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If you forgot to put the Champagne in the fridge—or decide on a different bottle of wine than the one you’ve chilled—here’s how to get it cold, fast.
Pop It In The Freezer
Many people stick the bottle in the freezer. It works, but it isn’t the fastest way to chill wine. Cold air isn’t as effective as cold water, our next technique.
Make A Water Bath
This technique gets the deepest chill. Take a wine bucket, stock pot or other container that will allow at least half of the bottle to be covered with ice. Fill halfway with ice cubes; then add ice water or very cold tap water, filling the bucket to three-quarters full. Next, add salt to the water.
(Why? It lowers the temperature of the water. As the salt dissolves, it requires energy to break the bonds between its ions. The water transfers some of its heat to do aid this process, and the entire solution cools down.)
Stir the mixture to blend and add the bottle(s).
An ice water bath quickly cools a bottle of Champagne or other wine. Photo courtesy Champagne Council.
This is the fastest way to chill a bottle of wine or Champagne. You might think that restaurants bring wine in an ice bucket to keep the wine chilled; but most restaurants lack the capacity to store their Champagne and white wine inventory on ice. So the water bath in ice bucket serves not just to keep the wine cold, but to chill it in the first place.
Our go-to wine chiller is Rapid Ice. Photo
courtesy Rapid Ice.
Gel Sleeve: Our Personal Favorite
Most homes don’t have the space or the need to keep an ice bucket. Ever since the first Rapid Ice Wine Instant Wine Cooler appeared on the market 30-plus years ago, we’ve been hooked. We always have two in the freezer.
A plastic sleeve is quilted into several gel pockets. The sleeve folds flat and is easy to store in the freezer. Take it out, insert a bottle and the bottle will be chilled enough by the cold gel to drink in five minutes or so. The bottle can stay chilled for up to three hours.
Rapid Ice is designed to fit over a standard 750 ml wine bottle, but you can get it over some Champagne bottles. However, there is also a Champagne bottle version.
It takes up a lot less room on the table than an ice bucket!
You can purchase Rapid Ice at wine stores, kitchen gadget departments and online. It’s about $12 for the wine version and about $15 for the Champagne version.
Consider adding one to a wine gift.
BONUS WAYS TO USE RAPID ICE
Keep your water bottle cooler on a hot summer day.
Keep a pint of ice cream chilled at the table—or as you work your way through it in front of the TV.
Chill down dough or other ingredients.
Ice down your wrist or arm from injury or overuse of technology.
There are many more uses, no doubt!
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