Translated literally from French
of the icebox." Icebox wines typically fall under the heading of dessert
wines, named so because they go best with desserts, or can be drank as
the dessert. Icebox wines, as the name implies, are best served chilled
The crafting process for icebox wines varies greatly. Some wineries use techniques borrowed from ice winemaking, freezing the grapes before they are mashed. Typically they are aged in barrels, and like any wine, the type of barrel will end up imparting the wine with varying seasons. Some add other extracts to the mix afterward, some do not. The same goes for fortification.
An icebox wine possesses medium to high sugar content, with acidity to match. Like any good wine, fruit and spice essences are a given, a proper vintage possessing many different subtle hues to color the flavor tapestry. Commonly detected esters are pear, apricot, peach, all sorts of berries, mango, and of course, many varieties of grapes. Other tinctures for the palate include honey, vanilla, or rose.
Generally, the best icebox wines primarily utilize Muscat grapes, and those that do tend to state so on the label. Wines from Italy are generally designated "Moscato," and those from Iberia "Moscatel."
When paired with the right dessert, an icebox wine can amplify the sensory experience far beyond the dessert alone. Superb cheesecakes paired with fine dessert wines have been known to produce flavorgasms, and should only be consumed while sitting down in a safe environment.