If you’ve walked by the fantastic Ice Gate outside of Richmond City Hall on your way to the Richmond OZone, you’ve likely passed the Inniskillin Icewince Gallery providing tastings of three of their Icewines.
Established in 1975 (and being granted the first winery license in Ontario since prohibition), Inniskillin has vineyards in both the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley here in British Columbia. Furthermore, parent company Vincor is also the official supplier of wine for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Icewine Gallery is located at the main entrance to the Richmond OZone with Inniskillin having two 36′ bars serving tastings as well as a VIP lounge – all of which is designed to match the icy appeal of the Ice Gate across the way.
Now for anyone keeping score, I’m far from an expert when it comes to Icewine. In fact, I’d wager to say that I’d never tried Icewine prior to stopping by the Icewine Gallery. So after some discussion on twitter, I was offered a chance to try a small taste of each, not bad way to take the first step to becoming an Icewine connoisseur.
Available to try in the Icewine gallery were the Inniskillin Vidal from Niagara, the Inniskillin Okanagan Riesling Icewine, and the Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Commemorative Edition from Niagara. Although I can’t remember the exact order I tried the first two in, I was blown away by the intense flavour each provided – it was like an explosion on my palate to tell you the truth. But my favourite, was the last of the three – the Commemorative Edition.
I can’t really begin to describe why I liked the Commemorative Edition over the other two. I just found the flavour to have the right intensity and the the Icewine itself just to go down nice – heck, I could see myself sticking a straw in the bottle it was that good. Not only did the selection taste great,the artwork on the bottle itself is awesome – work from Gordon Halloran, the creator of the Ice Gate itself. To me, I’d love to have a bottle (empty or full) simply out for display, the image is so neat. Furthermore, proceeds of each bottle sold go to the Canadian Olympic Team and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games so how can you not feel good about supporting our Canadian athletes?
Available throughout the 2010 Winter Games, the Inniskillin Icewine Gallary will be open from 3:00pm to 11:00pm on weeknights and noon to 11:00pm on weekends. The tastings cost $5 for each half oz. sample, but the best deal is $10 to try all three. Make sure you also follow them on twitter (@2010Wines) to keep abreast of news and events.
Disclosure: I received a half oz. tasting of all three icewines (value $10). I simply chose to review the tasting on my own afterwards – cmp.ly/1