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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.