Keep Calm & Chill Your Red Wine
We all know the rule by now: chill your whites but not your reds. But who says that’s really the rule? With these crazy heat waves we’ve been having, the only way to enjoy anything these days is to have it chilled, and this applies to your red wines too. Who likes hot wine anyway?
There’s a strategy, of course. Unlike a bottle of white, it’s not advisable to just stick it in the fridge and hope for the best, especially because an appropriate temperature for a red wine is between 55 and 65 degrees. If you’re concerned about over-chilling your wine, get yourself a good thermometer and test it every so often throughout your preferred chilling process.
Here are some ways to keep your delicious reds cool and comfortable, without ruining their taste and quality.
It’s very easy to put a bottle of wine away and forget that it’s in there, but if you do, the temperature could drop too far and then you’ve taken it too far. If you are going to keep your red wine in the fridge, make sure it’s only for about 2.5 hours, so if you know exactly when you plan to drink it (like a dinner party) time it out before hand so you can drink it at the perfect temperature.
Like the fridge, it’s easy to forget about things you store in the freezer, especially if it’s alcohol. Unless you’re looking for a wine slushie, be very careful about how long you leave a bottle in the freezer, and make sure you take it out after 40 minutes. Your microwave probably has a pretty loud timer so this is a good way to make sure you don’t over-chill your bottle.
Ice Water Bath
Fill a wine bucket about two-thirds full with ice, and then pour water over until the ice is covered and mix in a handful of salt. It sounds odd but the salt will actually help the water cool faster, which in turn makes your bottle chill faster. For a red wine, you really only need to do this for about 3-5 minutes to get it to a good temperature.
There are actually serving vessels that are meant to keep your bottle cooler, but make sure that the red doesn’t drop too far in temperature. Many of them are double-walled so you don’t have to use ice, or are made of a material like marble that is naturally cooler.
Of course, the best way to keep your wines cooler in general is to store them properly. If you’re like most New Yorkers, you definitely don’t have a basement or a cellar, so a closet or cabinet is good for wine storing. Any place that is cool and dark, covered, and out of sunlight will immediately help to keep your wines at a lower temperature in general. There is always the option to purchase a wine refrigerator, and you can see our suggestions here!