In general, wine tastes best 1 to 5 days after opening as long as it is tightly corked and kept refrigerated.
If you have a few opened bottles in your fridge at the same time, you might need to invite a crowd to finish them up. If that’s not the case, you might be thinking of preserving this adult beverage – and if you are a fan of freezing leftovers, you might consider freezing it.
Wait, does wine freeze? Yes, why not!
Perhaps, you put a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir in the freezer to lightly chill it quickly. A few hours have passed, and you completely forgot about it. Unfortunately, the elegant red wine is accidentally frozen. In this case, can you still thaw it and drink it?
If you want to learn more about freezing wine and whether it is a great idea, to begin with, keep reading! In this article, we share the know-how of freezing the lovely drink and its pros and cons.
Does Freezing Wine Ruin It?
Freezing wine doesn’t necessarily ruin it, but the flavor and taste might be affected. The adult beverage won’t taste as remarkably as a newly opened bottle. But, freezing works incredibly well to extend its shelf life after opening from only 3 to 5 days to 3 months.
Suppose you’ve ever frozen a bottle of wine (accidentally or not). In that case, you might notice sediment that looks like little rock sugar on the bottom. No worries – this sediment is totally harmless. It is naturally formed tartrate crystals as a byproduct of winemaking. They are often formed when the wine gets too cold.
That being said, no need to worry if you accidentally have frozen wine. You can safely thaw it in the fridge and drink it. Some people are okay with it. However, if you’re not satisfied with the flavors or flat taste, try using it for cooking recipes.
Now, let’s talk briefly about the science behind freezing alcoholic beverages.
Wine typically contains 8 to 14% of alcohol, and it freezes at 22 °F (-6 °C). The higher the alcohol content, the lower the freezing temperatures.
In other words, beers and wine freeze at higher (warmer) temperatures than whiskey, vodka, and other liquors. In comparison, vodka and other liquors have at least 40% ABV (80-proof) and freeze at -17 °F (-27 °C).
Home freezers are usually kept at 0 °F (-18 °C). Thus, if you chill a bottle of wine a little too long in the freezer, it will freeze. This also explains why wine freezes, but vodka doesn’t.
Now that you know what will happen when you freeze wine, there is no harm to try it. You can freeze either white, red, or rosé.
Whenever you have an opened bottle that you can’t empty within the next few days, freezing is a wonderful solution to save every drop of your precious drink.
How To Freeze Wine
Remember this rule of thumb, never freeze an unopened bottle of wine. Keep in mind that it mainly consists of water. Thus, this adult beverage also expands when frozen. If there is no room for expansion, the frozen liquid will pressure the cap/ cork and the bottle. Consequently, the cap might burst, or the bottle might explode. And you end up with a huge mess that requires a deep cleaning.
It is best to transfer it into a rigid container suitable for freezing. This way, you can save valuable freezer space and avoid having exploded bottles.
Here are the easy and correct ways to freeze wine for later use.
Freezing Wine In Ice Cube Trays
Freezing in ice cube trays is useful if you often use wine in small quantities, like deglazing a pan or sauces. For a slightly larger amount per cube, try muffin tins.
- 1. Pour wine into ice cube trays.
- 2. Flash freeze for several hours until firm.
- 3. Remove the cubes from the freezer.
- 4. Pack them in a freezer bag.
- 5. Remove as much air as possible out of the bag and seal it well.
- 6. Place in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.
Freezing Wine In A Freezer-Safe Container
Wine won’t be frozen solid because of its alcohol content. Instead, it will be soft, and you can easily scoop out as much quantity as you need for your future recipes.
- 1. Pour wine in a freezer-safe shallow container.
- 2. Leave headspace.
- 3. Seal the container tightly and mark it with the content and freezing date.
- 4. For the best quality, freeze it for up to 3 months.
How To Thaw and Use Frozen Wine
Previously frozen wine is not an awful scene at all. It is perfectly safe to drink. Simply thaw it in the refrigerator and enjoy!
If you’re not satisfied with the taste, don’t throw it away. It is still perfect for many cooking recipes and refreshing drinks.
No need to thaw it first – simply add it to the pot, and it will melt quickly while cooking. Here are some delicious recipes to use up every drop of your indulging drink.
- – Classic coq au vin (chicken braised with wine)
- – Traditional beef bourguignon (braised beef)
- – White wine roast chicken
- – Red wine braised brisket
- – Creamy mushroom risotto and pasta dishes
- – Poached pears
- – Refreshing adult beverages, such as wine slushies, frosé (frozen rosé), wine cooler, and sangria
- – To deglaze the pan and make sauces
Yes. A bottle of wine might be bad if it smells off, tastes vinegary or nutty, or looks discolored (darkened white wine and brownish red wine). Except for sparkling wine, discard any leftovers if it looks fizzy or bubbly.
Absolutely, yes. Freeze it in ice cube trays for this specific purpose. Take some frozen cubes, add some frozen berries, and process in a blender until everything is mixed and turn into a delicious slushy.
Wine might not be in your ‘go-to freezer food items.’ Freezing might be an excellent option in a particular situation, such as when you can’t finish up an opened bottle within the next 5 days.
Previously frozen, it certainly won’t taste as lovely as a freshly opened bottle. It is still safe to drink after thawing. But, if the flavor and taste are not up to your standard, you can use it for cooking recipes or mixing it with fruits for refreshing slushies!
You can easily freeze wine in ice cube trays or in a freezer-safe container. Check our easy tips above on freezing wine!
*image by qwartm/depositphotos