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Should you put wine in the freezer? – ask Decanter

You’re looking forward to enjoying a glass of wine but realise it’s not been chilled. Is the freezer your best option? And what happens when it goes wrong?

Wine in the freezer

Matt Walls, DWWA judge, recommends putting your wine in the freezer for 22 minutes for lightly chilled, and 28 minutes for fully chilled.

Xavier Rousset MS, sommelier and restaurateur, shared his top tip for speeding it up further.

‘Wrap the bottle in a wet cloth then put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

The most important thing is not to forget about it.

Set a timer on your phone or watch so you don’t leave the bottle in there.

When wine is forgotten in the freezer

Members of the Decanter team have all had their own disasters after putting wine in a freezer.

‘My birthday Laurent-Perrier rosé shattered into a million pieces and turned the freezer pink,’ said Laura Seal, Decanter’s editorial assistant.

‘I had to defrost it to get all the glass out, and lots of mysterious food surfaced from housemates long gone.’

‘I put a bottle of Champagne, that was an engagement present, in the freezer hoping to drink it that evening with a barbecue,’ said James Button, Decanter’s digital wine sub editor.

‘Alas, opened the freezer door about three hours later to discover the neck had parted ways with the body.’

And it’s not just sparkling wines that are the problem – although they are more risky, because of the carbon dioxide.

‘Mine was a bottle of Freddie Emile, Trimbach 1997,’ said Harry Fawkes, Decanter’s digital publisher.

‘I was a few bottles in at a dinner party and decided I wanted that. I got a Riesling and glass ice lolly instead.’

Other ways of chilling wine

Freezers have the advantage of speed, but if you’re not in such a hurry, there other ways to chill your wine:

Updated: 22/6/17

The “Teabag Method”

Wine blogger Drew Lambert has invented a new method that he’s coined “the teabag method” which chills your wine down in 3 minutes – but be careful to use a clean bag!

  1. Fill your wine glass a little less than half full of ice so you only use the right amount of cubes
  2. Pour the ice cubes into a small, clean plastic bag
  3. Fill your wine glass to the very top with room temperature wine
  4. Leave it for 3 minutes
  5. Remove the bag, clean it and re-use it for another time
  6. Your wine will now be chilled!

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