Tracy Kellner from Provenance Food and Wine in Chicago shared this tip with us a while ago, and we've sworn by it ever since.
Here it is: Place a bottle of wine in an ice bucket or anything tall and wide enough to hold the bottle and some ice. Fill the bucket with ice and add a generous handful of salt. Give the bottle a twist to distribute the salt, and leave it to chill for a few minutes. It will be ice cold in no time.
We're not entirely sure of the science behind this, but the salt essentially melts the ice a bit and helps it mold to the bottle.
Any salt will do, but if you have some rock salt left over from the winter and don't want to store it, this is a great way to use it up.
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Republished article originally posted May 28, 2009.