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Today’s Podcast and full length conversation with the “Iceman” Donald Ziraldo
Part 1 Podcast and full length conversation with the “Iceman” Donald Ziraldo http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/04/01/wine-guy-mike-for-april-1st/
NBC Montana Today TV Easter wines with food pairing suggestions; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html
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Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip. Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com
Sleep City Missoula www.SleepCity.com
Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.
Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.
This week the Iceman Donald Ziraldo joins WineGuyMike for week two for the final show in this series on Ice-wine. Last week we tasted the Equifera Riesling Ice Wine and this week I’ll taste the Equifera Vidal Ice Wine with Donald.
If you missed last week’s show with Donald and I be sure to listen to it, the podcast link is; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/04/01/wine-guy-mike-for-april-1st/ Talking with Ziraldo is like sitting in on an intimate wine education course.
The Equifera Ice Wine was a treat for me to taste. Tasting wine with Donald Ziraldo was a pleasure and an education, one of my stand-out featured guests I have had the opportunity to have on my show. In addition to last week’s following blog post I have included my review from this week’s tasting of the Equifera Vidal Ice Wine.
Ice-wine is a wine of extremes. Donald Ziraldo who produces Equifera Icewine is a man of extreme passion. This week on the WineGuyMike radio show I had the pleasure and opportunity to talk with Donald and learn about him, his life’s body of work, and the Ice-wine he is so passionate about.
Ice wine is a form of extreme winemaking that takes the excruciating circumstances of Mother Nature to an entirely new level. Ice-wine or “liquid gold” as it is referred to by wine aficionados is a dessert, or aperitif wine.
The practice of making Eiswein in Germany dates back to the early 1700’s. But it is in Canada where it has become a modern day art. Canada is now recognized as the finest Ice-wine producing area in the world. This is mainly due to the Herculean efforts of one man, Donald Ziraldo.
Ziraldo is known as the “Godfather” of Ice-wine throughout the world. He is also readily acknowledged as the world’s foremost authority on Ice-wine’s. Ziraldo is the son of Italian immigrants who settled in the Canadian province of Ontario. This is just across from Lake Ontario, one of the best known wine regions in the United States, the Finger Lakes region.
Ice-wine is a winemaking style wherein grapes are naturally frozen on the vine, harvested during the middle of the night and pressed in the extreme cold to separate the juice from the ice crystals.
If the freeze does not come soon enough, the entire crop can be lost to rotting and if the freeze is too severe, it can prevent any juice from being extracted when the grapes are pressed. The results produce very special wines that express aromatic flavors of white and tropical fruits such as mango, peach, and lychee.
Donald Ziraldo has a long and storied history of producing fine quality wines with winemaker Karl Kaiser. Ziraldo and Kaiser are the forefathers of Canadian Ice-wine, together they founded Inniskillin Winery. The Ice-wines of Inniskillin put Canadian Ice-wine of the map of the wine scene internationally. Inniskillin produced many internationally renowned wines.
In 2006 Ziraldo and Kaiser left Inniskillin, although Kaiser remains as an emeritus consultant to Inniskillin. Ziraldo has a new wine project in the Equifera Ice winery.
The Equifera Ice Wines are grown and produced in Short Hills, a sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula. The Equifera Estate Winery is the former home to champion race horses in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Equifera produces Riesling, Vidal, and red Cabernet Franc Ice-wines. This week WineGuyMike had the opportunity to talk with Donald about the beautiful Equifera Ice-wines, we tasted them too.
The award winning Equifera Ice Wine is a special occasion in a glass. When I taste great wine it occurs to me that you can taste the personality on the person behind the wine. This is true of the Equifera Ice Wine, perhaps the best of Donald Ziraldo’s entire body of work in the world of wine.
The first wine that Donald and I tasted was the Riesling Ice-wine. The Equifera Ice Wines strike the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. The Riesling is lighter in body and texture than the Equifera Vidal Ice Wine that Donald and I will taste next week on the show. The structure and complexity of this magnificent ice-wine go hand-in-hand. You would be hard pressed to find more complex wines in the world than the Equifera Ice Wines. You could think of the Equifera wines as having multiple personalities as there are some many layers to them, you must try them.
Visually this Riesling ice-wine has a deep golden straw color that dances in your glass. You are then greeted with the aroma of tropical fruit and a wonderful essence of stone fruit, and the nectar of honey. On the mid-palate combine a wonderful tug of war between sweetness and acidity. The complexity of this wine is so deep that of the finish your palate is cleansed from the perfect acidity of the wine, but it does not end there. The finish is an eternity of joyful bliss, just like a world class Sauterne you are left with the flavor of tart raisin. This is one of the premier dessert or aperitif wines you will ever taste.
Week Two wine tasting:
The Equifera Vidal Ice Wine is every bit as complex as the Riesling, the Equifera Ice Wines are tantalizing. The quality of Donald’s wines is exceptional. The Vidal varietal is a hybrid of Trebbiano and Ugni Blanc grapes. The Vidal varietal is hardy and more resistant to the extreme cold than the Riesling.
The Vidal that Donald and I tasted this week is fuller in body than the Riesling Ice-wine. The nose of the Vidal is beautifully aromatic with tropical fruits of pineapple, mangos, lychee and then notes of grapefruit. When this wine hits the palate it just explodes filling your mouth with lush texture that clings to sides of you mouth. The Vidal, like the Riesling from Equifera is so well structured and balanced with acidity that it cleanses the palate on the finish, but not without a lingering memory of rich tropical fruit and honey. Truly incredible wines from Ziraldo.
View this Cocktail Mixology video with Equifer Ice Wine with Donald; www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeJV_arD8P4
I would like to thank Donald for taking time to share his Equifera Ice Wine with the WineGuyMike audience; it was a memorable experience for all.
You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM. These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com
Liquid Planet in the heart of Downtown Missoula features the wines I have tasted today. Be sure to stop by the very best of beverage and see the Ice-wine I have selected for you. Missoula’s premier wine shopping experience, Liquid Planet.