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Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-21-2007
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Use salt to chill your wine in half the time!

Need a bottle of wine chilled in a hurry at home? Bring a bottle of wine to a restaurant and need to chill it in a hurry so you can enjoy it fast?

Here's how (pgs 122-123 in my book)
Add a third of a cup of salt to a mixture of ice and water in a bucket. Why? Salt causes ice to melt at a lower temperature than fresh water, so the water becomes colder faster. In fact, using salt water versus regular water cuts the chilling time by one third. White wine takes ten minutes to chill, not 15. A great tip when you have thirstier guests than anticipated at home. Or reach for the salt shaker at a restaurant and pour the salt into the ice bucket to quickly chill the bottle you brought.

This is a great idea for reds to because red wines should be served just slightly cool, not our room temperature today which is 70-73 degrees. The phrase "serve your wine room temperature" came about when the English began drinking red wines hundreds and hundreds of years ago before central heating. They warmed themselves by the fire, but the rest of the room was COOL. They determined this cool environment was the right temperature for a red wine to taste its best... showing off it's fruit flavors and some of its refreshing acidity which made it taste lively. When we serve a red wine at our room temperature today, it can taste hot and alcoholic and the fruit doesn't shine through.

So when you need to serve a red at home quickly or yiou BYOB to a restaurant and want to enjoy it for your first course....ask for the ice bucket, pour the salt from the salt shaker in the ice bucket, and in just 5 minutes your "red head" will be the perfect serving temperature. If you don't toss in the salt, it will take about 10 minutes to cool a room temperature red down to the oerfecr serving temperature.
A meal without wine is called breakfast!

The Wine Diva
Author & Wine Educator