Is it ever OK to put ice in wine?

Lauren Sharkey
<i>Does putting ice in wine ruin the taste? [Photo: Getty]</i>
Does putting ice in wine ruin the taste? [Photo: Getty]

As the summer gets underway, a lot of us long for a glass of wine at the end of a hard day’s work.

So what happens when you get home and realise you’ve forgotten to chill a bottle?

Can you put a couple of ice cubes in your glass? Or is that a cardinal sin?

People have been brought up to think that adding ice to a glass of wine is a complete no-no. And you’d be right, in some respects.

Wine connoisseurs have long complained of the diluting effects of ice, adding that it renders the drink unrecognisable.

<i>Ice will dilute your wine, experts warn [Photo: Getty]</i>
Ice will dilute your wine, experts warn [Photo: Getty]

“Something is lost when you interfere with the final product,” Rafael Sanchez, wine and beverage director of a top San Diego restaurant, told Vogue. “The colour, texture and aroma of the wine is compromised by ice.”

“If I feel a wine needs to be colder, then I put the bottle in ice for a few minutes – no need to add it directly to the wine.”

However, a few well-known names are opening up to the idea of wine on ice. Moët & Chandon recently launched a sparkling rosé that is intended to be consumed with ice.

In the South of France, summer is the time for drinking wine with ice. The practice – dubbed ‘La Piscine’ (which literally translates to swimming pool) – is commonly seen with all manner of rosés and champagnes.

<i>Some brands are introducing wines made to be enjoyed with ice [Photo: Moët & Chandon]</i>
Some brands are introducing wines made to be enjoyed with ice [Photo: Moët & Chandon]

So what can you do if you’re still a little apprehensive about throwing a few ice cubes in your glass?

If you’re not able to quickly down the glass, experts recommend choosing a wine with a bold flavour and deep colour so that the flavour is not lost.

Alternatively, you can freeze grapes instead of water, taking away any potential dilution.

But there are no rules in the alcohol world. Just like Bill Murray (who apparently drinks pint glasses of champagne drowning in ice), you do you.

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