Everybody knows the problem. You want a nice glass of bubbly now, but the bottle … it’s room temperature. What are the solutions to cool a sparkling wine bottle fast? Do you pack it for example in the freezer to speed things up? What is the ideal serving temperature? Questions, questions, questions.
Ideal serving temperatures
Sparkling wine has to be kept cool. Ideal serving temperatures are 6 – 8° Celsius for white and rosé sparkler. Red sparkling wine can be served warmer around 8 – 11° Celsius.
Here is a list of dos and don’ts for fast cooling of a sparkling wine bottle. The methods can also be used for wine bottles. Let’s start with the don’ts.
Firstly, ice sleeves are great for keeping a sparkling wine bottle cool that’s already been chilled. But they are not good for trying to cool the whole bottle.
Secondly, don’t Put ice cubes in the drink. You water down the sparkling wine and delute it.
Thirdly, don’t over-chill. The sparkling wine may lose its flavor entirely.
It is the easiest way but it takes between two and three hours to cool down the sparkling wine bottle.
It takes about one hour to chill sparking wine to the ideal temperature in the freezer.
But be careful. Don’t forget the bottle in the freezer. Set a timer so you don’t leave the bottle in there. Why? It’s risky. Bottles can shatter into a million pieces if frozen. You have to defrost to get all the glass out of the freezer.
Wet paper around the bottle
Combine multiple types of techniques to speed up the procedure. For example wrap the bottle with a wet paper towel before placing it in the fridge or freezer. That leads to an accelerated evaporation process with the result that the water in the paper towel removes energy from the bottle even quicker. It creates an an extra cooling effect.
It takes around 30 minutes in the fridge and 10-15 minutes in the freezer.
Now ice cubes come in handy. In the post How to … make ice cubes, you learned the best ways to make ice cubes.
Pick up an ice bucket or a nice bottle chiller. Fill it with ca. 1 liter of cold water. Water is a more efficient thermal conductor than air.
You need minimum 500g of ice to cool down a sparkling wine bottle in my experience. Don’t mix more than 50% water and 50% ice together.
The ice blocks made come in very handy shortly. The amount is easy to measure and you do not have to f*ck around with ice cubes in a bag. Hit two ice blocks against each other and break them in smaller pieces. This cools down a bottle faster than a big block.
Cooling takes around 20-25 minutes according to my experience.
If you want to cool it even faster add salt to the water ice mix. 10-15 minutes cooling are sufficient in a salt water ice bath.
After that refill more ice if necessary. It’s recommended to keep opened bottles cold until fully empty. I just add another of my ice blogs, not broken this time, and they melt nice and slowly.
Excursion: Salt and ice
When you dissolve salt in water, ice will have to take energy from the system to break its structure. Only then the ice can dissolve in water. This is the reason the water gets colder. Heat is taken out of it for melting the ice. Plus the molten ice brings the water temperature down for effective, fast cooling.
This is how e.g. old-fashioned ice cream makers lowered the temperature of the ice cream below water’s ordinary freezing point. A mixture of rock salt, ice, and water packed in the bucket around the ice cream mix can bring the temperature down as low as -21°C.
Chilled Drink Calculator
The chilled drink calculator is an scientific approach to calculate the time your drink requires to reach its desired temperature. Unfortunately the numbers doesn’t fit my experience. Closest result was the fridge cooling time. But it’s fun to play around with. You get an idea what method is the fastest.