Just realised you need to chill your wine ready for your online wine tasting? That it's been sitting on the kitchen counter and not in the fridge? No stress! Here we have a few ways to chill wine (some very fast!).
Take a look at our quick guide to the ideal wine temperature where we cover why wine, even red wines, need to be chilled. We don't have to get scientific about it, but wine at the right temperature will sing like a bird..
Five ways to chill wine from slow to fast..
- In the fridge: easy and efficient! That said, wines shouldn’t be stored long-term in your regular fridge, since the temperature is too low and the low humidity risks drying out the cork (if it’s natural). You don't want to keep wine more than a few days in the fridge, so try and plan so it's not sitting in the cold and dark for more than needed.
- On the windowsill: let's not forget the power of the great outdoors! When it’s cold outside (and your fridge is full!) put your wines on the balcony or windowsill. This is a great way to chill reds that just need to have the edge taken off and not submit them to the shock of a fridge. It’s also the most eco-friendly solution to chill wine, which has got to be a plus.
- With ice: ever realised you’d forgotten to put that bottle in the fridge? If you have some ice cubes to hand, throw them in a bucket with cold water and salt. Always add water to your ice cubes, ice alone won’t chill the wine so quickly as all those pockets of air between your bottle and the ice don’t transmit the cold to the glass. Adding some salt in brings the freezing point of water below 0 ̊C, meaning the ice will melt quicker but the water will be so cold, it’ll chill the wine in minutes.
- In an ice sleeve: we loooove these ice sleeves (another nifty invention from the people at Vacuvin - we also love their vacuum pumps too). Their makers say that they chill wine within 5 minutes and keep it cool for hours. Not quite as nice looking as having a wine bucket, but they are way more practical. In fact they have also created a bucket which includes a sleeve but depending on the shape of your bottle this means you end up tipping the bottle in the bucket when you want to serve - not totally practical. Also, if you have a slim bottle, don’t forget to hold the bottle by the neck and base though, as the pack warms, the sleeve becomes less snug and the bottle can fall out (personal experience!). In any case, the sleeves have saved our champagne urges more than once...
- In a wine fridge: most wine refrigerators offer two separate temperature settings and look well, super cool. A temperature difference of 6 degrees makes them run most efficiently. They’re the best way to keep and treasured bottles at exactly the right temperature and humidity for further ageing and you’ll never have an excuse not to have a bottle ready chilled for any occasion.
You'll notice we're not big fans of putting wine in the freezer unless there's no other option just because freezers are just so cold (minus 18C). That's one thermal shock they don't really like...
Wine too cold? Cradling the bowl of your glass in your hand will soon warm it up.
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Thanks for these great tips! As I am a white wine drinker I often find myself in that situation where I want to drink a bottle that is not ready and chilled (sadly I don’t have room for a wine fridge). What I’ve been using recently is a wine chiller/cooling stick. It’s a metal rod that I keep in the freezer and it does the trick perfectly. You do need to take a few sips of lukewarm wine first before you can put it in the bottle (science really but I found out the hard way..)