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How to cool wine in a hurry – ask Decanter

With summer heating up, what's the quickest way to cool a bottle of wine?

How to cool wine in a hurry – ask Decanter

What is the quickest and most effective way of cooling a bottle of wine?


‘You can wrap the bottle in a wet cloth then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes,’ said Xavier Rousset MS, sommelier and restaurateur.

Just make sure you don’t forget about it – even some Decanter staff members have had their own frozen wine disasters.

Ice bath

‘Or use plenty of ice cubes (ideally crushed ice) in a bucket with some cold water and lots of salt – yes, salt,’ said Rousset.

‘Make sure the bottle is submerged to the top to be more efficient. Your wine should be cool in about 15 minutes.’

Ice jackets are good to keep an already cold wine at a constant cool temperature, but not as efficient in quickly cooling a wine down.

In the glass

You could always cool the wine once it’s poured in the glass.

There are differing opinions on whether to put ice cubes in wine – but you could try freezing grapes and putting them in your wine, which won’t dilate it, as Peter Richards MW suggests.

You could also try the Corkcicle – keep in your freezer, attach to the top of your bottle and it cools the wine as it pours.

Best serving temperatures for different styles of wine

White wines

Light bodied wines ideally should be served chilled, between 7-10 ̊ C (44- 50 ̊ F), whereas ones with a bit more weight – perhaps an oaked style – can be served slightly warmer, at 10-13 ̊ C (50 – 55 ̊ F).

Sparkling wines should be served well chilled.

white wine temperatures

The best temperatures for white wines. Design: Annabelle Sing / Decanter


Red wines

Contrary to popular belief, red wines can benefit from being slightly chilled.

As with white wines, the lighter styles benefit from being served more chilled than heavier ones – though even a Cabernet Sauvignon could be lightly chilled.

Matt Walls says that ‘much warmer than 18°C for a red is too high,’ said Walls. ‘Its flavours become blurred and soupy.’

red wines to chill

Serving temperatures for red wines. Design: Annabelle Sing / Decanter


See also:

Summer reds to drink chilled

What temperature to serve white wine

Article updated July 2019.

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