Ice in wine?

While trying to avoid getting sucked into Brexit chat I stumbled on this entertaining story:

Were the staff here wrong not only as matter of basic courtesy, but also in not understanding the frequent need to chill a glass of pub or restaurant wine down several notches? I often slip a cube or two into a glass of soupy red, but usually provoke eyerolls from my friends and family when I do. What about you?

(Here’s the story in brief, if you don’t want to click through)


Sorry this will be behind a paywall but anyway

Alex James has launched a sparkling wine (with Furleigh Estate) with a recommendation that you add ice. Jane MacQuitty gives the idea short shrift - the ice kills the fizz, which rather defeats the object…


Yes on both counts. Filthy rude to put on the receipt and warm red wine can be disgusting. If it’s really hot I’d start at fridge temperature - it’ll be the right temperature in no time. Personally I don’t think I’d water down Pinot Grigio any further, but hey, sometimes ice cold is best


Ice cubes in wine - completely beyond the pale! Marginally better though than my son adding ketchup to his Spag Bol.


Sparkling wine is the one type of wine it would never occur to me to put ice in. Who serves sparkling wine warm enough to need it?


I wouldn’t expect to need to chill a glass of white, especially in an Australian pub. Red perhaps, though I can’t recall ever putting ice in a glass I ordered (I frequently ask for an ice bucket when ordering bottles of red). I wouldn’t judge anyone for doing it, much less call them an effing Bogan, a fairly offensive term.

If that pub wants “classier” clientele, maybe they need to step up from Terre Forti PG. The greatest risk of adding ice to that is that you’d only taste water.

I did notice the food order below, Porterhouse with chips, salad (no dressing) and gravy. Interesting combination, not for me but why not?

There is a precedent with Moët Ice Impérial, supposedly designed to be served over ice. I’m. Not quite clear what that design entails, though have had a glass once (with ice) at an event. It was still fizzy, guess it depends how fast you drink it. Assume Jane MacQuitty is equally dismissive about the Moët?

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Presumably she would be - but quite happy for ice to be used in (cheaper) still wines.


That did occur to me

And interesting that that combo did not seem to provoke a snobby response, perhaps more common there than here… (he said snobbily)


I have no problem with putting an ice cube or two in a glass of wine. Of course, never at home as I serve wines at the correct temperature.

I had lunch once with winemaker Niels Verburg shortly after he started his own Luddite label. We had a bottle of his Luddite Shiraz at an open air restaurant. It was a very hot day and the wine was too warm. We got an ice bucket and he picked out some ice from the bucket and dropped them in our glasses so we could enjoy a glass straight away.

If he can do it to his own wine then I don’t have an issue. It’s better than a too warm red.*

And those that claim that water from melting ice dilutes the wine are either taking too long to drink their wine or are filling their glass too much.

*Forget ‘room temperature’, red wine should be cool to the lips.


I once saw a Frenchman, in a very hot Carcassonne, put ice in his red wine. Good enough for me.


I’ll put ice in wine if it’s too warm. Happens often when outside on a hot day, it makes it a more pleasant drink in my eyes… but what do I know? I read once that the ‘room temperature’ rule for red wine was created a long time ago when houses were a lot colder so it doesn’t really apply today. I prefer it cool. A friend of mine boils his bottles next to the log burner to get them up to temperature. :laughing:

Putting Ice in wine is very much a de-rigueur normality in South Africa, usually for rosé or white wine. Victoria Moore recently added her approval, in circumstances which merited it. But those frozen glass or polymer “icecubes” which, obviously, don’t melt and thus dilute the wine, must be a better idea.


I’ll do it, if it’s necessary.

Recently took a bottle of Occhipinti SP68 Siciliane Rosso 2021 to friends in London, on a hot day, when those were still a thing. The Sicilian hostess asked me if she should put it in the fridge…I said “no it should be fine”, but when it came to drinking, it was far nicer with a cube of ice than without.

One of the other guests looked horrified, but that’s a him problem, not a me problem.

I don’t imagine I’d do it with a grand cru though.