Sparkling Icewine: Techniques

I must confess my love for two types of wines: delectable icewine and refreshing sparkling wine, or bubbly, as it is more affectionately known. So when the wine industry in Niagara (Ontario), the world capital of icewine, first fused these two styles by creating sparkling icewine, I became doubly ecstatic. What better creation than to combine the delicious sweetness and oodles of tropical fruit flavors and aromas of icewine with the lively acidity of sparkling wine.     Icewine is an impeccably well-balanced sweet dessert wine produced from grapes naturally frozen on the vines. Most icewines are white and produced mainly from Vidal or Riesling, and exhibit aromas of peach, apricot and litchi, as well as nutty flavors in older icewines. Red icewines from such varieties as Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are now becoming popular too.     Making icewine, however, is a challenge and, coupled with very low yields, a half-bottle (375 mL) can set you back $40–60 or more. Add to that the cost and further challenge of making the wine sparkle and the price easily jumps to the