When is it Acceptable to Put Ice in Wine?

Nothing sounds more refreshing than a nice cool bottle of wine or maybe you forget to chill your wine prior to guest arriving. So instead of you switching to a different drink, you decide to add some ice cubes to your wine, ultimately creating one of wine connoisseurship’s greatest taboos.


Let's be real, there is nothing wrong with putting ice in a glass of lukewarm white wine or rosé to add an extra bit of chill on a hot summer day. In fact, it’s not unusual to find what’s called a piscine on the menu, a large glass of rosé or white wine served over a generous scoop of ice cubes.


Before we dive in when it's okay to add ice to wine, let's first discuss what ice does to wine.

As the ice melts, it begins to dilute the wine. changing its color, aromas, texture, and taste.

Therefore changing the chemistry of the wine and ultimately the wine's equilibrium begins to change. This has a dramatic effect on how the wine tastes in the beginning and at the end. (We don't recommend with fine or complex wines)


Ideally, wine should be chilled before drinking it. You should want to keep wines tempered between 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.


When Adding ice to Wine is Okay.


Most experts agree that when it comes to what wines are the least offensive to add ice to, bright and crisp varieties that will retain some acidity when diluted are safe bets, like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and, of course, rosé.


Poolside pink wine tends to warm quickly outside in the summer sun, so adding ice helps make the experience better. Other choices to serve over ice are bottles that typically have higher sugar content. Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon produce Champagnes meant to be served on ice.


There are also instances when where we have been stuck with a not-so-pleasant bottle of wine that taste unbalanced, harsh, or cloying. A few ice cubes could go a long way in making it more palatable.


Alternative Chilling Methods


So what's a better option than diluting your favorite bottle of wine you might ask? Freeze a few grapes instead and then add them to your glass of wine. This helps chill the wine without diluting it.


Many wine lovers argue that there are enough gadgets to help you chill wine in a hurry, so no need to dilute it unnecessarily with ice.


For example, the Corkcicle wine chiller, which you keep in your freezer, then slot into your wine bottle when you’re ready and it cools the wine as it pours.


A cool sleeve, such as the Le Creuset Cooler Sleeve. Since most of these can be flattened, they can also be used as a cushion to keep decanters of red wine cool.


If you’re at home, you can always put wine in your freezer. Wrap in a damp kitchen towel or cloth to speed it up. And finally, when organized enough to chill your wine in advance. Don’t forget this applies to reds in warm weather too – stick them in the fridge for 20 mins before serving.


We all can agree warm wine isn't the best and if your wine isn't cool enough you can add a couple of ice cubes, swirl them around, and remove them with a spoon after around 15 seconds. Just don't keep the ice in your glass. it will dilute and change the chemistry.

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