The Internet is crawling with tips and tricks on how to cool your wine faster than ever before. Freezer-chill fans are all about the wet dish towel wrap, while ice bucket believers swear by the saltwater swivel. There’s only one little problem with these quick solutions. Sometimes, they are just not quick enough.
What can you do when you need a perfectly chilled glass of wine pronto? Add an ice cube? The diluted horror! The solution is actually easy. All you need is a piece of frozen fruit.
Why use fruit to chill your wine
Science. Ice blocks thaw faster than frozen food, returning to room temperature much quicker than slow sippers can sip. What’s more, they melt and dilute your drink with water, muting wine’s more complex flavours.
By contrast, fruit stays frozen for longer, absorbs the wine and fills the bottom of your glass with an alcohol-infused snack you can enjoy right after. The trick is to use pieces that pair with whatever you plan to drink. You can choose these based on seasonal availability , complementing flavours or contrasting tastes. Not sure which fruit goes with which glass? Read on!
1. Sparkling Wines
With an ideal drinking temperature of 5°C – 7°C, sparkling wines take the longest to cool. Fortunately, whether your bottle of bubbly comes from France, Italy or South Africa, they all have one thing in common – they go brilliantly with berries. So keep a few in your freezer and chill your favourite champagne or Prosecco with iced strawberries. The delicious red fruit is so juicy and sweet that it’s perfect for pairing with dry varietals too – and for savouring when your glass runs dry.
2. White Wines
At a slightly higher temperature is white wine. For its many varietals , let the dryness lead you. A crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling calls for something juicy and refreshing, like blueberries or blackberries.
For the fruitier Viognier and unwooded Chardonnay, complement their existing flavours with similar fruits. A glass of Viognier is great with apricots. They also pair with peaches – just like a Chardonnay, which can be paired with apples and mangoes too.
Rosés are best with berries too, but raspberries. These complement their white-wine-like crispness and pretty rosy colour. Of course, you could also complement its red wine flavour by plopping in pieces of frozen peach or melon instead.
4. Red Wines
Lastly, let’s look at the reds. Contrary to popular practice, red wine shouldn’t be served at room temperature – unless that room temperature is between 12°C – 18°C. Too cold and it loses its heady aroma and luxurious flavour. Too warm and it tastes overly alcoholic and flat.
Frozen fruit puts you in complete control of how cool your glass gets. For lighter varietals – like Pinotage, Pinot Noir and Merlot – cherries, berries and bananas are a must-try; while richer and heavier reds – like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz – are better with drier figs, apples and pears.
Wine chilled in seconds and a bite-sized, boozed-infused, perfectly paired piece of fruit after? We’ll toast to that!
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