Are you that guy or gal who likes to put ice cubes in your wine?
Are you tired of your wine-savvy friends rolling their eyes at you for adulterating a fine Chardonnay? What’s wrong with a cube or two in your Chablis, after all?
Whether you’re the one committing this faux pas or you want to rehabilitate somebody who does, it’s time we all familiarize ourselves with the ground rules when it comes to giving your wine the perfect chill.
The Perfect Temperature
Every wine has an ideal temperature for serving. White wines should be served at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wines should be served at a few degrees below room temperature.
Adding ice to wine, while quickly reducing the temperature, will dilute the wine and give it a watery flavor. Also, your hands are a balmy 98 degrees – about the temperature of a warm bath. That’s why wine glasses have their distinct shape. You can grasp the stem without heating up the wine in the glass.
If you’re in a hurry to get your wine chilled, you can always buy it chilled from most liquor stores or just pop it in the freezer for a few minutes.
Refreshment on a Hot Day
Sometimes an icy beverage is the best way to go, especially if you’re by the pool or just trying to take the edge off a hot day. Do yourself a favor and mix up a Sangria!
Get a bottle of fruit wine – or really any wine of your choice – add some Sprite, your favorite fruit juice and those ice cubes for a great treat. If you’re feeling particularly festive, add some fruit-flavored vodka or a liqueur alcohol. This will give it that extra kick.
There is nothing wrong with the classic wine spritzer either. Just add equal parts wine, Sprite, or club soda over ice for an easy cocktail. This is a simple, do-it-yourself drink. If you’re at a party where wine is being served most hosts will (or should) also have soft drinks available. A word of caution, though: If you’re going to a party where your host is serving a higher-end wine, don’t insult his or her hospitality by using a rare vintage as a mixer.
Hot Weather Suggestions
At Island Winery, our Harvest White sweet muscadine wine and our Riesling are delicious when served frosty cold.
Chardonnay, especially oak-aged ones such as ours, should always be served warmer. The recommended temperature is 45 to even 50 degrees. Our Southern Passion is sangria. It’s great on its own or as the base for your favorite sangria recipe. For a really special twist, try adding our cranberry wine to any cocktail that calls for cranberry juice. It also makes a fabulous cranberry martini!
By Georgene Mortimer, Island Winery – Hilton Head Island.
Stop by Island Winery at 12A Cardinal Road for a great selection of award-winning wines. Ranging from Old World vinted dry wines to Low Country Specialty wines, our wines are made on Hilton Head Island. Store/Tasting hours are Monday-Saturday, 12:30-5:30 p.m. 843-842-3141 or www.islandwinery.com.