Ice cubes and green wine grapes oddly placed in rows on a light blue table

Ice & Wine

While it has long been held to be a total faux paux, it is becoming more commonplace to practice this questionable ritual, especially here, in the peak months of summer.

Here we offer our guide to when, how, and why it is ok in certain applications, and when it is best to stay away from it.


It is completely ok, and usually desirable to have your sangria over ice in the summer.  Usually the flavors of Sangria are concentrated due to the additions of citrus, spices, and sugar to a wine.  At this point you are not in danger of looking like a jerk for including ice in your wine.  As the ice melts, it can open up the flavors while keeping your beverage nice and cool.

Fast Drinkers

It is more common in warm European and North African climates to have the option of having your wine served over ice.   This does not mean it is ok for the wine to fully dilute with the ice cubes, that will ruin the wine.  You’ll need to say “yes” when asked only if you plan on enjoying the wine relatively quickly.  The wines are not made more concentrated to counterbalance the melt factor, so don’t just let that glass sit in the sun.

If Everyone Jumped Off a Bridge…

Well, it’s a party, everyone else is drinking their Chardonnay over ice.  Why the hell not?  Go for it!   But for the wine’s sake, pleeeeeease see the above area, thanks!

If a Wine is Designed for Ice Cubes

Yup, read that right.  Möet just dropped their Imperial Ice NV Rosé not too long back, and yes, it is designed to be served over ice.  Seems a little weird, enough so we haven’t tried it (truth be told), but variety is the spice of life, and experimentation makes for the best or worst of things, so while our jury is still out, we will not naysay this product, nor tell you to run out and grab it as it revolutionized the when-ice-in-wine-is-ok-world.

Single Varietal Wines

Part A:  Actually, let’s take it a step further, Estate or Single Vineyard varietal wines.  Just don’t do it.  That unique parcel of land and climate is on display in the wine’s terroir.  DO NOT RUIN THAT.  You (or someone you know) paid WAAAAAAAY too much of their hard earned cash to drop a cube into that pristine juice.  even if you “always have ice with (your) Sauvy B” STOP!  That could be very expensive Sancerre, or a unique Napa parcel.  Can’t stress this enough, DON’T DO IT.  The cold hard truth is that wine is way more special than your habits.  Like a thousand fold or more over.  Sorry, just the truth.

Part B:  Taking a step back, just because it’s a Chardonnay or a Rosé from Provence, it doesn’t mean it is special, or good for that matter.  If it is, you will know as either you bought it and know what you paid for (hopefully), or someone serving you will be happy to tell you it is gold…or it is crap.  If it’s the latter, ice away.  Nothing against Yellow Tail, but, sure, throw a cube in.  Make it two!  Ah, what the hell…make it 3!  Crane Lake over ice?  Why the hell not!?

A Series of Good Alternatives

Ice buckets.  Just put the bottle on ice!

Marble wine chillers.  Inexpensive, gets really cold and retains the chill quite well from your freezer, and it looks good too!

Frozen grapes.  Yup.  Wine, meet your maker.  A frozen grape will not influence the flavor of your wine all much, and it’ll give you a nice flavorful treat when the glass is done, yet clearly, do not do this with higher-end wines – this is reserved for daily drinkers mainly.

A Corkcicle.  Seems like a crappy novelty good to stuff a stocking for a wine lover durring the holidays, but it is actually effective at getting the job done.  Don’t be fooled by the cheap looking icicle mold shape, it is very useful.  A welcome addition to your summer wine arsenal.

The refrigerator.  Remember that big, clunky box that constantly runs in your kitchen, keeping everything cool?  That is a great place to keep your wine cool.  We know what you’re about to say, well, even if your glass gets warm from sitting out, you clearly aren’t drinking it that quickly, so throw the whole glass back in the fridge.  You’re clearly in no rush.

*Disclaimer: the views expressed in this post are solely those of wine drinkers, anyone else can go ahead and ice whatever, however, whenever, it’s your world, we’re just drinking in it*



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