January's frigid temperatures have sparked the grape harvest for 2008 grapes. Canadian Living's wine writer Anne Martin writes all about Icewine in the February issue of Canadian Living. She shares her favourites and gives recommendations on how to serve it. The harvesting takes place throughout January depending on the temperature and location of the vines. The thinner skinned Cabernet Franc and Riesling are hand picked first and the thicker skinned varieties like Vidal follow. Grapes are left on the vine well into the winter. The freezing and thawing of the grapes dehydrates the fruit, concentrates the sugars, and intensifies the flavour. The juice from the frozen grapes is about one-fifth the amount you would normally get from the grapes. Because of the lower yield of grapes and the slower fermentation as well as the difficulty of picking and processing, icewines are more expensive than table wines. A 375mL bottle may sell for as much as $300. In Canada the average price for a 375mL bottle of icewine is around $45. Canada is the largest icewine producer in the world with 40 to 50 vintners in Ontario and British Columbia producing this liquid gold. Niagara's Icewine Festival kicked off last weekend and runs until the 25th of January. I attended the Icewine Gala last year and it was a blast. There are outdoor ice bars, lots of great food and of course lots of sampling of icewine. Click here to sign up for Christine's Food for Friends e-newsletter!