Ever Wonder? Should You Chill a Bottle of Wine in the Freezer?

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It’s a common problem. You buy a bottle of wine that you want to server that same day. And you want it chilled. So, is the freezer a good option for quickly chilling a bottle of wine?

Well, chilling a bottle of wine in the freezer is one method. But, it has a couple of issues.

First, a freezer by definition is an environment that is below freezing. Right? So, that’s 32 degrees F or below. And, assuming you are trying to chill a bottle of white wine, rosé or sparkling wine, the best serving temperatures for those are going to be somewhere in the range of 38 to 55 degree F range, depending of the type of wine. Thus, a freezer is going to be too cold if the bottle remains in the freezing environment too long.

And, you run the risk of actually damaging the bottle. Depending on the alcohol content of the wine, it will freezer somewhere in the 15 to 20 degree F range. Because wine is mostly water, it’s going to expand when it freezes which can either push the cork out of the bottle (see photo) or, even worse, break the bottle!

The second issue with using a freezer to quickly chill a bottle of wine is that it’s really not that quick. It will still take quite a while to get that bottle to your ideal serving temperature.

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So, what’s the best way to quickly chill a bottle of wine? Well, find a container that’s a bit larger than the bottle or bottles, fill it with ice and then fill it with water. The ice-cold water will then fully surround your bottle and it’ll be chilled rapidly. And, you don’t need to worry about it freezing!


Behind the Cork™ - González Byass La Copa Vermouths


González Byass La Copa Vermouth — Extra Seco & Rojo - ($24.99 each)

While Vermouth can be the perfect addition to any cocktail, these Vermouth offerings from González Byass really shine on their own.

Vermouth, as described in a recent blog, is actually a fortified wine. A highly aromatic fortified wine with botanicals that include herbs, bark, roots, citrus and spices with the Wormwood plant being the classic ingredient.

The González Byass La Copa (meaning the cup) Extra Seco Vermouth is a white extra dry version (28 g/L residual sugar) produced from 100% Palomino grape that is aged for an average of three years in the traditional Solera System of American oak casks. It exhibits a clean and elegant intensity with concentrated citrus aromas along with the bitter touches of Wormwood. It’s an ideal aperitif, served over ice, but can also be blended with soda or used as part of many classic cocktails.

The González Byass La Copa Rojo Vermouth is a red version produced with 75% Palomino grape and 25% Pedro Ximénez grape that is aged for more than eight years in Soleras. With Wormwood again playing a staring role, this Rojo Vermouth also includes botanicals such as clove, orange peel, nutmeg and cinnamon. The resulting bitter-sweet (141 g/L residual sugar) and savory flavors of this Vermouth include classic cola flavors to go along with all the spiciness. It too is an ideal aperitif, served over ice, but can also be blended with soda or used as part of many classic cocktails.

Both of these La Copa Vermouth offerings from González Byass are delicious either on their own or as part of your favorite cocktail. Cheers!

Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Samples provided by Rebekah Polster of Donna White Communications

Behind the Cork™ - Left Coast Rosé


2018 Left Coast Estate Rosé ($24)

Left Coast Cellars produces a bunch of nice wines from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. And, this Rosé is another fine example.

This blend of 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Pinot Meunier is fermented and aged in 100% neutral French Oak. The six month of neutral oak aging softens this rosé into a very delicate offering.

The Left Coast Rosé has light distinct aromas of rose pedals, white cherry and some interesting herbal and wood notes. On the palate, there are delicate fruit notes, low acidity and a creamy smoothness.

If you’ve been turned-off in the past by rosés that are like drinking fruity soda pop or pink lemonade, this rosé from Left Coast Cellars is one you should try. At 13.7% alcohol it’s completely dry (no residual sugar) and the red fruit flavors of the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (two of the primary grapes in the production of French Champagne) just peek through for some very nice delicate flavors.

As the weather warms up, rosé is always a perfect choice. Give this one a try with fresh feta or chévre cheeses that really accentuate the creamy character of this Left Coast Estate Rosé. Cheers!

Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Will Rogers of Donna White Communications

Behind the Cork™ - Tió Pepe Fino Sherry


Tió Pepe Fino Sherry ($20)

Tió Pepe’s Fino Sherry is from the city of Jarez in southern Spain's Andalusia region.

It’s made from the Palomino grape, fermented to the 11-12% ABV range, fortified to 15.5% and then enters the Tió Pepe Solera. While it spends four years in the Solera, a layer of yeast, known as the ‘flor’ forms on the surface of the Sherry within the cask. This protects the Sherry from oxygen and gives Tió Pepe it’s unique aroma and character.

The aroma is notable for its yeast along with notes of toasted almond. This Sherry is a pale golden yellow in color and light in flavor (hence Fino). It’s completely dry and, when served very chilled, makes for a wonderful aperitif.

Sherry can also be used to make cocktails. And, Javier Ortega Diaz of Las Vegas NV recently used this Sherry to make the ‘Sophia’ cocktail that won the U.S. Tió Pepe Challenge in New York City and moved him on to the recent International Tió Pepe Challenge Final in Jerez.

The award winning ‘Sophia’ cocktail included 2 oz Tió Pepe Fino Sherry, 3/4 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, 1/2 oz Fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz homemade kumquat, rosemary & thyme syrup and 1 oz homemade sparkling hibiscus water and is served over ice. Sounds amazing!

So, whether you enjoy Sherry straight up or mixed in a cocktail, try this one from Tió Pepe. It’s quite nice. Cheers!

Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Rebekah Polster of Donna White Communications

Ever Wonder? - What's that Stuff at the Bottom of Your Wine Glass?


Have you ever taken that last sip of wine only to find a nasty surprise either at the bottom of your glass or in your mouth? Sediment! It can be a very unpleasant discovery. But, luckily, it’s nothing to be worried about.

Sediment is a natural bi-product of the wine making process.

Wines are made from the juice of grapes. And, the skins of the grapes. And the seeds. And sometimes the stems. So, there are actually a lot of solids that are involved in wine making. That’s why, in some cases, you get some ugly particles in your wine glass.

It doesn’t just happen with red wines. White wines are susceptible too.

There’s a lot of chemistry involved in for formation of various types of sediment in wine. But, keeping it simple, these solids in your glass are mostly filtered out at the winery and are just microscopic when they leave the winery in the bottle.

But, age and temperature then act upon these microscopic particles to form the stuff you see in your wine glass.

Next time, I’ll get into a bit more detail on this topic. But, for now, don’t worry. This sediment is not harmful to consume. Cheers!