For the next 11 days, AP video journalist Lila Ibrahim and professional snowboarder and “The Bachelorette” winner Jesse Csincsak will co-host “Beyond The Medal” — a new show offering fans of the Olympics a behind-the-scenes look at the games and the host cities of Vancouver and Whistler.
In todays show we take you to Maple Delights in Gastown to have some Tasty Treats…. Then to wrap up our 14th show we go to Elixir to taste some Ice Wine…
It has been said that winemaking is the world’s second oldest profession. Perhaps the secrets of wine making are older than recorded history, which first mentions wines around the year 1500 BC, starting in Mesopotamia or Caucasia. By the year 3000 BC wine making had spread to Greece and to Italy by 1000 BC. The Greeks called Italy the Land of the Vines. The Vikings landed in what is now called Newfoundland, calling this new land Vineland.
Chateau d’Yquem from France is one of the most prized dessert wines in the world. Château d’Yquem is a Premier Cru Supérieur French, “Great First Growth” or “Great First Vintage”) wine from the Sauternes region in the southern part of Bordeaux. Its history can be traced back to 1711; long before Germany made icewine. The prohibitive price made it available only to royalty.
In the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Château d’Yquem was the only wine from the Sauternes region given this rating, indicating its perceived superiority over all other wines of its type. Wines from Château d’Yquem are characterized by their complexity, concentration and sweetness. A relatively high acidity helps to counteract the sweetness. Another characteristic for which Château d’Yquem wines are renowned is their longevity. In a good year, a bottle will only begin to show its qualities after a decade or two of cellaring, and with proper care will keep for a century or more, gradually adding layers of taste and hitherto undetected fruity overtones.**
Château d’Yquem was the drink of royalty. Few could afford the price. It was not until the development of icewine was there a wine that equaled or surpassed the status of Château d’Yquem . That was not until the 1980s when noted wine writers compared the two and declared in favour of icewine. Simply stated, it had a fresher taste.
Although there is some debate as to where Icewine originated, many believe it was accidentally discovered in Franconia in 1774. However, it was not until the middle of the last century that Germany’s wine producers made a conscious effort to produce icewine on a consistent bases.***
Dr. Hans Georg Ambrosi is called the father of Eiswein by many of his peers. From 1967 until 1990 he was the director of the Rheingau State Domaine, one of the world’s greatest wine estates.* He first began experimenting with Eiswein wines in 1955 while at school in South Africa, where traditions and laws regulating wine production did not restrict him. Ambrois returned to Germany where he was appointed director of the Rheingau State Domaine. He found another winemaker who had also produced icewine; thus began Germany’s production of icewine on a regular bases.
While Germany is recognized by most of the world as the home of Icewine, they ironically cannot produce the wine every year. Whereas, Canadian icewine makers can and do. Canadian winemakers “fine tuned” the art, and today Canada is the worldwide leader as an icewine producer.