I know The Good Wine Guru thinks puns are the lowest form of humor but this isn’t his post is it? In any event, if you’re anything like me and the Guru you always have plenty of wine in the house, but you’re not always great about it being where it needs to be. For example, white wine in the wine rack instead of chilling in the fridge. Inevitably I’ll be minutes away from finishing whatever concoction I’ve come up with for dinner and the “what would you like to drink with dinner?” question gets asked. If the answer is “this bottle of *insert white varietal here* that isn’t cold what do you do? We’ve been known to throw a bottle in the ice tray for a few minutes, and at one point we owned an electric counter top “bottle chiller”… it sucked, and is now in a pile to go to Goodwill. Recently thanks to a few new gadgets and tricks our way of dealing with this issue is evolving.
The first gadget was a Corkcicle that I purchased on a whim last Valentine’s Day when I was picking up a card for the Guru at our local Hallmark store. It is pretty much exactly what it sound like… a cork-icicle, undoubtedly filled with a gelatinous substance that was originally invented for something else entirely by NASA.
The concept is simple, you keep it in the freezer and when you open up a bottle you insert the Corkcicle. But BEWARE, you must first remove a glass of wine beforehand or learn a messy lesson about the laws of displacement. That being said, your wine has to be at least cold enough to consume that first glass, making this one a better tool for keeping a bottle cold as you enjoy it rather than getting it cold in the first place. It is great for this in the summer, especially if you’re enjoying your wine outdoors in the heat. A little while later we were gifted an even better device from my in-laws. It is the “Chill and Pour” from The Sharper Image, it works the same way as the Corkcicle but with the addition of a pour spout so you don’t have to remove it from the bottle a dripping mess each time you want a refill. Genius I tell you!
Once again however, BEWARE, the same laws of displacement still apply and are occasionally forgotten. While both of these devices are great for keeping bottles cold and even chilling down the remainder of a not quite cold enough bottle we still haven’t solved the dilemma of that first displaced glass. That’s were my favorite new trick comes in, and no gadgets required. I’ve been a fan of frozen grapes for years as a snack in the summer time, and I had read about using them to chill wine but never tried it until recently. They’re perfectly suited for the task and much more “green” than those plastic reusable ice cubes.
They freeze solid, they don’t melt (and therefore won’t dilute or change the flavor of your wine) and if you let them just linger in your glass until you’re finished you get to enjoy a semi frozen wine infused snack at the bottom of your glass. Just buy your favorite type of grapes (I recommend something seedless), give them a good rinse, and store them in your freezer in an airtight container for whenever you need them in that first displaced glass of not quite cold enough *insert white varietal here*.