Iceland is one of the harshest lanscapes on earth and the newest habitable landmass - kind of like Rangitoto Island. It is also one of the coldest countries (the highest recorded temperature was 30.5 C and the lowest - 38C)
Iceland is the most developed society in the world, ranked first on the United Nations' Human Development Index. Icelanders are the second longest-living nation with a life expectancy at birth of 81.8 years.
Iceland is the fourth most productive country in the world by nominal gross domestic product per capita and the fifth most productive by GDP.
Everything is expensive in Iceland but the country has one of the most egalitarian taxing systems in the world and a superb social welfare sysyem.
Did I mention it is cold?
It is cold and Icelanders drink lots of alcohol to help keep the cold out (and their blood from freezing?)
Journalist A.A. Gill said that Iceland has the most beautiful women in the world (and, fortunately for all us blokes, the ugliest men).
So, do they drink wine - yes, mostly red wines.
Do they drink too much - probably but all that red wine is good for their health. Interestingly Icelanders have voted against supermarkets selling hard liquor. They are lucky to have the vote. In New Zealand at the moment the megamaniacal Australian-owned Woolworths chain is lobbying to get the right to sell spirits (read RTD's and alcoholic sodas) in their Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown supermarkets. We won't get a say in this even if we object because our politicians (the same prats who brought down the drinking age) will make the decision.
OK - Ice Wine. Made from grapes like Kerner, Rulander, Muller Thurgau, Riesling, Vidal, Gewurtztraminer etc, principally in Germany (Eiswein), Austria, Canada, California and New Zealand it is so named because (in Canada and Germany) grapes are left to ripen way into cold conditions and can freeze on the vine. The frozen grapes are harvested and crushed while frozen and the frozen water component separated from the remaining concentrated juice. The result is a sweeter, more luscious wine than would otherwise have been produced.
In California and New Zealand, ripe grapes are harvested, crushed and then the juice frozen and ice particles racked off producing the same result. The Germans and Canadians don't like this process and have taken steps to prohibit such wines being marketed in Europe, Canada and USA labelled as Ice Wine.
If the Icelanders were to drink German Eiswein or Canadian Icewine they would probably have to pay the eqivalent of NZD 400 a bottle for it (their taxes are high and these wines start out expensive also).
In New Zealand we can drink Selaks Ice Wine (still allowed to be labelled as such in New Zealand) 375ml for about $14 a bottle (would probably be about $60 in Rekjavik).
I'd rather be in New Zealand with the second most beautiful women in the world!