Much to our delight, we were asked to participate in a collaborative #WineChat featuring ice wine or Eiswein as it’s called in Germanic language.The chat, which takes place tonight, Wednesday, February 18, 2014 at 9pm EST will feature wines from New York’s Finger Lake region and our own liquid gold from Winery Hoepler in Burgenland near the Neusiedlersee. The wine featured tonight will be an Eiswein made from Pinot Noir, 2009 vintage. Just follow #WineChat on Twitter tonight to join in the fun.

If you aren’t familiar with Eiswein, or ice wine, in it’s most basic of definitions, it is a wine made from frozen grapes. In Austria, there are a few more rules.

Producing Eiswein demands a great deal of patience. Grapes which are ripe – but not botrytised – wait on the vines for the arrival of the first frosts. Ultimately, temperatures that are at around – 7 º C (for at least several hours) will freeze the water crystals in the grapes. This is when the grapes must be harvested and pressed. In the press, the water remains as clumps of ice while only the concentrated must flows out. Eisweins are recognised by their elegant, piquant fruit and racy acidity. Plus the varietal character is still clearly present as well.

A picture shows a vineyard in winter
© AWMB / Lukan
 Don’t have a bottle of Eiswein to follow along with? No worries! You can still learn a ton and we recommend making this traditional Austrian skiing dessert help keep yourself warm! 





Also known as “Emporers Trifle” this dish is a true staple in Viennese cuisine and can not only be served as dessert but also as a main course. And: It is really easy to make.


  • 6 eggs
  • 350–400 ml milk
  • 180–200 g finely ground flour
  • 3 tbsp crystal sugar, for the topping
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 packet (8g) vanilla sugar
  • A dash of rum
  • Some grated lemon rind
  • A pinch of salt
  • Approx. 50 g butter for frying
  • 1 tablespoon of butter shavings and crystal sugar, for caramelising
  • Icing sugar and cinnamon for dusting

How to prepare it:

  1. Place the raisins in a bowl, mix with the rum and leave to stand for approx. 15 minutes. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour in the milk, flavor with some grated lemon rind and vanilla sugar, and add the flour. Mix to form a smooth dough.
  2. Beat the egg whites together with the sugar and a small pinch of salt until it forms a firm peak, and fold into the dough mix. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C.
  3. Melt the butter in a heatproof (coated) dish. Pour in the mixture and after 1–2 minutes sprinkle the soaked raisins over the top. Cook the underside until light brown, turn over using a spatula and bake for 6–8 minutes in the pre-heated oven until golden brown.
  4. Tear the ‘Schmarren’ into small pieces, using two forks. Sprinkle the butter shavings over the top, add some crystal sugar, and caramelize in the broiler under high top heat.
  5. Remove from the oven and arrange on pre-heated plates. Dust with confectioners sugar and cinnamon.

Serve with baked plums, a berry or fruit compote.
The Emperor’s ‘Trifle’ can also be made on the stove top and caramelized at the end covered with a lid.

So please join us tonight and learn more about Austrian Eiswein, Hoepler as a producer, the region, the wine, and more!