3 Canadian Wines to Help You Cope with All This Snow

Posted March 20, 2015

Geoff Gates


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Great. Another snowstorm. At this point, we have more in common with our friendly neighbor to the North than we'd like to admit. 

Canada may be best known for its breeding of hockey players, Tim Horton’s Double-Doubles, and calling 24 packs of beers two-fours (for more cultural references, click here), but they’re much, much more than that. I had no idea Canada even had wineries, and when I went to my first one I was prepared to be (kindly) underwhelmed. Little did I know that Canada would play host to some of my all time favorite wines, and it might do the same for you.

2012 Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine

What, did you think we’d start with any other type of wine? We all know Canada is a vast, frozen tundra, but they’ve used that to turn themselves into an international powerhouse for Ice Wine production. Layers of apricot mixed with tangerine and beeswax makes this a killer, icy Riesling. It’ll drink well for another 3-4 years, so don’t be shy to put it away for when the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Cup.

2010 Cave Springs Riesling Indian Summer

If you haven’t tried a Niagara wine, you’re missing out on some of the best wine this continent has to offer. Rolling hills, rich soil, and crystal clear water; you couldn’t find a better microclimate to grow Riesling grapes, and it shows in the final product. A crazy hybrid between a traditional Riesling and an ice wine, you’ll find an array of fruit flavors with a crisp, balanced acidity. Better than a brand new Team Canada toque if you ask me!

2012 Inniskillin Cab Franc Ice Wine

Another beauty of a wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake (if you want to take a trip to some vineyards this summer, GO TO NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE), this vineyard sits on beautiful coastal hills and has a winemaker with 25+ years experience to boot. This Ice Wine is a balanced combination of bursting berry flavors, tobacco, and pepper. Smooth and delicious with the freshest of water feeding its growth, this Cab Franc is better than a poutine on a cold January night in downtown Ottawa.

Canada may consist of overly friendly, Loonie-spending hockey hosers, but they’re quickly becoming a force to be reconed with in the wine world. Not just for Ice Wine, but traditional red and whites as well. So the next time you get a chance to tour the Great White North I’d highly recommend hitting up a vineyard or two, and tell ‘em Geoff Gates sent ya!


Geoff Gates gained his wine experience working the tasting tables at Blomidon Estate Winery, giving him enough clout to be the guy who orders the vino at every group outing. A New York native, he's recently moved to San Francisco to write more articles and, of course, drink more wine.


Item: 79913

375 mL

Retail: $34.98

$21.05 per btl

Product Label.

Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine

93 Wine Spectator

Item: 84626

375 mL

Retail: $84.99

$57.09 per btl

Item: 85837

375 mL

Retail: $99.99

$72.09 per btl