How to Chill a Bottle of Wine

cold drink of champagneWe are just 16 days away from the summer solstice, which marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

To be precise, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, summer 2015 will begin on June 21 at 12:38 p.m. Eastern. (So, if you live in the Eastern Time zone, we’d suggest marking the occasion with a glass of wine during your lunch break.)

Of course, the summertime is accompanied by warmer temperatures, and that means many people will be drinking wine as much for refreshment as for food affinity. And the most refreshing wines tend to be either white or sparkling.

Unless you have a wine cooler that keeps your bottles at a constant cool temperature, you’ll need to chill those bottles down before opening them. There are three basic methods for doing this: placing the bottle in the refrigerator, in the freezer or in an ice-water bath.

Each works equally well, and none will do any harm to the wine. Just keep in mind that the colder a wine is, the less intense its aromas and flavors will be. Coldness mutes those traits, even as it enhances refreshment.

Which method is best? It just depends on how soon you plan to open the bottle.

If you’re the type who plans ahead, you can place a bottle in your refrigerator. It will be ready to drink in about three hours.

If you’d like to be able to drink the wine in about an hour, place it in the freezer.

And if you’re really in a hurry, placing the bottle in an ice water bath will have it ready to drink in just 20 minutes. Important: Don’t use ice cubes only; a mix of ice and water is necessary, and helps the full contents of the bottle cool evenly.

Here’s to a fun summer — with lots of perfectly chilled white wines and sparkling wines!

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Posted in In the Cellar
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