We have all been there at one point or another. A great bottle of Italian white wine has been opened and you’ve enjoyed a nice cool glass on a warm summer’s day. However, in no time at all the bottle has become warmed up and your next glass loses all of the crispness and the flavour that was so wonderful in the first.
It’s an easily avoided issue but one that still plagues so many people who simply forget to keep their wine cool or don’t know the optimum temperature for drinking the wine. In some cases, allowing the wine to reach room temperature is perfectly acceptable, and can even enhance the taste of the wine itself.
However, for those that simply must be kept cool to retain their crispness and their taste, it is important to know exactly what you need to do.
With that in mind, here are just a few methods that you can use to keep your bottle of wine cool.
The first method is the simplest, and is also likely the one that is most used. The humble refrigerator will do exactly what it is meant to do with whatever is stored inside it – keep it cool.
As long as you unopened bottle is meant to be stored at a chilled temperature then it will be a decent fix for your requirements. The fridge may chill the wine a little too much, so be sure to take it out a couple of minutes before serving if you need to.
However, there are some issues that you need to be aware of if you are going to store a bottle after it has already been opened.
For one, you must ensure that the bottle is properly sealed before it is placed back into the refrigerator. The absolute best accessory to use for this purpose is a dedicated vacuum pump, but if one is not available make sure that the bottle cap is screwed on. Be very careful about wines that have a cork, as you will need some form of accessory to reseal it.
The reason this is so important it that putting an unsealed bottle of wine into the fridge can lead to it being exposed to contaminants that mix with the wine and ruin its composition. Particles from other food and drink will find their way into the bottle and can ruin the experience, even though the wine itself has been kept perfectly cool.
Furthermore, an open bottle means that the wine has the potential to become oxidized. Allowing this to happen, much like allowing food and drink particles to contaminate the wine, will alter the composition and make the wine taste different.
So, by all means use the fridge. However, be careful about the effect it might have in the long term.
The Ice Bucket
A favourite of restaurants around the world, the ice bucket is ideal for both keeping a wine cool and also allowing the drinker to keep it nearby so that they can pour without having to get up from their seat.
To properly use an ice bucket, you should add ice until the ice reaches up to about two thirds of the length of the bottle. Then simply add water up to the same level of the ice and place the bottle inside to ensure it stays cool. All you have to do after this is add a little salt to lower the freezing temperature of the water and the bucket itself is ready.
Many people make the mistake of simply placing their wine inside the bucket and leaving it there, however if you want to properly chill the wine you need to take its characteristics into account. A red wine will generally take a lot less time to chill, so only leave it in the bucket for about four minutes before serving.
By contrast, a white wine will often take up to ten minutes to reach the desired temperature, so a little more patience is required.
One last thing. Don’t just simply plop the bottle into the bucket and leave it there. Make sure to angle the bottle and slowly rotate it so that the bottle gets the full benefit of the bucket.
The wonders of modern technology has allowed for the invention of the cooling sleeve. Though simple in concept, the sleeve is a relatively new method of keeping a bottle of wine cool and is absolutely perfect for keeping a bottle at its optimum temperature no matter where you take it. This means it is perfect for taking a bottle to a dinner party or heading out on a picnic.
The sleeves essentially act as an insulator, which means that they will prevent heat from escaping but will also prevent it from penetrating the bottle, in the right circumstances.
This means that you must always chill the bottle before placing it into the sleeve to make sure that you experience the correct effects. Storing it in the refrigerator to begin with should ensure that the bottle reaches the correct temperature.
After that, simply pop it into the sleeve and you are ready to go. The wine should retain its coolness for a long time, though remember that it is liable to warm up again once it has been taken out of the bag. As such you should make sure to either remove it for as little time as possible or purchase a sleeve that allows you to pour the wine while the bottle is still inside.
So there you have it! Three methods of keeping a bottle of Italian white wine cool and ready to serve at all times. Of course, much of your cooling needs to have a little education behind it, as it is important to know the correct temperature that a wine needs to be at to get the most out of each serving.
However, if you use any of the methods described above you should be able to guarantee that your wine remains cool for a long time.