Cool It!

The dog days of summer are upon us. At first, I thought it might be just a hot flash but my little weather station guy was reading 112F. In weather this hot, I always seem to have trouble keeping my wine cool. Putting ice cubes in the glass is sooo not done, yet there are several ways to accomplish this: the ice bath, which will  keep temperature relatively cool but can leave you with a drippy wine bottle and sometimes the wine ends up too cold to experience the delicate bouquet and flavours. I have Whiskey Stones that are both beautiful and supercool. In theory, they’d work well; you freeze them, put them in your glass to keep the wine a constant temp without melting but I found them to be to be a bit clunky. Though, for the sake of experimentation I tried them, and almost cracked a front tooth when one slid too quickly toward the rim of the glass. Drag!

The Corksicle is another innovation that keeps your wine cool from the inside rather than external chilling. It says it will keep chilled whites perfectly chilled and will cool room temperature reds. First you freeze the Corksicle unit, then pour out a little of the wine from the bottle to make room. You then insert the Corksicle and leave it for the 15 minute rule. You wouldn’t want to use this to chill a bottle of white from room temperature. For reds, you’d use it to slightly cool a lighter red; one that’s best served at a lightly chilled temperature, such as Beaujolais.

So I took the wine, an ’11 Greenlip Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and with the Corksicle in place, made my way out to my patio lab. I thought this would be more of a test to how the Corksicle would really stand up. It was also a test of how well I could stand up to the heat.

I started the experiment at 5:01pm. The package says that it will keep wine at the proper cool temperature for 45 minutes. To get an idea of just how hot it was, I brought out some of the frozen whiskey stones to see how long they’d stay cold in the heat. The temperature was holding steady at 95F.  By 10 minutes, the whiskey stones had completely thawed and actually began to heat up. Hmmmm, interesting.

At 30 minutes, I was getting skeptical; had the Corksicle met its match in this Cleveland heat? I poured the lovely nectar into my glass, and as per their instructions, kept the Corksicle part way in the bottle as I poured and … it wasn’t ice cold ~ which isn’t necessarily bad. It was chilled, and I was able to taste more of the flavours of the wine. When wine is too cold, it can lose its subtlety and nuance. This was still quite drinkable and cool enough.

So how did it measure up?  The Corksicle kept its promise of keeping the wine chilled, without dilution, and in a high outdoor temperature. Perhaps a better test might be  the Corksicle vs. wrap-around wine coolers.

But I’d better make it soon. Last week, it seemed as though  Old Man Winter played spin the Corksicle and landed on the Cleve.


©TheWineStudent, 2013

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