22/01/2009

sky lanterns + icewine, demystified

i think i might have fallen in love with the notion of sky lanterns. i have a thing for anything lantern-y. patio lanterns included. you know, the papery vintage style ones that are little tiki huts or the plastic colourful lantern replicas on a string? awesome.

summertime imagery aside - these ones remind me of innocence, in a way. of hopes and dreams and the way that people set them off into the world, infused with childlike wonderment, with that same firefly magic.

so. pretty.

yesterday, i'd mentioned a little bit of canadian heritage in a bottle that we like to call icewine. it appears that a lot of you haven't had the pleasure of being introduced, so let me explain a bit.

while i have to be honest and say that we can't be credited for the creation of the icewine technique per se (we've got the germans to thank for that), we certainly have made steps towards perfecting it.

in short: it's made in january/february when the temperature drops quickly + drastically as only canadian winters can do. the harvesters go out when it's something ridiculous like -17C out (1.4F) in the dead of the night, to ensure that the sun doesn't come up and thaw the grapes out (even just a little bit can affect the wine).

so the grapes are frozen on the vine, which ensures that (thanks to a chemical reaction too complicated to explain here) their sugars become fantastically sweet. they're then harvested and made into ice wine (with a few fancy steps in between, i'm sure), which you can enjoy as a dessert wine. i'd highly recommend you giving it a try if you ever have the opportunity.


coincidence
: this weekend is the 14th annual niagara icewine festival. if anyone happens to live anywhere near niagara, check it out. it's good times.

turns out that canada's not just hockey, mounties and moose. (meese? meeses?)


photo courtesy of dans

5 comments:

please sir said...

Wow - these look amazing - would love to see this in person.

Rachel said...

Those lanterns are amazing.

And I'm so glad to have my icewine questions answered. I'm not always big on sweet wine, but this sounds too interesting to pass up. Maybe I'll try to track some down.

blazedanielle said...

OH my gosh don't do it!! haha! Jameson and I let one off with both of our families (to celebrate our engagement), and it was so scary! We lost it quickly in the wind, and thought it landed in another neighborhood. We ran after it as fast as we could... meanwhile, a chopper is continually circling above. Oh man. It is a great joke to tell now, and we still laugh about it, but at the time... we were freaking out! Make sure to do it over a lake. :)

blazedanielle said...

P.s. the icewine sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing! :)

Julia said...

Amazing! You're not just about Mounties?

XOXO

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