courtesy of everydaydrinkers.com

The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival kicked off this weekend in the Grand River Valley Region of Northeast Ohio.  In my travels this semester I have found that Ice Wine is absolutely delicious!  I wasn’t able to attend the event on Saturday but I want to tell ya’ll about it so you can join me either Saturday, March 12, 2011 or Saturday, March 19, 2011.  I’ll be experiencing this delicious concoction at the event on March 19 with my nephew’s grandma, Brenda, and her friends.  Join me!

Blogger Sandy M. tells you about the production of Ice Wine in her blog The Ohio Wine Lover.

What is the Ice Wine Festival?

The Ice Wine Festival is a progressive tasting of Ice Wines from five wineries in Madison,

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Photo Courtesy of Grand River Cellars

Ohio and Geneva, Ohio.  At each winery patrons will receive a complimentary appetizer and be exposed to varying degrees of entertainment.

What is a Progressive Tasting?

A progressive tasting means the patron starts the tasting at one winery and progressively move to the other four wineries at his or her own pace.  I know it seems so simple but I had to look into it a little bit to figure out what it meant.  I had assumed all wineries were bringing Ice Wines to one place so we could taste them…I was wrong.

What’s the Ice Wine Festival Cost?

  • Tickets are $5 each at each winery.
  • Patrons receive a complimentary appetizer with each Ice Wine tasting.
  • Bring a canned food item to each winery and receive $1 off the ticket price.
  • The canned food item will help support local food banks.
Canned Food Drive, Ice Wine Festival, food banks, Madison, Geneva

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

What Wineries are Participating?

Great question!

I’ve had the pleasure of tasting the Ice Wine from Grand River Cellars and Ferrante Winery.  I can only imagine the delicious sweetness I’ll experience from the other wineries when I get up there for the event.

What’s my Complimentary Appetizer?

  • Debonne Vineyards
    • Adams Reserve sharp Cheddar served with homemade peach jam & crushed walnuts.
  • Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
    • Fire roasted pork infused with Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.
  • Grand River Cellars and Restaurant
    • Pizza topped with homemade pear jam, bleu cheese, and crushed walnuts.
  • Laurello Vineyards
    • Dark chocolate peppered Biscotti drizzled with white chocolate.
  • St. Joseph Vineyards
    • Pound cake with Krzys Ohio maple syrup, whipped cream and crushed nuts.

Notice that each appetizer has a sort of sweet aspect to it?  That’s because Ice Wine is a dessert wine and the chefs and winemakers have decided each Ice Wine pairs perfectly with each appetizer.

What Entertainment Will I Experience?

  • Debonne Vineyards will have ice carving at noon and a sled dog demonstration.  An Ice Wine martini bar will also be available for a small additional fee.  I’m pretty excited about that martini bar. 😉
  • Ferrante Winery & Ristorante will have a fire and ice cooking demonstration all day by Chef Nina (sounds pretty interesting!) and at 3 p.m. Carol Johnson, a local artist, will create glass art grape jewelry.
  • Grand River Cellars and Restaurant will have an Ice Wine marshmallow roast all day (for a small additional fee); ice carving at 2 p.m.; and live painting by local artist Jacci Guarino-Stincic.
  • Laurello Vineyards will have Lake Erie glass jewelry by Rita Burns; pottery by William Shearrow; and free wine jelly samples by Gatherings.
  • St. Joseph Vineyards will feature a local art show and is giving away a free Ice Wine glass to the first 300 patrons on site.
Debonne Winery, Ice Wine, Ohio wine, Ohio Booze Blog

Photo Courtesy of Debonne Vineyards

Ohio Booze Blog, Laurel Vineyards, Ice Wine, Ohio wine

Photo Courtesy of Laurel Vineyards

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Photo Courtesy of Ferrante Winery

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Photo Courtesy of Grand River Cellars


A Very Ferrante Valentine’s Day

Ferrante Winery, Ohio Booze Blog, Ohio WineryI decided to kill two birds with one stone and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Pat, my boyfriend, at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante in Harpersfield, Ohio on Sunday.  We try not to make a big deal out of this holiday but it just happened to work out this way.  And Pat was feeling the whole wine thing because he just watched Sideways.

The History

The Ferrante family has been making wine since 1937.  The winery originated in Collinwood, Ohio and moved to Harpersfield in 1979.  Ten years later the restaurant opened to showcase the award-winning wines and construct the classic food and wine experience.  Ferrante is one of the largest vineyards in Ohio and hosts events and live music all year.

The Ambience

We were greeted by a very friendly hostess and escorted to our table in the main dining room.  The restaurant was bustling with couples and families enjoying the musical sounds of Joey Vanilli.  Vanilli was nestled in the upper portion of the restaurant; the high ceilings helped his soulful jams radiate throughout the building.

The main dining room was lined with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the 65-acres of vineyards.  The natural light illuminated the dining room, accenting the rustic Italian decorations.

The Experience

Ferrante Winery Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Ohio Winery, Ohio Booze Blog

Ferrante Winery's Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

Pat and I started our dinner with a glass each of Ice Wine.  Pat had the Vidal Blanc Ice Wine and I had the Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.  Of course we shared.

The Vidal Blanc Ice Wine is white, creamy, tastes like honey and is $8 for a 4-oz glass. The Cabernet Franc Ice Wine is red, velvety, tastes like berries and is $10 for a 4-oz glass.  Pricey?  Yes.  Worth it?  Definitely.

Readers beware: a 375-mL bottle (about 1.5 cups) of Ferrante’s Ice Wine is between $29 and $35.  The price is pretty standard for a bottle of Ice Wine from the Grand River Valley region of Northeast Ohio.  The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival is just around the corner, so stay tuned for more information about Ice Wines.

We splurged for dinner, conforming to the celebration of Valentine’s Day.  I had the Vitello alla

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Vitello alla Carciofo Limone

Carciofo Limone, which is a really fancy way to say veal with artichoke hearts, proscuitto, mushrooms and capers in a white wine lemon butter glaze and served with pasta and a salad. It was $19, as veal is normally a little more expensive.

Pat isn’t too adventurous when it comes to food, so he stuck with a pizza.  Both were very delicious.

We decided to try two more wines with dinner and that’s when things got interesting.  I ordered a glass of White Catawba and Pat ordered a glass of Bianco, a white wine I have never heard of or tasted before.  The waitress described it as “a very grapey smell and distinct taste.”

I found out on Sunday that very grapey means it smells like asphalt.  Are you familiar with the smell of freshly paved roads?  That is what this wine smelled like.   The woman working in the wine tasting room warned us not to smell it and just drink it.  We should have listened to her.  It did taste delicious though.

We decided to try every wine on the menu to prolong our Valentine’s Day dinner. We started with the dry to medium dry and proceeded to medium sweet to sweet wines.

Dry to Medium Dry:

  • Reserve Chardonnay
  • Signature Series Chardonnay
  • Signature Series Pinot Grigio
  • Golden Bunches Dry Riesling
  • Signature Series Gewurtztraminer
  • Vino Della Casa White
  • Reserved Red
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Vino Della Casa Red

Medium Sweet to Sweet

  • American Riesling
  • Grand River Valley Riesling
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Bianco
  • Rosato
  • Jester’s Blush
  • Pink Catawba
  • Rosso
  • Celebration Spice

The Lesson

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Ferrante Winery's Celebration Spice

Of all these wines we tried the Celebration Spice was my favorite.  It tasted sweet and full of flavor…like pumpkin pie!  It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth.  I understand why it’s the last wine to taste on the sweet wine sample tray. I loved it so much I bought three bottles of it for $8 each.  I have dubbed it the Christmas Ale of wines.

None of the other wines really stuck out to me too much.  I know everyone has a different palette and prefers different tastes but I just don’t like dry wine.  Especially Riesling.  Maybe that will change one day.  Until then, I’ll stick with my sweets.