The doorbell rings and unexpected guests are at your doorstep. You are now confronted with dinner guests with no dinner. You best bet is to offer a glass of wine while you sort out an unplanned meal. But, all of your wine is sitting at room temperature (70-75 degrees Fahrenheit) and you can not serve the wine in this condition. Here are some tips and guidelines for chilling your wine quickly.
There are many choices on the market for chilling wine. From commercial wine chillers to home methods, each one has its place in serving the perfect glass of wine.
Refrigerator chilling is the most used method. A bottle of red, which should be chilled to around 54 degrees Fahrenheit, will take 20 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator to reach the proper temperature. A white wine, on the other hand, which should be chilled to a crisp temperature, could take an hour or longer.
Commercial wine chillers range in chilling times from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. These figures would be for chilling a red wine, which again takes less time to chill. A white wine would take at least double the time to chill.
When in a time crunch there are two tried and true methods of chilling red and white wine that will yield results in as little as 2 to 3 minutes.
Ice water can be used to chill a red wine in around 3 minutes. Simply place the bottle of red wine in a chilling bucket or cooler and fill with ice and water. The ice water will quickly chill the bottle and you will be ready to entertain in no time.
For white wine, which requires a more thorough chill, you will need to make the ice water even colder to chill in the same 2 to 3 minutes. To do this, you simply place the white wine bottle in the same type of chilling bucket or cooler and surround with ice. Before adding the water, mix in a little table or rock salt. The salt will cause the ice water to reach a lower temperature and will chill the white to the perfect temperature more quickly. When using this technique, you may want to rinse the bottle and dry before serving to curb any chance to salt water slipping to your guest’s glass and tainting the wine.
When chilling wine it is important to remember not to over chill. Red wines should be chilled to approximately 54 degrees Fahrenheit while white wines should be served very chilled, but not freezing. If a wine is too cold it will shock the palette and you will be unable to taste the dimensions of the wine. IF you over chill a wine, simply let it sit out for a minute or two until it reaches the perfect temperature; the wine will not be harmed.
Chilling wine quickly can save the day when unexpected guests arrive. You can also use these chilling tips to chill beer, soda and water quickly for an outdoor party or barbeque.