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Have you forgotten your wine bottle in the car freezer for days or else in the home freezer? If so, this article will be the one you are searching for. Does wine freeze really? The simple answer for that is yes. Freezing wine is fine unless it is not a hard rock with deteriorated flavor and aroma profiles. It doesn’t matter whether you are to freeze your favorite bottle by accident or else doing it for a purpose.

However, the science really matters on what the temperature your bottle is subjected to and how long does it is exposed to that temperature. In this article let’s have answers for most of the burdening questions in your mind on wine freezing. At first, let’s go a bit scientific on what actually happens during wine freezing.

Why does wine freeze but Vodka doesn’t?

Though both Wine and Vodka are under the same family alcoholic beverages, they behave slightly different when it comes to their freezing. It is not exactly true that Vodka isn’t freezing but does Wine. Vodka is also freezing too, however, the temperature isn’t easily approachable. At what temperature does Vodka freeze? Vodka’s freezing point is around -16oF (1) or -26.6oC.

At what temperature does Wine freeze?

Wine’s freezing point is around 22oF (2) or -5.5oC. However, most wines are freezing around temperatures ranging from 15-22oF. Since the standard freezers are operating at 0oF or -18oC (1), Vodka is not freezing accordingly, as the freezing point is not within the realm of standard freezers.

In addition, to the freezing point of the spirits, the alcohol content also matters for freezing. It is inversely related. The more alcohol content in wine, you’ll find lower the freezing point is. According to a study done by a group at the University of Illinois, the following details have been recorded (3). Here the ethanol percentage refers to the same meaning just as alcohol percentage in wine.

Ethanol percentage (%)0102030405060708090100
Freezing point in Celsius3225155-10-25-35-55-75-110-175
Freezing point in Fahrenheit0-4-9-15-23-32-37-48-59-73-115

The average alcohol percentage in wine is around 12.5% (2) (3). Accordingly, concerning the above chart, it is further proof that the freezing point of wine lies around 15-22oF.

How long does it take wine to freeze?

This is somewhat a difficult question to answer. Especially because the time taken to freeze a wine bottle depends on many factors in addition to the alcohol content and the freezing point. Are you bothered about how long you have forgotten your wine bottle in the home freezer while having a picnic? It will be a solid wine after about 5 hours (3) in a standard freezer where the temperature is normally around 0oF which is too cold for a bottle of premium wine.

Do red wine and white wine freeze?

In addition, are you pondering on what was the color of the wine type you left in your car or in the home freezer? Absolutely it doesn’t matter at all. The possibility of freezing doesn’t depend upon the wine color. Any wine type can be frozen irrespective of whether it is red, white, or rose. Normally, white wine is served chilled and red wine is served at room temperature or slightly chilled. However, solely upon the reason to serve your buddies with a chilling glass of wine, never misuse your freezer until you are finishing with a hard block of solid wine.

Are you bothered about your wine bottle left in your car overnight and whether it has become a solid rock too? Yes of course. Let’s see what happens when you accidentally leave your wine bottle in the car.

Does wine freeze in the car?

The following morning you’ll find your wine as a solid rock form if the surrounding temperature outside the car persists below 15-22oF overnight. However, if the surrounding temperature outside the car is around 15oF throughout the night, your car will be good enough as an insulator to prevent your wine from freezing. At the same time, if the surrounding air temperature remains below 15oF or 0oF throughout the night, your car will be unable to insulate it from freezing (4).

In addition, the wine will freeze if left outside totally depending upon the surrounding temperature and the alcohol content. It will be left unfrozen unless the atmospheric temperature approaches the freezing point of that particular wine type. This is around 15-22oF. After approaching the particular freezing temperature, the wine should retain that freezing temperature for a while to begin freezing.

Factors affecting the freezing point of wine

Accordingly, as aforementioned the factors affecting the freezing point of wine are,

  • Alcohol content – Higher the alcohol content, lower the freezing point.
  • Type of wine – According to the type of wine, the alcohol percentage varies.
  • Some of the Sulphites and other non-alcoholic compounds in wine.

Furthermore, I’m pretty sure that it is a much burdensome question for most of you whether the quality of wine degrades upon freezing and then thawing. Let’s have a look into it.

Does freezing ruin wine?

On most occasions, it is recommended not to throw your wine bottles directly into the freezer for a considerable period. This is especially because upon freezing and then subsequent thawing will deteriorate the initial quality of wine which the winemaker was intended for. However, it should be noted that the wine is not undergoing totally unpalatable. But, for an instance, if your wine bottles are kept in the freezer for weeks or months and you’ll find that the coke or the seal popped out or broken, then it has a greater potential of being ruined in terms of its flavor and aroma profiles.

Does freezing wine affect alcohol content?

This totally depends on the composition. If your favorite wine type is comprised of more water percentage than alcohol percentage, the water starts freezing faster than alcohol. This is because the water’s freezing point is 0oC.

Accordingly, the frozen water causes pressure on the bottle wall and also on the coke stopper to pop out. Thus the exposed alcohol may tend to evaporate when taken outside at room temperature. This is what will be happening to reduce the alcohol content due to freezing. If the alcohol content also freezes utterly along with water, the aforementioned phenomenon is less slightly to be happened (5).

Is it OK for wine to freeze?

As aforementioned, if you put your wine bottle directly in a freezer for a period exceeding 5 hours, it will freeze definitely. Freezing wine for a purpose is totally fine. However, the most common recommendation is not to allow your wine to freeze accidentally as much as possible. This will put your wine efforts in vain. In addition to the alterations in alcohol content, you’ll have to face for following consequences too upon freezing (3).

Other consequences of wine freezing

  • Oxidation due to tampering: Due to the freezing of wine, its volume expands causing the coke or the seal of the bottle to pop out or break down. This will cause exposure of the inside wine content to the outer atmosphere. Intact wine with atmospheric oxygen will cause the wine components to get oxidize and thus producing off flavors and aromas. It should be noted that quick wine aeration during the production process is something else than accidentally being subjected to oxidation during chilling storage.

Does wine freeze and explode? What happens to a bottle of wine if it freezes?

Get the answer as follows.

  • Bottle explosion: Simultaneously with the volume expansion, the continuously building pressure on the bottle wall will cause the bottle to explode spilling chunky shreds of glasses everywhere. Upon exposure, oxidation can happen too.
  • Freeze burn: upon freezer burning for a long period dehydration could occur. The same thing could happen for wines too as freezers are the worst places for aged wines. If wine is subjected to freeze burn for enough period of time, the flavor and aroma are also altered ultimately giving a vinegary touch to your wine.

Unfortunately, if you have to come across a frozen wine experience, let’s see how to thaw it properly ensuring minimum damage.

How to properly thaw frozen wine?

It should be noted that heat is the biggest enemy for wine that could alter the chemical integrity that it is already having. Accordingly, try your best not to engage your frozen wine bottles in the following steps applied with heat (4)(5).

  • Don’t apply heat over the frozen wine bottle to fasten the thawing process.
  • Don’t put your wine bottle in the microwave hoping for a defrosting option. If wine is exposed to microwave radiation for more than a couple of seconds will severely affect the chemical profiles of your wine in addition to flavors.
  • Don’t use a warm blow dryer even for a slow warm-up.

All you can do for a proper thaw is let your frozen wine at room temperature for about 2-3 hours to be thawed on its own. If you can’t wait for it, makes sure not to let your wine be frozen even by accident. Moreover, if you are dying to seek heat assistance the only recommendation is to run some Luke warm water over the bottom of your wine bottle.

Unfortunately, if you can’t wait for a proper thawing for an accidentally frozen wine, you may wonder aren’t there anything you can make use out of from them. In addition, besides leaving wine accidentally in your freezer, some may do it for the purpose to protect wine from effects due to lighting as your freezers are superior dark places. Let’s see what you can do with such frozen wines without disposal.

When is freezing wine appropriate?

  • Using frozen wine for cooking:  Using wine that is frozen with altered sensory attributes due to oxidation and freezes burnt also can be used for cooking. The vinegary touch in oxidized frozen wine will be great. In addition to the vinegary tastes, those altered flavor profiles are recovered when they are subjected to high temperatures and mixed up with other strong flavors during cooking.

Can you drink frozen wines?

See the following recipes.

  • To prepare frozen wine slushies: This is the most palatable sweet way to end up your frozen wines. You can prepare slushies and serve them with frozen fruits as well. Try out this short and sweet Strawberry frozen wine slushies delicious recipe for summer (3)(6). It’s a kind of easy peasy.

Frozen Strawberry Wine Slushy

Frozen Strawberry Wine Slushy
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Serving spoon
  • Wine glass
  • Fork

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups frozen white wine frozen for about exceeding a five hour period in a standard kitchen freezer
  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • ½ cups simple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Break the 2 cups of frozen white wine into small piecesusing a fork.
  • Put the broken pieces into a blender
  • Add 3 cups of frozen strawberry chunks and 1/2 cups of simple syrup also into the blender.
  • Blend for about 20-30 seconds.
  • Serve immediately in wine glasses using a spoon.

Notes

Note: If you are to freeze wine purposely, make sure to use containers with the potential of expansion. Ice cube trays are the perfect ones. Otherwise, if you directly freeze wine in the bottle, bottle explosion may result in your frozen wine chunks embedded with glass shreds.
Keyword Frozen wine
  • To prepare frozen mulled wines and close recipes: You might have prepared mulled wines by heating them with sugar and spices, especially on occasions for Christmas. You can freeze these mulled wines also for great recipes. A great way to incorporate frozen mulled wines as a Sorbet.

Mulled Wine Sorbet with Clove Biscuits

Mulled Wine Sorbet with Clove Biscuits
Prep Time 22 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 22 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Freezer
  • Fork
  • Oven
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking trays
  • Saucepan
  • 2 Spoons
  • Knife
  • Fruit peeler

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Oranges
  • 12 Cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 750ml bottle Red wine
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ¼ cups port or brandy

Clove biscuits

  • ¾ cups white sugar Keep some extra for sprinkling
  • cups plain flour
  • ¾ cups rice flour
  • 375 g butter cubed
  • 60 cloves

Instructions
 

Let's prepare the sorbet first.

  • Cut an orange into two halves and stud both of the halves with cloves.
  • Keep them on a saucepan together with wine, cinnamon sticks, spice and sugar
  • Stir continuously until sugar dissolves. for about 10 minutes. Keep in mind to turn your stove heat low.
  • Cool the mixture and then strain.
  • Squeeze the remaining orange into the mulled wine
  • Add port or brandy also into the mulled wine.
  • Chill the mixture for several hours completely.
  • Chill the mixture for several hours completely.
  • Remove and beat using the electric beater.
  • Remove and beat using the electric beater.
  • Repeat for 2-3 times

Secondly, let's prepare the biscuits while sorbet is freezing.

  • At the beginning preheat the oven to 140oC.
  • Mix flour, sugar, rice flour, 1 teaspoon salt and butter in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix the things together ensuring an even spreadup.
  • Transfer the mixture on to a gently flour smeared surface and press against the batter to form a ball.
  • Divide the batter ball into two and roll out into a thickness of 1cm.
  • Cut round cookies using a 4cm plain round cutter.
  • Take a baking tray and apply butter or margarine on the baking surface.
  • Place the cut cookies on the tray and sprinkle the cookies with little sugar.
  • Prick on the cookie's surface using the fork.
  • Place cloves in center of each pricks.
  • Cook for about 25 minutes in the oven.
  • After baking, cool on a wire rack.
  • Then store in an airtight container.

Combine and serve together

  • Scoop sorbets into glasses. Then serve together with one or two clove biscuits by side.

Notes

Note: If you are suffering from gluten or lactose intolerance keep in mind the ingredients are containing Gluten, dairy and wheat.

A cheering eve with your lovelies will be more graceful with a few cold wine glasses chilled to perfection. Keep in your mind not to spoil the fantasy by letting it end up frozen. Accordingly, let’s see how to properly chill wine without making it a mess.

Best ways to chill wine without freezing

The top fact here is that you should avoid wine going below the freezing point of that particular type. Unless your freezer temperature is around the freezing point and not going below it, your wine will remain as a liquid. Accordingly, the following tricks can be practiced to chill wine without letting it be frozen (2) (3).

Using a wine ice bucket or a chiller

If you are eagerly looking for a cold wine glass chilled to perfection, until the last drop and at the same time not willing to have a few ice cubes immersed to make it cold, the perfect option you can try is using an ice bucket or a chiller.

You can simply call a normal ice bucket for wine a champagne bucket. It is a bucket holding cold water or ice cubes and water making the wine bottle intact cooler. In addition, the chiller is an open acrylic cylinder with an air filled double wall. This acts as a thermo-insulator preventing outside warm air from getting touched with the bottle. Both methods will eliminate unwanted freezing of wine.

Looking for a more fantastic way to chill your wine bottles? Here comes the tip.

Using frozen grapes in a glass of wine

Freeze some grapes in your freezer and add them to your wine glasses instead of ice cubes. This will help you with retaining the flavor profiles of wine upon thawing.

If you are a bit extraordinary looking for an expensive and quality cold preserve of wine, here comes the tip.

Using wine fridges:

You can use a wine fridge for a better quality wine done to perfection. However, these are much expensive especially due to the incorporation of a specialized temperature control technology (7) plus perfectly designed racks, humidity control units and UV blocking glass (7) to avoid effects on wine due to light.

General info on cold storage of wine

In your fridge

Flipping the bottles horizontally in the fridge will fasten the chilling process than keeping the bottles standing vertically in the fridge (5). Never do a wrap with a cold wet cloth around the bottle as it might be an insulator preventing cold air from reaching the wine bottle.

How much time it would take to chill a bottle of wine?

The time taken to chill your wine differs according to the method you are trying on. If you want to chill wine for a purpose to hang out with your buddies, around 45 minutes to an hour is more than enough by using a freezer. You can cool your bottle horizontally in an ice water bath, it will take around 11-13 minutes. If you use salted ice water, it would be faster within 6-8 minutes. The fastest chilling will be spinning your wine bottle in heavily salted ice water. It will take just only 2-3 minutes (8).

In your car freezer

It is not recommended to leave your lovely wine bottle even in a car freezer, where the surrounding is deadly cold and too humid. If you feel like the temperature is around the 40-50oF range, it is totally okay to leave your wine bottle safely in the car freezer and come up in the same liquid form the following morning.

Conclusion

You may find your wine getting frozen by accident or quietly on purpose. Wine is an alcoholic beverage with a too much lower freezing point around 15-22oF and with an average alcohol content of 12.5% is having more potential to be frozen than other alcoholic spirits such as Vodka.

However, the utmost recommendation is not to store wine directly in a standard kitchen freezer for about a period exceeding five hours. Upon freezing wine you will come up with several other consequences such as oxidation, bottle explosion and freeze burning of wine with an altered off flavor and aroma profile.

In addition, you can chill your wine to perfection until the last drop by using wine ice buckets, chillers, wine fridges, or according to some techniques for fast chilling. If otherwise, you can fruitfully use frozen wines by incorporating them for cooking, preparing frozen wine slushies and using for several recipes where frozen mulled wines are included.

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