Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rant: Ice Buckets

I hate ice buckets.

I don't mind them as vehicles for storing or transporting ice for parties. That works. I do mind them when their used to get already too-cold wines to near-freezing levels.

What this comes from, I think, is this misaken belief that white wine should be drunk cold. Fuck that, white wine should be drunk cool.

Certain bad white wines (as all alcoholic beverages do) benefit from being really fucking cold. That's because flavors that give wine character--acid, alcohol, musty, minerals, flavor in general beyond "wine flavor"--are tempered (or even eliminated) as the temperature goes down. In bad wines, these character notes are usually pretty bad.

In good wine, however, these flavors are warming and exciting when you taste wine. The middle range of flavors in particular is lost when a wine gets cold. The range of tastes and sensations you'll experience between the initial taste and the finish are virtually non-existent in overly-chilled wine.

Pop a bottle of wine in the freezer and get it nice and cold. Take it out and open it. Taste it every 15 minutes and notice how flavor and complexity builds as it warms. A good white wine should be enjoyable for well over an hour after being removed from refrigeration. I promise.

You people who get an ice bucket for ONE bottle of wine for FOUR people? You're all going to hell.


Zack said...

I have questions!

What is the middle range of wine? Is there a "flavor spectrum?" I hope there is!

In Celsius or Fahrenheit (your choice!), what would you say is the cutoff point between cool and cold?

Do people who keep spirits in the freezer secretly hate the taste of their favorite spirits? Because I keep gin in the freezer sometimes, and if I hate gin I think I ought to know. Maybe I could spend less time drinking gin?

David J.D. said...

You don't hate gin. You hate yourself.

Zack said...