Wine Writing Team on January 24, 2020 1 Comment You arrive home after a long, hot day ready to open a bottle of chardonnay, only to find there hasn’t been one chilling in the fridge. Thankfully, there’s a bottle patiently waiting for you in the wine rack, but it’s room temperature. Can you drink it this way? Will it still taste good? As you anticipate what to do next, you realize the friend you invited over will be here in 10 minutes. Can you add ice cubes to the wine? Instead of worrying about whether or not it’s a risk or a win, you’ll find the answer in this article plus the best solution to help you avoid worrying about your wine’s temperature ever again. Ice Cubes in Red vs. White The act of putting ice cubes in your wine has long been considered a faux pas — one writer even compared it to something only someone who slathers their well-done steak in ketchup might do — but the idea is becoming more accepted among wine professionals. It’s commonly believed that putting ice cubes in wine waters it down and dilutes the flavors, interfering with the final product by compromising the color, texture, and aroma. Generally, ice shouldn’t be added to red wine because it prevents the chemicals from escaping, giving the wine an acidic taste and more prominent tannins. It also causes the wine to lose its taste more quickly. When it comes to white wine, adding ice has become much more acceptable in recent years. While it does dilute the wine and can alter the flavor, it’s more a matter of preference. Some people want to dilute the wine so that they can have more of it if they know they’re going to be drinking all afternoon at a party, for example, and want to stay moderately sober. Adding ice also works if you want to tone down a bold-flavor like an oaky-y chardonnay. Alternatives to Ice Cubes If you’re in a predicament and need to quickly cool down your wine, there are some great alternatives to ice cubes: Put a few grapes or other fruit in the freezer, then put the frozen fruit in your glass of wine Put the bottle on ice for a few minutes before pouring Try this wine chiller from Corkcicle that chills your wine as you pour Make a spritz by adding half sparkling water, half wine, lots of ice, and a citrus peel Make ice cubes out of wine itself to keep in the freezer for when you need it In some Mediterranean countries it’s becoming more common to be offered ice with your white or rose wine at restaurants. The practice of adding ice cubes to sparkling wine has become fashionably popular in the South of France where it’s become known as la piscine which means “swimming pool” in French. Some wineries are even beginning to release wines designed to be served with ice, like this Moet Ice Imperial Rose NV. The Best Solution The best way to make sure your wine is at the right temperature and ready to serve when you are, is by storing it in a wine refrigerator. If you’re like most people, you probably plan on drinking any wine you have in your home within 12 months of purchasing it. Wine refrigerators are designed for short-term storage, are compact, and built to store anywhere from 6 to over 300 bottles. Since red and white wine are stored at different temperatures, you can choose a single zone storage solution for one specific type or a dual zone storage for both types. Adding ice cubes to your wine isn’t considered a faux pas or a fad, but a matter of preference. The important thing is that you enjoy the wine the way you like it and do what makes you happy.