Though we’ve probably all done it on one occasion or another, adding ice to wine is one of the few deeds in the drinks industry that seems to be especially taboo. With some of the world’s most elite producers now deliberately icing their wines, exactly how much of a sin is it?
To help advise the everyday drinker, resident expert, The Ice Co has compiled a comprehensive guide to explain exactly when and how you should be reaching for the cold cubes.
If you want to quickly cool your wine
Few things taste worse than a warm vino which is supposed to be chilled, and that includes watered-down wine. Particularly during the hotter summer months, keeping your favourite Pinot at that perfect temperature is always easier said than done.
For the days when a chilled glass doesn’t quite cut it, adding a few large cubes of ice to your drink can be a quick way to help it stay bottle-fresh. To avoid any alcoholic faux pas, The Ice Co recommends steering clear of crushed or pebble ice, which will melt faster, and instead using larger cubes, such as its Polar Cube ice.
If you want to tone down a less than spectacular wine
Some wines are simply sub-par and once the seal has been cracked, there isn’t a lot you can do to get your money back. Instead of wasting it, however, The Ice Co suggests adding a few ice cubes to help round out any harsh flavours and improve the overall taste. See if you notice the difference!
If you struggle with a sensitive stomach
As enjoyable as an evening drink is, it can also have a negative impact on those with particularly sensitive digestive systems. When you drink alcohol, your body produces more stomach acid, and the lower part of your esophagus, which is responsible for preventing acid reflux, relaxes – therefore allowing the acid back up towards your throat and causing heartburn.
Though drinking in moderation is an obvious way to minimize the above effect, slightly diluting drinks, such as wine, with ice can also ease the symptoms, due to the reduced concentration of alcohol.
If you want to make an aperitif
Some wines are designed to be drank as an aperitif – a before or after meal beverage, aimed at preparing the palate for, or cleansing it after, food. Champagnes, rosés and port wines are often enjoyed in this way.
In these cases, the more refreshing your wine is, the better. Adding ice can help elevate and create an authentic drinking experience. The Ice Co recommends Moët and Chandon’s Ice Impérial or Jam Shed’s Shiraz for those wanting to try iced wine.
If you need the one glass to last
There is a myriad of reasons as to why you might need a glass of wine to last – to avoid excessively drinking or to eliminate the constant traipsing back and forth from the bar, to name two.
Adding a few ice cubes to the mix is a guaranteed way to stretch that one drink as far as it’ll go – as it gently melts, it’ll gradually re-fill your glass. As in every case, The Ice Co advises using larger cubes to minimize any dilution that occurs.
Lucy Redman, Head of Marketing at The Ice Co, commented: “It truly is amazing how icing wine has developed into this sort of socially unacceptable act. Here at The Ice Co, we want to show consumers how they can use ice to elevate the flavour of their favourite drinks, and wine is no exception!
“Of course, there are some wines that you simply wouldn’t put ice in, like your traditional reds. But we are seeing a shift now towards wine and champagnes that are supposed to be iced, leading a new trend!”