The most time consuming method to cool a bottle of wine is to put the bottle in the fridge. And if you’re reading this, it’s too late to put that wine bottle in the fridge.
For red wines it could take up to 30 minutes to cool down to the proper serving temperature and for white wines you’re looking at a minimum of one hour. Unless you’ve planned ahead, but really — who has time for that? We want wine and we want it now. So, we’ve done the research on your behalf and found some great hacks for chilling wine quickly.
Wine Tips – 7 Easy Ways to Cool A Bottle of Wine In Under 30 Minutes
1. Want to chill your wine fast? Try the wet paper towel and freezer trick
This one is pretty simple and people swear by it. Wet a dish towel or a few paper towels and wrap them around the bottle of white wine. Put the bottle in the freezer. In about 10-15 minutes the towel should be frozen and your wine nice and cool. Reduce that time to 5 minutes for red wines.
2. Keep a stainless steel chiller in the freezer to cool white wines & light bodied red wines
This might not be the most efficient way to get white wine cold, but it’s great for light bodied red wines and it will keep your white wines cold after they’re already at the right temperature. Don’t use a large ice bucket for this one. You want the thinner style chiller you often find in restaurants that almost hugs the bottle. If you keep it in the freezer, the stainless steel will be ice cold and ready for use. Just put the bottle in the chiller (without ice) and leave it on the table or close by so it’s handy when you’re ready to pour another glass.
3. Forget Ice! Use frozen grapes to cool down a glass of wine
Although this does require a bit of forethought, if you have pre-frozen grapes kicking around, dump a few into your glass of wine. The water inside the grape freezes and the skin prevents the wine from being watered down. When your glass is empty, eat the grapes!
4. No grapes? Don’t water down your wine! Use the Tea Bag Method for chilling wine with ice
If you forgot to put your grapes in the freezer and don’t want to water down your glass of wine by putting ice in it, try the ice tea bag method. Put few ice cubes into a clean, plastic sandwich bag. Tie the open end and dunk the bag into your glass!
5. The Outdoor Cooler: Chill your bottle of wine with snow!
Yes, we’re totally serious. For anyone who lives where is snows for most of the winter, chilling a bottle of wine in a snow bank is probably the best way to put all that snow to good use. Especially as Canadians, our backyard is a giant cooler for a two four of beer, a six pack of coolers or a few bottles of wine. Or whatever you’re drinking. So, go ahead and bury a bottle deep in the snow for a quick chill or to keep your wine cool.
6. Put a bottle of wine in an ice bucket
This one is a simple and classic way to chill a bottle of wine. Don’t have an ice bucket? That’s okay, you can use just about anything. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be practical. Fill your sink half way with water, dump in some ice and presto — it’s an ice bucket! You can also use a pail or a mop bucket.
7. Add salt to that wine ice bath for faster results
We believe the best way to chill any wine is to put the bottle in an ice bath with some salt. Why salt? Adding salt brings the temperature down to lower than -20°C which is colder than your freezer. So, while putting it in the freezer will cool wine faster than just putting it in the fridge, it’s not as effective as salt and ice. As a bonus, you don’t have to risk forgetting about it in the freezer and ending up with massive wine bottle ice cube. (But in case you do, here are some things you can do with frozen wine or champagne!)
How Long Does It Take To Chill Wine In A Salt-Ice Bath?
Generally, you only need about 15-20 minutes to cool down white wine in an ice bucket with salt and red wines take a mere 5-10 minutes. If you leave the wine in an ice bath for over 30 minutes it won’t likely freeze, but it will be too cold to really enjoy drinking it. If the temperature of wine is too cold, you won’t be able pick up on some of the nuances of flavour.
In North America people tend to drink their white wines too cold and red wines too warm, which means it’s much harder to distinguish between some of the lovely flavour and aroma characteristics.