How to Chill Wine in Three Minutes

How to Chill Wine in Three Minutes: The Ultimate Guide

We’ve talked about how important it is to serve wine at the right temperature. It can totally change the wine’s flavor profile, and with some wines like sauvignon blanc or champagne, it is imperative that it’s cold. For other wines (like ice wine) it’s essential! But what do you do if you just bought a bottle of wine from the store and it isn’t chilled at all? Is there a way to chill wine in three minutes?

Lucky for you, there is! You can chill wine in three minutes by submerging the bottle in a salted ice bath. Simply put a bag of ice, rock salt, and a splash of water into a serving bowl, then submerge your bottle of wine and rotate it. This is the fastest way to chill wine in three minutes.

But there are many other ways you can chill wine quickly! In this article, we will go over the best ways to chill wine quickly – starting with the fastest way we mentioned above. You never know when you might need to serve cold wine and knowing how to chill wine in three minutes is a lifesaver.

Let’s jump in.

How to Chill Wine in Three Minutes Explained

Author Note: Sometimes you need to chill a bottle of wine fast. That’s where this technique will not only do the trick but will also impress your friends with how resourceful you are. Let’s go over the instructions for chilling wine in under three minutes.


  1. First, you’ll need to get a large bowl (like a popcorn serving bowl), a bag of ice (or several trays from your freezer), salt, and a cup of water.
  2. Dump the ice into the bowl and add the cup of water. You may need to add slightly more or less water depending on how much ice you’re using. You’ll want to ice water mixture to completely submerge the bottle of wine.
  3. Next, add a tablespoon of salt to the mixture. Why salt? Salt actually drops the freezing temperature of the mixture even further, as it has a chemical reaction with the ice. This is called freezing point depression
  4. After all the ingredients are in your bowl, submerge the bottle of wine you want to chill and begin rotating it quickly.
  5. Why do you want to rotate it? Because it increases the surface area contact the wine has with the cold mixture.
  6. Continue rotating your bottle for two to three minutes. After that amount of time, you should have a chilled bottle of wine!

How Cold Should My Wine Be?

Champagne in a bucket with ice close-up

Author Note: Before we go into other ways you can chill wine quickly, we thought it made sense to go over how cold you actually want different types of wine to be. After all, there’s no point in chilling a wine if you’re supposed to enjoy it at room temperature!

The wine that requires the most chilling is champagne and ice wine. What’s ice wine? It’s actually not what you think it is. Ice wine is a dessert-style wine that is typically fortified with higher alcohol content and is much sweeter than normal wines. It’s called ice wine because the grapes are harvested much later in the season often when the first frosts have already happened (so the grapes may be covered in ice). Both champagne and ice wine should be served at 47 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next up are white wines, which should be served at 49 to 55 degrees. These include pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, some chardonnays, and other white wines.

Red wines should be served at room temperature or 62 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. They shouldn’t feel cold or warm when you drink them. So you’re probably wondering why do red wines taste cold when you get them at restaurants? 

This is because they are serving you wine from a bottle that either just came out of their wine cellar or an already opened bottle they chilled to preserve its flavor. Either way, it’s not the best look for the restaurant. If you get served cold red wine, simply wait a few minutes for it to warm up to ambient temperature.

How to Chill Wine in a Ziploc Bag

Another common way to chill wines quickly is to submerge them in a large Ziploc bag full of ice and salt. This way takes a bit longer than three minutes, but requires less work and will also quickly chill your wine. We estimate this method takes as few as five to eight minutes to chill wine to your desired temperature.


  1. You’ll need a large Ziploc bag (the one-gallon size works best), several trays of ice, a tablespoon of salt, and a splash of water.
  2. Add the ice to your Ziploc bag until it’s about halfway full. Much like the bowl technique, you’ll want to maximize the surface area of your bottle that is covered by the ice.
  3. Next, add your salt and a splash of water.
  4. Insert your bottle into the bag and keep it upright. 
  5. Now, wait five to eight minutes. Depending on how cold you want your bottle, this should be enough time to chill it.
  6. Dispose of the bag and ice and serve your chilled wine!

How to Chill Your Wine with a Damp Towel in the Freezer

Five wine bottles chill in ice bucket

Author Note: Our next favorite way to chill wine quickly involves a damp towel and your freezer. This technique was stolen from our favorite way to chill beer. When you wrap a bottle in a damp towel then place it in your freezer, two things happen. 

First, the super cold ambient temperature in the freezer will begin to chill your bottle of wine. But what helps your wine cool even faster is the damp towel. The air conditioning unit that makes freezers cold also dries the air out significantly. This means that your damp towel will begin to evaporate, which will also cool your bottle down. Water evaporating causes the surrounding temperature to drop (this is how swamp coolers work).

Let go over exactly how to chill wine in your freezer with a damp towel.


  1. Pull off a sheet of paper towel that is two pieces long. This will be long enough to cover the entire bottom half of the bottle (where most of the wine is).
  2. Dunk it quickly under a running faucet. You don’t want the entire towel to be soaked; you want it to be damp. If you get it too wet this technique will take longer to work.
  3. Wrap the bottom (thick) half of the wine you want to chill with the damp paper towel. It should stick to the bottle.
  4. Place the bottle of wine in your freezer. If you can locate where the air conditioning unit vent is in the freezer, put it in the direct flow of the air. This will help the damp towel evaporate and cool your wine even quicker.
  5. Leave your bottle of wine in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. After this amount of time, remove the bottle and peel off the damp towel. It should be slightly drier and partially frozen.
  6. Your wine will be chilled and good to open!
  7. Pro tip: do NOT forget about your bottle of wine and leave it in the freezer. Depending on the type of wine, it will either explode or blow the cork out. Either way, it will make a big mess you’ll have to clean up.

General Tips for Chilling Wine

Wine bottle in ice bucket

Before we wrap up, we wanted to share some more general tips on how to enjoy chilled wine. Follow these tips and you’ll get the most out of chilling your wine.

  • Some may consider this sacrilegious, but depending on your taste preferences another easy way to chill wine is to add an ice cube to your glass. Yes, it will water down the flavor and change how it tastes – but for some people, this doesn’t matter as much as enjoying it cold. So you can always add ice as the last resort.
  • Invest in a wine travel cooler. If you plan on taking your chilled wine to a party, you should invest in a proper portable wine cooler. Many of these coolers will not only keep your wine chilled, but some will actually do the chilling for you. Some coolers have built-in ice packs that can chill a bottle of wine for you if you leave it in the bag ahead of time.
  • Live somewhere cold and snowy? Leaving your wine outside in the snow can be a great way to chill is quickly and easily. Simply pack snow around your bottle of wine and wait 15 to 30 minutes. Depending on the ambient temperature this can be a great free way to chill a bottle of wine. It works great on ski trips!
  • And don’t forget to warm up bottles that aren’t meant to be served chilled! This can easily be done with a little planning ahead of time. Just take the bottle out of the cooler and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours.


knowing how to chill win in three minutes can be a lifesaver if you decide you want to enjoy wine right after buying it. Ideally, you would buy the wine already chilled, but sometimes you don’t have the luxury. After reading this article, however, you now know how to chill wine in three minutes as well as many other ways to get your wine cold quickly.

We hope you found this article informative and useful. Do you have additional ways to chill wine quickly that we didn’t list? Let us know about them in the comments below!

To living a full-bodied life,


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