Will I get judged for adding ice cubes to wine?
Nine days ago, spring equinox marked the annual transition into spring – although the occasion went unnoticed by 99% of the population (it was eclipsed by, well, the eclipse). It was a pivotal day – the sun passed over the equator thereby giving us a day and night approximately equal in length.
It gets even better: yesterday our clocks moved forward by an hour, and in two days’ time our calendars will display April.
Spring means longer days, warmer weather and pre-summer euphoria.
Clearly wine habits are affected too. Many are now turning their backs on those warming red wines, anyone with a glass of mulled wine is stared at, and ice cubes are finding their way into wine glasses all over the country.
The simple act of adding ice into a glass of wine is often a great source of stress for many.
I’m often asked, does adding ice cubes ruin the wine? Unfortunately, it does. The winemaker has spent a great deal of time ensuring a balance between body, acidity, flavour intensity and (in the case of red wine) tannin; by adding ice and diluting the wine, you disrupt the beautiful balance.
Will you be judged if you do it? Wine snobs and wannabes will inevitably turn their nose up at someone adding ice to wine. That said, I don’t think it’s the most horrendous crime: ultimately the enjoyment of wine is an incredibly personal endeavour – we all have very different tastes – so do what makes you happy. I myself do it very occasionally – there’s nothing worse than tepid white wine on a hot day.
Fortunately, there are other solutions (sorry, unintentional pun) which require varying levels of advanced planning…
1. No forward planning
Put your wine in an ice bucket filled with ice, water and salt. The salt lowers the freezing point of water, allowing it to get colder faster. Suddenly you’re the hero at a party.
2. A bit of forward planning
Add frozen grapes to your drink! You can have a bit of fun here – throw frozen white grapes into white wine, and frozen red grapes in red or rosé. They may alter the taste of your wine slightly, so avoid adding them to expensive wines, but this method is absolutely fine for everyday drinking.
You can also buy cooling stones to your drink – they are available pretty much anywhere (including Amazon – click here). When you’re stuck with lukewarm wine on a hot day, dig them out of your freezer and throw them into your drink. Hey presto, your wine will be chilled but not diluted. You might look a bit weird, though.
3. A lot of planning
Freeze wine in into cubes in advance. Fill an ice cube tray with wine, freeze it and add it to your wine the next day. Just make sure the wine you froze is the same wine as what’s in your glass! This method is not for the disorganised.
I suppose the simplest way to avoid warm wine is to remember to place your bottle of white, rosé or even (some) red wine in the fridge a few hours beforehand.
But where’s the fun in that?
Don’t forget to download Grappled, the app that helps you wine while you dine. It is available for free (yay!) on Android and iOS devices. Simply head over to your app store or visit www.grappledapp.com to download it.
Photo credit: amazon.co.uk, howto.com, foodnetwork, olivethepeople, tastingtable, giphy, someecards