We’ve all faced countless Friday evenings where we are set to unwind at home and catch up with our favourite shows, when suddenly we receive a call from our friends saying that they’re coming over in 20 minutes. And that’s all the time we have to get our wine chilled & ready to serve. 

If you’ve ever been a victim of a similar situation, then these 3 hacks will help you in chilling your wine quickly, all set for your friends’ impromptu visits. But before we dive into how to chill wine, let’s talk about the ideal temperatures at which wines should be served. 

Service temperatures for wine vary depending on the style of wine. Light bodied white wines and sparkling wines should be served between 3°c-7°c. 

Meanwhile, rosés and full-bodied whites are best served between 7°c-12°c. When it comes to red wines, many are under the assumption that they should be served at room temperature. While that is not wrong, the definition of room temperature here is not ideal for all climates across the world. 

In actuality, if you live in hotter climates, like India, where room temperature ranges between 25°c-35°c, then you definitely need to chill your red wines. That being said, light and medium bodied red wines are served best between 12°c to 15°c. 

Bold or full-bodied red wines should be served between 15°c to 20°c. Once you know what temperatures you need to serve your wine at, you can now go ahead and start your chilling. 

Here are 3 hacks that help chill wine quickly. 

1. A wine cabinet

“I truly don’t know what I would do without my wine cabinet,” says Sonal Holland MW. This is the most efficient way to store wines at an ideal temperature that keeps them fresh and ready to drink anytime. One should usually set their wine cabinet at a temperature between 10 to 12 degrees Celsius, which works perfectly for both whites and reds. We recommend waiting about five minutes before pouring once the bottle is out of your cabinet. 

2. The freezer

If you’re looking for a ‘speed chilling’ technique, then the freezer is going to come to your rescue. The best way to put your bottle in the freezer is by wrapping it in a damp towel. The damp towel will freeze quickly, which in turn, will help your bottle chill quickly too. But make sure to remember to remove your bottle in time, otherwise, it will freeze and eventually explode!

3. An ice bucket 

The best thing about ice buckets is that you don’t have to constantly run to the refrigerator to keep refilling your guests’ glasses. However, when using ice buckets, keep two things in mind:

  • Make sure the bucket is deep enough to submerge the entire bottle. 

  • Fill the bucket with iced water as opposed to just ice. 

The reason being, water functions as a medium to effectively transfer the temperature of the ice to the wine bottle, making it ready to serve in 12 to 15 minutes. 

Now that we’ve spoken about chilling wine, it’s absolutely essential for a wine enthusiast, or even a wine professional to know about the right kind of storage needed for wines. 

For those who want to dive deeper into the world of wine and learn about storage of wines, service of wines, different styles of wine, and more, check out our beginner, intermediate, and advanced level wine courses - serving wine professionals and enthusiasts of all kinds. 

Click here to learn more about Sonal Holland Wine Academy courses. 

Originally published May 17, 2022

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