I once saw a model at a party mix Diet Coke with Château Léoville Las Cases, a famed Bordeaux that runs $175 or so a bottle; I felt like hurling myself between her and the wine, the way you might throw yourself between a baby in a stroller and an oncoming truck. A more common occurrence that causes a lot of sommeliers I know to shudder: watching someone drop a few ice cubes into a glass of wine.
I get it. Warm wine is gross. And if you dump a handful of ice into your Chardonnay, yes, it will get cold, and fast. It will also get watery and weak, but plenty of people don’t mind that trade-off. Last year Diane Keaton released a red wine, The Keaton, specifically meant to be served over lots of ice. I tried it; the wine was big and ripe and perfectly tasty. Served over a fistful of ice, it was thinner and less flavorful, though not unrefreshing.
So what’s the best solution for the warm-wine problem? Planning ahead is one answer, but that’s not always an option. A refrigerator takes about two hours to bring a white wine to an ideal temperature, about 45 degrees. And while people often serve reds at room temperature—around 72 degrees—the truth is that any red wine will taste better at five to 10 degrees below that. Some lighter reds are even good at a brisk 55 degrees.
For a single glass of red, here’s my advice: Drop a normal-size ice cube into your wine, swirl it around with a spoon for five seconds, then remove it. I’ve been doing this for years, but recently I tested it out a bit more scientifically. I stirred a one-ounce ice cube for five seconds in a five-ounce glass of 76-degree wine. When I took out the cube, the wine was 68 degrees and the cube had shed only a quarter ounce of water, a twentieth of the liquid in the glass. Was the wine diluted? Marginally. Did it taste better? Definitely.
Unfortunately, chilling a glass of white from room temperature down to 45 degrees pretty much requires Keaton-level use of ice, thus resulting in Keaton-level dilution (in fact, I’m going to suggest that wine dilution be measured from now on in Keatons). Even if you chuck the whole bottle in the freezer, you’re looking at 45 minutes.
But there is another way to frosts the glass in just 10 seconds, using the instant glass freezer, innoveco’s co2 glass chiller instantly cools and frosts all types of glasses. The machine is perfect for champagne and sparkling wine. It keeps the drink fizzy and will improve the flavor of all drinks .
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