What actually is the problem with putting ice in a glass of wine?

You’ll be surprised at the answer!

ice in wine glass of rose
(Image credit: VinePair)

We all have to admit that there is nothing worse than a warm glass of white or rosé wine. It’s like slathering a steak in ketchup, the idea simply does not sit right. However, when it comes to popping a few ice cubes in a glass to cool it down, many find that idea completely appalling as well. You can’t win, can you? 

Whilst having a beautifully adept wine cooler would be the ideal choice, many of us are asking ourselves what actually is the problem with putting ice in a glass of wine? Apart from the obvious excuse that it dilutes it, are there any other reasons as to why it can’t be done? Do not fear, T3 is here to tell you the truth. 

What does ice do to wine?

As mentioned, it is commonly believed that putting ice in wine waters it down and dilutes the flavour, interfering with the final product. This is true when it comes to red wine, mostly due to the ice/water preventing the chemicals from escaping. This gives the wine more of an acidic taste and more prominent tannins, causing the wine to lose its taste quickly. Finding a nice bottle takes work (read our article about the perfect wine finding app Mr Vine for more information on this) so it’s important not to ruin your wine of choice completely. 

However, adding ice to white or rosé doesn't have as much of an effect as many people think. Whilst it does dilute the wine and can alter the flavour, it’s more a matter of preference. 

What are the benefits to having ice in your wine?

Ice in wine can be beneficial for people who have sensitive stomachs but don’t want to miss out. Having a sensitive digestive systems means issues such as acid reflux can flare up after drinking a glass of wine. However, when ice melts and dilutes the wine a little, it can help prevent the onset of acid reflux or heartburn. 

Some people actively choose to have ice in their wine so that they can have more of it. Slightly diluting it will make your wine last for longer, perfect if you’re day-drinking. 

Adding ice also works if you want to tone down a bold wine, such as a rich and oaky chardonnay.

What are some alternatives to putting ice in wine?

If you’re still not sure about adding ice to your glass of wine, don’t worry. Here are a few alternative ways you can chill it instead:

Try freezing a few grapes and adding them to your glass. Unlike ice, frozen grapes won’t dilute the wine but they do keep it just as cold. 

You can also take a couple of ice cubes and put them into a clean Ziploc bag. Squeeze the air out and then drop that into your glass of wine for about 20 seconds (or until it cools to your liking). Then, remove the bag before drinking. 

There’s also nothing wrong with investing in insulated drinkware. Take a look at Yeti’s Rambler 7.6L Beverage Bucket. Its lightweight and portable design is great for travelling or picnics. 

One final technique is wrapping a wet hand towel around the bottle of wine, and placing it in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes. It speeds up the process, leaving you with a perfectly chilled bottle. Perfect if your friends are on their way over! 

Looking for other ways to cool down this summer? Read about 6 other ice cool products that will help you beat the UK heatwave. 

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest Home news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.