HOW TO: chill wine in five minutes

icebucket
With the northeast suffering through the second vicious heat wave of the month, the question a the forefront of the heat-addled brains of us wine geeks is: how can I chill that wine bottle the fastest?

Fast: Contrary to popular thinking, sticking it in the freezer is not the fastest way to chill wine. There’s simply too much air in the freezer; air doesn’t wick heat away as fast as water.

Faster: Add a gel sleeve to the wine bottle in the freezer. Getting something cold touching the bottle transfers the cold to the wine faster.

Fastest: Get a bucket and fill it about half full of ice. Then add the coldest water you can get from the tap, filling the bucket to about 3/4 full. Now you have something approximating the ice floes of the Arctic–in fact, add salt to the water to decrease the liquid range of the water to below 32 degrees. Submerge the bottle in the bucket. Stir or swirl for fastest results.

Related: “Drew Barrymore: the ladiez like ice in their wine

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15 Responses to “HOW TO: chill wine in five minutes”


  1. Tyler, love the fact that the wines are all White Bordeaux! You’ve got me thinking of oysters now ….


  2. Glad you like it! Given the low interest in Bordeaux wines, it was the cheapest stock photo I could buy….Just kidding! It’s my photo from a few years ago…Enjoy those oysters.


  3. Thanks for the tip! Is that a bottle of Château Suduiraut?


  4. Fastest way is ice + water + salt. Simple middle school physics. As salt concentration increases, freezing point of the water (or saline solution) decreass, resulting in colder water


  5. We used to chill beer this way for quite a while, but for wine, we invested in a small wine chiller now. Great for having a few whites on hand.

    -Patrick


  6. @ Liz – yes, Suduiraut!


  7. HAhahahaha.

    Salt does not make water, or ice, colder. It decreases the point at which water will turn from liquid to solid. You still need something to extract heat from the water. Salt doesn’t do that. Refrigeration does that. And both ice and salted water can both be colder than 32°, having nothing to do with salt.

    Adding salt to the water in your ice bucket *will not* make your wine colder or make it get colder faster.


  8. In the winter we put the bottle(s) out in the snow, super fast way to chill them.


  9. [...] it to Dr. Vino, master of all that is wine, to post the perfect companion to a brutally hot summer night. Don't stick that bottle in the freezer "for a sec." You can and will forget it's [...]


  10. @Ciao: wrong. It is called “freezing point depression.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freezing-point_depression


  11. Excellent tips – thank you!


  12. [...] HOW TO: chill wine in five minutes [...]


  13. […] HOW TO: chill wine in five minutes […]


  14. Read the Wiki thing again. It makes the point at which water becomes ice colder. It doesn’t make ice that’s already ice colder. Or water colder, or anything else magical.


  15. If you wrap a bottle in wet paper towel or a wet cloth and put it in the freezer, it chills quickly because as the fan in the freezer pulls air over the wet cloth and evaporates the moisture, it also draws heat out of the bottle. Evaporation is a cooling process.
    This is a quick method that doesn’t use up your supply of ice or get water all over your counter top.


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