An unexpected sunny day and friends pop by spontaneously. Barbecue time! Just as you’re happily lighting the charcoal you realize the wine is still at room temperature. How to chill those divine Pouilly Fumé’s and Côtes du Rhônes before the meat is done? One thing is certain: it’s better to serve your wine too cold than too warm. Once it hits the glass the temperature will rise at least two degrees.
You have only thirty minutes:
1) Fill a wine bucket with water, ice cubes and a handful of coarse salt. The chemical reaction will make the water – and the bottle – cool faster.
2) Wrap the bottle in a soaking wet towel and put it in the fridge. Superfast cooling guaranteed.
3) In need of a real quick fix? Put Champagne, white or rosé in the freezer. Beware, never longer than fifteen minutes. If it’s light red wine: ten minutes max and a sturdy red wine no longer than five. Don’t forget to set your alarm! Don’t ever make the mistake of adding ice cubes to your wine. No, not even in cheap rosé. Ice cubes dilute the wine and ruin the flavour.
Your guests arrive within an hour:
4) Nice and simple: an hour in a wine cooler filled with ice cubes will do the trick just fine.
Relax, you have more than two hours:
5) Even more easy: put the bottle in the fridge. When it’s steamy hot, it’s not forbidden to put a light red wine on the bottom shelf.
Finally. The time has come to serve:
6) A wine cooler with chilled water keeps the wine at the right temperature. Even red ones can be preserved like this, a little bit warmer: between 16 and 18 degrees.
7) An alternative could be a terracotta wine cooler, ‘brique à vin’ as the French say. Make sure to cool it in the fridge first for at least an hour.
8) Efficient, but less esthetical: the plastic ice bag bucket. It might drip on the table, but who cares as long as the wine stays cold.
Bonus tip: Of course red Carignan or Syrah wines are served at room temperature. But if they contain too much tannin don’t hesitate to put them in the fridge for a little while. It will improve the flavour.
PS: When you’re ready to toast, don’t forget to hold your glass at the base of the stem. Especially in summer. You don’t want your drink to warm up in the palm of your hand after all this trouble.