As the weather warms up, more of us will be sipping lighter wines, and knowing how to chill these wines quickly is key to their deliciousness. Serve a white wine too warm, and all the delicate flavors fall flat and any minor flaws are magnified, not to mention the fact that a warm riesling on a warm day is simply not satisfying.
Sparkling wines and sweet wines should be served the coldest, at 43-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Light to medium bodied white wines, like pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, should be served slightly warmer, at 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Full-bodied whites, like an oaked chardonnay, and rosé, can be served lightly chilled, at 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit (around the same temperature as light reds like Beaujolais).
The best way to chill a bottle of wine is to place it in the refrigerator overnight, and remove it 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Most of us, however, rarely use this kind of planning in our wine consumption. You just got home from work and a cold glass of rosé sounds perfect, or a friend stopped by to celebrate a promotion and you want to pop open some bubbles, but oops...the bottle is at room temperature. You can always throw it in the freezer and hope you don’t forget about it (DON’T forget about it), but here are a few sommelier secrets that will work much better:
Put the bottle in water: Water conducts heat away from the bottle much more quickly than air does (remember high school chemistry?), so fill a tub, bucket or pot with cold water and lots of ice, and submerge your bottle in the ice bath.
Add salt: Salt lowers the melting point of ice, allowing the ice to melt faster and cool the water more quickly.
Spin the bottle: Rotate the bottle in the ice bath to move the wine around, allowing more wine-to-water contact.
If you employ all three of these tricks, you can have your white wine chilled down in as little as 10 minutes. Refreshing!
Do you have any tips for chilling (or warming) up wine? Let us know below.
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