Editor's Letter | December / by Brian Yost

I need to point out that if Santa is drinking wine at the North Pole, it is almost certainly Ice Wine. So read on in this holiday edition and find out more about the winter harvest, a festival that celebrates the fruits of that labor and much more.

So here we go. It is already December. We are in the midst of the holiday season and old-man-winter is breathing down our necks.  Searching for an appropriate theme, we decided to devote this edition to Ice Wine. Yes, I know we are a little early. The harvest typically takes place in January, but we wanted to give you the lowdown on the Ice Wine Festival in Niagara, Ontario in a timely enough manner that you might still participate. Our feature article, by Krista Lamb, delivers all the details on the 21st Annual Niagara Ice Wine Festival.

Some of you may be unfamiliar with Ice Wine. If you are, we have that more than covered. Helena Nicklin shares her entertaining, but informative, explanation of Ice Wine in this month’s "Winebird’s Vinalogy." And it does not end there. Ingo Deckler also returns this month and takes us back to Franconia, where he describes the last harvest of the year in the frigid vineyards of the Main River Valley. A new writer makes makes her debut. Cortney Casey reports from Michigan and provides an account of the Ice Wine harvest Michigan wine country.

Adding to our extensive discourse in Ice Wine, Kristy Wenz brings us another of her culinary specialties in her “World Platter” column. She uses an Ice Wine reduction in a dessert that looks simply amazing. I have every intention of preparing the recipe for guests later this month. I will have to let you know how it works out, but you might want to try it as well with your holiday guests.

Moving away from our primary theme, we want to take you to a city that is getting a lot of press for its vibrant food and wine scene. We join Christine Campbell as she treats us to a tour of wine bars in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Finally, if you have had enough of northern climates and frigid temperatures, Rebekah Pizana sent her most recent dispatch from Umbria, Italy. She shares some stunning photographs and details the high points of her stay. Jump out and take a look.

I need to point out that if Santa is drinking wine at the North Pole, it is almost certainly Ice Wine. So read on in this holiday edition and find out more about the winter harvest, a festival that celebrates the fruits of that labor and much more.

That is all for now. You will hear more from me next year. Until then, the WTM staff and I want to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Cheers!