Martha Says…

Martha Stewart.comIt’s a common fact that white wines, rose and even a few red wines taste better when they’ve been chilled. I’m not a wine expert, and even I know that. But what if you haven’t had time to plan ahead and properly chill your wine? Getting a properly chilled wine by putting it in the refrigerator can take two hours or more. Never fear, a recent issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food is coming to your rescue.

The fastest way to chill wine is in a cold bath. Fill a large bowl or ice bucket with two parts ice cubes and 1 part cold water; then place the still-corked bottle in the ice-water and leave for about 30 minutes. Even though most red wines are served at roome temperature, some light-bodied ones, such as Beaujolais, benefit from a half hour in the refrigerator before they’re served.

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Reader Comments

I’ve heard about the ice bath method, and it makes sense, if you really want to chill the wine quick. However, as it happens Katie Pizzuto just posted today about this same general topic at Basic Juice ( She’s been wondering about why people think whites tast better when chilled, and concludes they don’t. Hmmm.

Or… you can keep a Vacu Vin rapid chiller ( in your freezer. Once placed on a bottle of wine it takes at most 10 minutes to get a white or rose to perfect temp - even less to bring a red down to the correct temp.

Um, the fastest way is to add SALT to what Martha says above. Salt hads a lower freezing point, so the ice water can get lower than 32 degrees. (Or so that’s what I remember.)

Brenda, thanks for the heads up on that chiller. Never seen them before, and now have one less gift to get at Christmas.

Many whites and roses taste better chilled. However, I find that most chardonnays are served too cold…they are much more flavorful when chilled only a little.

They also make one specifically shaped for champagne bottles, with a little pull tie to close up tightly around the neck. Although the ice-water trick really works well for champagne, I think.

I’ve used both versions for several years and love them in a pinch.