Ask Adam: If I Try to Chill Wine Quickly in My Freezer, Will I Damage It?

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If I want to chill a bottle of wine quickly in my freezer, will it damage the wine?

Many of us have been in this situation. You have a warm bottle and you want to cool it quickly so you can drink it.

While I am a much bigger proponent of making an ice bath with water, ice, and salt, if you’re in a pinch and need to use your freezer, the wine should be fine. Just don’t forget about it. I find 30 minutes in the freezer does the trick.

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If you walk away and forget about the wine for a few hours, what’s inside a frozen bottle will indeed be damaged. Freezing wine causes its fruit notes to disappear, even after it has thawed. It will accentuate flavors that many would consider bitter, including that astringent, alcohol taste. And if you leave the wine in the freezer for an even longer time, you risk it also becoming oxidized or getting freezer burn.

Suffice it to say, if you use your freezer to quickly cool that bottle, do not forget about it!

How should I store sherry?

If you haven’t opened your bottle of sherry yet, store it as you would any other bottle of wine: on its side in a cool place. It can be in a wine fridge or in your basement — just don’t store it next to a heater.

Once opened, store all sherry in your refrigerator. Depending on the type of sherry you’ve got, you’ll want to limit contact with oxygen, too. If you’re drinking a dry fino sherry, for example, treat it as you would a white wine. Store open bottles in the fridge and finish them off within a week.

On the other hand, aged sherries such as amontillado, oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, or cream are fully oxidized. They can last in the fridge for a very long time after you first open them because you don’t have to worry about oxygen breaking the wine down.