The Very Best Way to (Quickly!) Chill Wine and Beer

updated Dec 6, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Knowing how to quickly chill wine bottles and beer cans (and beer bottles! And wine cans!) isn’t just a smart party trick — it’s a smart life trick. Just last week my husband and I picked up a bottle of white wine on a whim at our local shop to enjoy with dinner and we wanted it to be drinkable ASAP. Dinner was soon and we didn’t have hours to wait! So, yes, it’s something to learn now and live by. Luckily it’s super easy to get your drinks cold quickly, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.

Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Chill Wine Quickly

The best way to chill bottles of wine is to grab some paper towels or clean dish towels and make room in the freezer. Wet your paper towels or dish towels and wring them out so they’re damp but not soaking. Then wrap one around each wine bottle and place the bottles in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the bottle. The moisture in the towel will quickly evaporate and freeze, which will chill the bottle faster than if you were to just put it in the freezer (or refrigerator) as is.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Chill Beer Quickly

Grab your usual cooler or bucket and go one step further: Add the ice, and a decent amount of water (you want the bottles/cans to be submerged), and then mix in a few generous handfuls of salt (your usual kosher or table salt is perfect — don’t waste the fancy finishing stuff). The salt actually lowers the freezing point of the ice, which causes the ice to melt and lowers the temperature of the ice bath. So you end up with beer that’s sitting in sub-zero-degree water, and that chills the beer super quickly. Note: This works for cans of wine, too, because it’s almost 2020 and wine comes in cans!