If wine freezes is it ruined?

2Mark Angelillo

Have to admit - I never thawed out a bottle of frozen wine and poured it in a glass, and of course with the finest wines you're probably committing some kind of secular sin, but if we're talkin about those zero-vino-left, party time, crap-I-froze-the-wine moments... are we out of luck?

Are there situations where we're better off than others?


  • Enclosure: A cork is likely to pop out when a wine freezes. That actually happened to me, and the cork opened the freezer door a crack, so things melted. A screwcap won't suffer from that, but I dont know if the bottle itself would shatter under the pressure. Safest to do it in an environment that's not air tight.  

    Taste: A wine won't age well if its too cold, but thats not an issue here. There are also dissolved solids that may precicipitate out in cold, especially if the wine hasn't been "cold stablized". Typically tartaric acid crystals will precipitate out - these are harmless, but look like shards of glass. 

    As the tartrates are acidic, freezing the wine will lower the acidity. The wine should taste rounder and sweeter as a result.

    Generally, you don't want to freeze your wine, but serving a wine at different temperatures can be used to highlight or mask certain aspects of it. For example: if a wine is of poor quality, its better to serve it colder so that you can concentrate on the refreshing aspects of it. The better a wine, the closer to 65F you want to serve it, so you can appreciate the full range of flavors. 


    answered by

    Snooth User: Philip James

    Aug 11, 2011 at 2:39pm

    • 455797Kyle Graynor Wow, that was really helpful, thanks! I believe that my wine was also a screwcap, so that was lucky.

  • This happened to me only a few weeks ago.  I don't usually have the patience to wait for white wine to chill, so I put a bottle of screw-top pinot in the freezer, opened a beer and forgot about the white wine immediately.  For a few days.  Since the wine didn't have a cork, I didn't see any visible damage from the freezing, but the wine had a peculiar slushy character to it.

    Instead removing it entirely, I moved the bottle to the fridge so it could thaw slowly.  A few days later, I finally opened the bottle, and it tasted JUST fine.

    To answer your question, I think a screwtop is more favorable than cork in this situation, since the frozen wine won't break the seal and spoil the wine...



    answered by

    Snooth User: rjpease

    Aug 11, 2011 at 11:46am

  • Okay, I'm not going to lie, I've had one of those "crap-I-froze-the-wine" moments. Thankfully, it was a wine I was familiar with, so I know exactly how it tasted beforehand. First there's the obvious: it was cold. Very cold. This made it taste lighter than usual to me - made the white more crisp. When I poured a glass, it wasn't fully frozen, but there were giant chunks of ice in the glass, and you could tell that most of the rest of the bottle was frozen. I'm curious to see if there are consistent differences in the taste across wines - maybe some taste better extremely cold? Either way, it was a very good experience, if a bit stressful at first.

    answered by

    Snooth User: Kyle Graynor

    Aug 11, 2011 at 11:47am

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