What is the Freezing Point of Wine?
If you need to chill wine quickly, some people will place their bottles in the freezer for 10-20 minutes because they prefer to drink something cold. But if you’ve ever accidentally left it in for a long time, you know it can freeze. In general, freezing alters the flavors of most beverages. But what about wine? What is the freezing point of wine? Will it affect the flavor? Find out.
ALCOHOL AND WATER
Wine, like almost all liquids, will freeze if left long enough in the freezer. However, the one big difference between wine and other beverages is that wine contains a range of minerals and organic compounds that can affect the temperature at which wine freezes. Even though it is usually the amount of alcohol and water that determine the freezing point of wines, the other substances involved, like sugar, can also lower the freezing point by a few degrees.
If you like your wine to be cold, then it’s smart to become familiar with the freezing point of wine. In general, wine freezing temperatures range between 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (F). This depends on the amount of alcohol and other substances present. This is much lower than the freezing point of water. Overall, the freezing point of wine is lower than water, and the more alcohol your wine contains, the lower the wine's freezing temperature.
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME (ABV) RATING
The majority of wines have an ABV rating of between 11 to 13 percent. In addition, red wines tend to have more alcohol than white wines. Sparkling and rose wines tend to have the lowest content of alcohol. Another factor that affects the freezing point of wine is the sugar content. Sugars tend to lower the freezing point of liquids and, hence, the sweeter the wine, the lower will be the freezing point.
Wines will usually freeze in 3-5 hours depending on the temperature you have the freezer set to. As the wine starts to freeze, the water molecules start to solidify, and the consistency of the beverage changes.
FREEZING CAN ALTER THE TASTE
While wine that has been frozen is safe to consume, freezing will permanently change the flavor and aroma. You will definitely notice a distinct change in taste when a wine has been frozen and thawed. Experts say, however, that this is not the end of the world. if your frozen wine has been thawed and still tastes fine, then you are at liberty to continue consuming the beverage.
DO NOT DISCARD FROZEN WINE
If you have leftover wine (usually white wine) that will not be consumed, you can store it as ice cubes and use the cubes for chilling future glasses of the same wine.
BEWARE OF FREEZING WINE FOR TOO LONG IN GLASS BOTTLES
Finally, if you are going to be freezing wine, do not freeze it in a glass bottle. This is especially true of sparkling wine bottles which are under high pressure and can burst violently in the freezer. Instead, pour the wine into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays and leave ample room for the wine to expand.
For more tips and tricks check out our other blog posts. Our experts here at Pacific Rim & Company are always happy to answer your questions.