If curiosity is getting the best of you, or perhaps you’ve already experienced the satisfaction of slurping on some Frosé on a hot summer day, frozen wine can be magic (or tragic) depending on how it’s done. Here’s everything you want to know about freezing wine.
At What Temperature Does Wine Freeze?
Depending on the alcohol content of your wine, the freezing temperature usually ranges anywhere from 16°-22°F.
The water molecules in the wine are the first to freeze, with the alcohol following afterwards. This means that wines with lower alcohol content will freeze faster than those of higher alcohol content.
Does Freezing Wine Ruin It?
There isn’t a direct “yes” or “no” answer to this question because this all depends on the methods and wines used. However, there certainly are better wines to freeze than others.
Precautions When Freezing Wine
Water expands when frozen, which can easily cause your wine bottle to burst, or the cork to be forced out. This is not only inconvenient, but dangerous with glass as well. Pouring your wine into a sealed, freezer-safe container (such as a plastic tub) is always recommended.
Freezing your wine will not completely ruin it, but will definitely alter the taste. With that being said, if the wine is stored (or forgotten) for weeks or months in the freezer, there’s a good chance that it’s flavor profile has fallen completely flat…so you might as well just label it as ‘cooking wine’.
Best Types of Wine to Freeze
Since cooking wine doesn’t have to be anything special when it comes to flavors, it’s ideal to freeze.
Try pouring your next bottle of cooking wine into an ice tray! Not only will it be safe from the bottle exploding, but cubes are perfect for measuring out exactly how much wine you’re putting into your next culinary creation.
Frosé is not only delicious, but one of the most popular frozen drinks to enjoy due to its easy preparation and pretty, pink presentation. No wonder it’s on bar menus from coast to coast! Here are one of my favorite recipes for the next time you’re craving some summer in a glass.
If you struggle with the problem of having too much leftover mulled wine from holiday parties, freeze it! The taste of the wine is already altered by fruit, spices, and brandy/whiskey, so the freezer can’t do harm when it comes to changing the wine’s natural taste.
Who says mulled wine can’t be enjoyed frozen? Try throwing a frozen twist on your next holiday party by making Mulled Wine Slush such as this one found on saltwaterdaughters.com.
Wines That Should Never be Frozen
Champagne or Sparkling Wine
These bubbly wines should avoid the freezer at all costs, unless you’re just popping the bottle in for a few minutes to chill the wine quicker. Be careful even doing this…if left in the freezer for too long, your bottle will explode. Believe me, this is speaking from first-hand experience. (Sob)
If you’re spending some real dough on your bottles of wine, then do not put them in the freezer, ever. When splurging on an expensive bottle, you want to make sure you taste what you paid for. Freezing wine will always alter the taste, even if it’s slight.
Very Aged Wine
Aged wine is already delicate as it is. Exposing it to such a harsh temperature, then thawing it out again is risky with a wine that should be treated only with the utmost care. A structural imbalance is very possible in old wines if they are not properly stored.
How to Chill Wine Fast
How Long Should You Chill Wine in a Freezer?
Chilling wine in the freezer is an easy and effective way to cool down your bottle of vino. As long as it’s not forgotten, it’s a perfect way to get your wine to it’s correct temperature, whether it be red, white, or sparkling.
- Red wine should be chilled in the freezer for approximately 25 minutes
- White and sparkling wine should be chilled in the freezer for approximately 60 minutes
The Wet Paper Towel Method
Don’t have the patience to wait 25-60 minutes for your wine to chill to the perfect temperature in the freezer? Try out the wet paper towel method to speed up the process further…
- Run a few paper towels under cold water
- Gently shake off the excess water
- Wrap your bottle up in them before popping in the freezer
The water will quickly evaporate and cool, giving your bottle a nice chill in about 20 minutes or 10 minutes for reds.
Whether it be wine slushees or cooking wine cubes, make sure to leave a little space in the freezer for your next extra-cold bottle of delight!
Katarina Jelks is a professionally trained sommelier from Hawaii. She received her Wine & Management Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her experience working across the wine industry, in locations all around the world (France, Australia, New Zealand, the US & more), has resulted in a global perspective. She loves sharing her passion with others and helping them to chase their thirst for interesting wine and great food.