What is the difference between Vidal Icewine and Riesling Icewine?

Answered by Brandon Riddell

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of tasting and studying various types of ice wines. When it comes to Vidal Icewine and Riesling Icewine, there are some notable differences in terms of flavor profiles and characteristics.

1. Grape Varieties:
– Vidal Icewine: Vidal Blanc is a hybrid grape variety that is commonly used for making ice . It is known for its thick skin and high acidity, which makes it well-suited for the freezing temperatures required to produce ice wine.
– Riesling Icewine: Riesling is a classic grape variety that is often used for ice wine production. It is known for its aromatic qualities and high acidity, which helps balance the sweetness in the final product.

2. Flavor Profile:
– Vidal Icewine: Vidal Blanc ice wine typically exhibits flavors of stone fruits, such as apricot and peach. These stone fruit flavors are complemented by the wine's natural sweetness and high acidity. Additionally, Vidal Icewine can sometimes showcase tropical fruit notes, adding a layer of complexity to the overall flavor profile.
– Riesling Icewine: Riesling ice wine is known for its distinct flavors of stewed apple and stone fruits like apricot and peach. The apple notes are often described as being more pronounced in Riesling ice wine compared to Vidal Icewine. The high acidity of Riesling helps to balance the intense sweetness, creating a harmonious flavor profile.

3. Aromatics:
– Vidal Icewine: Vidal Blanc ice wine tends to have a rich and intense aroma, with hints of honey, floral notes, and sometimes a touch of spice. The aroma is often vibrant and enticing, drawing you in to explore the wine further.
– Riesling Icewine: Riesling ice wine is renowned for its aromatic qualities. It often exudes a bouquet of ripe apples, citrus fruits, and floral notes. The aromatic complexity of Riesling ice wine adds to its overall appeal and sensory experience.

4. Color and Texture:
– Vidal Icewine: Vidal Blanc ice wine typically has a golden or amber color, reflecting the ripeness of the grapes used. In terms of texture, Vidal Icewine often has a luscious and silky mouthfeel, coating the palate with its velvety texture.
– Riesling Icewine: Riesling ice wine can vary in color, ranging from pale golden to deep amber. The texture of Riesling ice wine is often described as rich and unctuous, with a luxurious and lingering finish.

While both Vidal Icewine and Riesling Icewine are delightful and popular choices for ice wine enthusiasts, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some may prefer the stone fruit and tropical fruit flavors of Vidal Icewine, while others may lean towards the stewed apple and aromatic qualities of Riesling Icewine. Whichever you choose, both offer a unique and indulgent experience that showcases the beauty of ice wine.