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Monday, May 26, 2008


ICEWINE; extreme winemaking (Key Porter Books, 2007, 192 pages, ISBN
978-1-55263-926-9, $50 CDN hard covers) is mainly by Donald Ziraldo,
who, with winemaker Karl Kaiser, founded Inniskillin Wines in 1974. It
was the first small and new winery in Ontario since 1929. There's a
foreword from Hugh Johnson, an icewine flavour wheel from Shari
Darling, some notes from John Schreiner's book on Icewine, scientific
notes from Karl Kaiser, and recipes from the late Izabela Kalabis-Sacco
pulled together by Lyn Ogryzlo. The promotion bumpf says, "A gorgeous
collection, with full-colour photography and delicious recipes that
explains the art behind Canada's wine delicacy". They forgot to include
that the book also contains a big whack of scientific and technical
data, with copious charts, graphs, and tables, compiled for the most
part by Kaiser. He has all the figures for the history of Inniskillin
icewine, including - on a year by year basis -- harvest brix, harvest
temperatures, acid levels, ABV, residual sugars, all from 1983 through
2006 (the latter was harvested in January 2007). In addition, there are
figures for all of BC, all Ontario productions, Germany and Austria.
Icewine made in other locations, such as New Zealand or New York, are
cryogenic extractions (wines from the freezer). The book is very
detailed with maps and photos, discussing the effects of terroir, grape
varieties, pressing techniques, cork quality. There's a discussion of
VQA and the new sub-appellations in Niagara. Ziraldo has material on
how to properly appreciate and taste Icewine, using Riedal glasses
which he had helped to create. There are cocktail recipes, and 20 food
recipes using icewine or accompanying icewine, using both avoirdupois
and metric measurements for the ingredients.
Audience and level of use: lovers of icewine.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: foie gras with Granny Smith
apples; seared foie gras with icewine-soaked apricots; grilled fig
salad with gorgonzola; truffled cream of cauliflower soup; leg of lamb
with fig compote.
The downside to this book: there's a suggestion of a gift book here,
but no matter.
The upside to this book: there's a separate index for the recipes.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

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