5 Ways to Keep Your Wine Cool All Summer Long
Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where assistant nutrition editor and registered dietitian, Jessica Ball, keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two, and make earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life.
The weather is heating up and it is finally starting to feel like summer is here to stay. For many of us, most of our relaxing (and, lets be honest, imbibing) is happening at home. After a long hot day, there are few things that are as refreshing as a nicely chilled glass of wine.
Personally, I lean towards reds, and don't always keep them in the fridge. However, in my tiny apartment with no air conditioning, "room temperature" is quite a bit higher than the temp that many wine experts would suggest to have your bottle (usually closer to 50°F or below). I'm not a wine snob, nor do I know everything there is to know about the correct temperature, but enjoying your wine chilled can boost how delicious and refreshing it is. To cope with the heat and limited fridge space, I did some digging on how to quickly and effectively chill your glass.
Pictured Recipe: Peach Wine Cooler
5 Ways to Keep Your Wine Cool All Summer Long
1. Wine ice cubes
These three words will change your summer drinking: Wine. Ice. Cubes. This wine cooling hack is exactly as simple as it sounds. Just pour the last of an open bottle, white or red, into an empty ice tray. Freeze overnight and use tomorrow for a refreshing glass. Adding wine ice cubes to your drink will cool it down quickly without diluting it or watering down the flavor when they melt. Not to mention, it is free and can be easily stored in the freezer until you need them. It allows you to free up some fridge space, too. I don't know about you, but I think I will have an ice tray dedicated to wine all summer long. We love these silcone ice trays for just $17.99 on Amazon.com—and they are dishwasher safe!
2. Cooling sleeves and buckets
For you gadget lovers out there, there are plenty of options for products that will cool your wine perfectly every time.
This Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Cooler has almost one thousand near perfect reviews, and is only $20 to buy online at Amazon.com. It chills your wine within five minutes and keeps it at the perfect drinking temp for hours. This is a great backyard party go-to.
For something more portable, try this cute Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Cooler set. It comes with three colorful pouches that cradle your wine to chilly perfection. As a bonus, they can be folded flat and stored easily between uses. For people like me who are short on space, this is a winner. Buy it on Amazon.com for $22.
3. Not your average ice cube
Use an unconventional ice cube to keep your drink from getting watered down, and to add some additional flavor. A fan-favorite is adding frozen grapes to wine, a very full circle way to chill it down. Sometimes I will add frozen berries to my white wine for an easy, light "cocktail" that is a perfect companion for making dinner or sitting on the beach. Switch up the fruits depending on your preference. Maybe try some frozen pineapple or mango, or herb-infused ice cubes, and get creative with it.
4. Think outside the bottle
Glass is a poor thermal conductor, so getting the wine outside of the bottle will make it cool down much faster. This may seem ridiculous, but putting wine in a plastic sealable bag and then putting it in a bowl of ice water will cool it to 50°F in minutes, or lower if you leave it in for longer. Wine Folly, one of my favorite wine resources, tested this and found that this method can chill wine in fewer than five minutes. Though we don't love single use plastics (maybe this would work in a Stasher bag if you dare?), this is by far the fastest method in a pinch.
5. Put them in the fridge
This one is fairly obvious (OK, really obvious), but works for those who plan ahead. You can refrigerate your wine for whatever amount of time you want, depending on the type. I keep my white wine in the fridge all the time, whereas I only refrigerate reds an hour or two before I plan to drink them so they get a slight chill without being fully cold. Ideally, red wine should be stored around 55°F, as opposed to the average temperature of a fridge, which is closer to 41°F or lower. Bonus: this method is also free and doesn't require any equipment.
From free hacks to fun products, there are ample ways to cool down your wine in the dog days of summer. Chilled wine is more delicious, refreshing and will brighten any warm day. As temperatures rise, stay cool by using these five tips for chilling wine quickly and effectively.