How To Chill Wine Fast? The Do's And Don'ts Of Chilling Wine

How-To Guides

chilled red wine

Chilling wine before serving is essential for a better drinking experience. But if you don’t know how to chill wine fast, then we are here to help.

To chill red wine, you have to refrigerate it for a certain amount of time. You may also use a salted ice bath or add frozen grapes to your drink.

Below are what you should and shouldn’t do when chilling a precious bottle of wine.

The Do's of Chilling Wine

Refrigerate Your Wine in a Wine Fridgewine stored in fridge

Wine tastes better when served at its chilling temperature. This is because when the wine is too warm, it tastes flabby and alcoholic.

However, the ideal temperature in chilling wine varies depending on the type of wine that you have. Here are the optimal temperatures depending on the wine:

  • Full-Bodied Reds and Fortified Wines

For full-bodied red wines such as Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, the ideal temperature is between 60-65°F or 16-18°C. That temperature range is the same in chilling fortified wines like Madeira and Port.

You only need to refrigerate both types for about 45 minutes, and you’ll get the right temperature.

  • Light-Bodied Red Wines

Since light-bodied wines (such as Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Grenache) are more acidic, they need a lower temperature for chilling.

The optimal temperature in chilling light-bodied reds is just below 55°F or 13°C. Since they require a lower temperature, you have to refrigerate them for about 90 minutes.

  • Full-Bodied Whites and Dessert Wines

As compared to full-bodied reds, full-bodied whites (such as Chardonnay) require lower temperatures in chilling. 

The appropriate temperature for chilling wines of this type is between 50-60°F or 10-16°C. Dessert wines such as Sauternes also require that temperature range.

  • Lighter, Fruitier Wines

Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio fall under this category, and wines under this type should be refrigerated at lower temperatures between 45-50°F or 7-10°C.

  • Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines like Prosecco, Champagne, sparkling rosés, and sparkling brut should be chilled at a much lower temperature.

This process is crucial to keep the carbon dioxide gas intact and prevent the bottle from accidentally opening. Temperatures between 40-50°F or 4-10°C should be sufficient.

Other Tips in Refrigerating Wines

Store your rosé, white, and sparkling wine in the refrigerator for about two hours. Then, take it out of the fridge and slightly warm it up 30 minutes before opening the bottle.

White wines need to be chilled to bring out the delicate aromas and acidity. However, a too-cold wine results in bland flavors, and that is not enjoyable to drink.

If you constantly open your refrigerator, don't put the bottle on the door. Place it in the crisper or at the back to better control the temperature. This will also lessen the incident of your bottle being broken.

Here is a video about the best temperature to serve wines:

How to Chill Wine Fast?

Cooled wine bottle

Here are some tips on how to chill wine if you’re in a rush. You can try them all out to see what works best.

  • Submerge in Salted Ice Bath

This is the most popular life hack to chill that wine of yours. Get a bucket of icy water and add ½ pound of salt to prolong the melting of ice. 

Submerge your bottle of wine in a heavily salted bath, and it will be chilled in about 15 minutes. You can also move your red wine around every few minutes to cool faster. This is true except for Champagne and sparkling wines because they might explode.

  • Pour Wine in Glass and Refrigerate

If you don’t mind opening the bottle even if the wine is not yet chilled, this is an excellent method.

Just pour your wine into a glass and cover it with plastic wrap to maintain the aroma and decrease oxidation. Then, put the wine glass inside the fridge.

This will chill your wine faster compared to placing the whole bottle inside the refrigerator. Remember to put the wine glass at the back to prevent it from spilling and for better temperature regulation.

  • Add Frozen Grapes

Adding ice cubes to your wine will cause it to chill, but it will also dilute the wine. An excellent alternative is to add frozen grapes to your wine instead. It is not only visually appealing, but it is also helpful in improving your drinking experience.

Use red grapes when you want to chill red wine and white grapes for white wine. It’s also better if you will use organic grapes to avoid pesticide residues.

Here is a video showing how to chill wine:

The Don’ts of Chilling WineRed stop sign

  • Don’t Put it Inside the Freezer

You might think that this method is a quick way to chill your wine, but we don’t recommend it because the wine may solidify if you forget about it.

Frozen wine might also cause the bottle to explode. For more tips and information about freezing wine, check out this article.

  • Don’t Wrap the Bottle in Dish Towel

Some people suggest wrapping your wine bottle in a dish towel and put it inside the freezer. While this prevents the bottle from exploding, it is counterintuitive because the towel insulates the bottle, thus making it longer to cool.

  • Don’t Cool the Pour Spout

The pour spout can serve as your wine’s freezer stick. After opening the bottle, you just have to place the spout and pour the wine into a glass.

However, you must place the pour spout inside the freezer for about 2 hours before using it, so this chilling technique is relatively time-consuming.

  • Don’t Pour in Chilled Wine Glasses

Some say that you can pour warm wine into a chilled wine glass. But this method is not very effective, especially if you have many bottles of wine that you need to chill. 

Chilling Wine FAQ

How long can you leave wine in the fridge?

If you put back its cork or wine stopper correctly after opening the bottle, it may last for 2-3 days inside the fridge. Some types of wines can even last up to 5 days if properly sealed.

If your bottle of wine is unopened, it is better to store it inside a wine fridge and not the regular kitchen fridge. 

If you store wine at room temperature for an extended amount of time, it will not age properly. It is also helpful to invest in a wine cellar cooling system to keep your wine in optimal condition.

How do you chill red wine after decanting?

After using a decanter on your wine, cover the spout with plastic wrap before placing it inside the fridge for chilling. This step will protect the alcoholic beverage from exposure to contaminants and odors.

Does ice in wine reduce alcohol content?

Yes. Ice doesn’t only change the flavor of the wine, it also decreases the alcohol in it. So if you dilute your wine too much, you won’t get intoxicated that easily.

Is it bad for wine to get cold then warm?

If you consume the wine when it becomes warm after chilling, it will not be enjoyable to drink. As mentioned earlier, it will taste flabby and alcoholic.

You can just chill it again if it becomes warm. There’s no harm in doing that, but it’s somehow time-consuming.

Conclusion

There are many ways on how to chill wine fast. This includes placing the bottle in a salted ice bath, adding frozen grapes, and refrigerating wine in a glass.

However, there are also things that you shouldn’t do in chilling wine. This includes not putting the bottle in the freezer, not wrapping the bottle in a dish towel, and not cooling the pour spout.

Do you know other tips and tricks on chilling wine? Share it with your fellow wine lovers in the comments.


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