Does Wine Freeze?

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By: Tom Valenti


Have you ever wondered: “Does wine actually freeze?” It’s a valid question – after all, while many other drinks seem to turn rock solid in the freezer, could your favorite bottle of Merlot endure that cold blast as well? Could you pull it out later and enjoy it without sacrificing flavor? 

The short answer is YES. Wine will freeze depending on the length of time and the temperature of storage.

In this post, we will explore the science behind wine freezing, its effects on the wine’s taste and quality, and how to store and handle wine to avoid any unwanted freezing properly. So, let’s get moving!


Does Wine Freeze?

Yes, wine can freeze if exposed to a low enough temperature for a significant amount of time. The freezing point of wine varies depending on its alcohol content, sugar content, and other factors. 

If wine is exposed to temperatures below its freezing point, the water in the wine will begin to crystallize, causing the liquid to expand and potentially break the bottle or cork. It can also alter the wine’s taste and texture, making it less enjoyable to drink. Therefore, it is important to properly store and handle wine to prevent it from freezing.

Why do Wines Freeze?

Why do Wines Freeze

Wines can freeze due to a variety of reasons, including the alcohol content, the sugar content, and the temperature.

The alcohol content of a wine affects its freezing point. Generally speaking, wines with higher alcohol levels have a lower freezing point than those with lower levels. Wines that are high in sugar also tend to have a lower freezing point, as the sugar molecules can help lower the liquid’s freezing point. Finally, if wine is stored at a temperature lower than its freezing point, it will eventually freeze.  Therefore, storing wine in an area that maintains a consistent temperature is important.

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Wine?

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Wine

Before we explore the freezing point of wine in more detail, let’s first establish the correct temperature for wine storage. The ideal temperature for wine is about 45-65 °F

However, it’s important to note that within these ranges, the specific temperature can vary depending on the type of wine and personal preference. Light and fruity red blends can be served at a temperature of approximately 54-56°F (12-13°C), while medium-bodied red blends are best at 56-60°F (13-15.5°C). On the other hand, full-bodied red blends should be served at a temperature between 61-65°F (16-18°C).

What is the Wine’s Freezing Point Temperature?

The freezing point temperature of wine can vary depending on alcohol content. On average, a bottle of wine contains approximately 12.5% alcohol. In general, wine will begin to freeze at around 22.5°F (-5.27°C) or lower

However, the freezing point can be affected by the specific characteristics of the wine. For example, wines with higher alcohol content and lower sugar content will typically have a lower freezing point than wines with lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. Additionally, some wine experts recommend storing wine at temperatures slightly above its freezing point to ensure its taste and texture remain optimal.

If you are looking for your wine’s freezing point temperature, you can use this table as a reference to determine the freezing point of your wine: 

Alcohol Content (%)Fahrenheit (°F )Celsius (°C)
0%32 °F0 °C
10%25 °F-4 °C
20%15 °F-9 °C
30%5 °F-15 °C
40%-10 °F-23 °C
50%-25 °F-32 °C
60%-35 °F-37 °C
70%-55 °F-48 °C
80%-75 °F-59 °C
90%-110 °F-73 °C
100%-175 °F-115 °C

Best Methods to Freeze Wine

While it is generally not recommended to freeze wine, there may be situations where you want to do so, such as for use in cooking or for making wine popsicles. Here are some best methods to freeze wine:

  • Use a plastic container: Pour the wine into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, leaving some room for expansion as the wine freezes.
  • Use a zip-top freezer bag: Pour the wine into a zip-top freezer bag, seal it tightly, and lay it flat in the freezer to freeze. This method is especially useful if you want to freeze small amounts of wine.
  • Use an ice cube tray: Pour the wine into an ice cube tray and freeze. This is a good option for using small amounts of wine in cooking or cocktails.

Other Ways To Chill Wine

If you want to chill wine quickly but don’t want to risk freezing it, there are several alternative methods you can use:

  • The Salty Ice Bucket: adding salt to the ice in the bucket, which lowers the temperature and helps the ice melt more slowly, keeping the wine colder for longer.
  • The Frozen Grapes: Freeze a handful of grapes and add them to your wine glass. They will help keep the wine cool without watering it down.
  • The Paper Towel: This is a simple and effective method that involves wrapping a damp paper towel around a room-temperature wine bottle and then placing it in the freezer for a short period of time.

What Can You Do With Frozen Wine?

If you accidentally freeze your wine or reluctantly freeze it to make wine cubes or use it for cooking. Don’t worry!!! We can use it for a lot of different uses. First and foremost, they can make your glasses cooler without diluting the flavors. Moreover, we can use them for cooking. Frozen wine can be used in sauces, stews… Moreover, making wine Slushies is also a great choice. You can blend the frozen wine with fruit and ice to make a refreshing wine slushie.

It’s important to note that once wine has been frozen, its texture and flavor may be altered, so it’s not recommended to drink the wine on its own. However, it can still be used in various creative ways in cooking and drinks.

What Happens When Wine Freezes?

Although freezing wine is safe to drink, it is not always suitable as it alters the taste and causes many undesirable phenomena. When wine freezes, the water molecules within the wine solidify and expand, which can cause the bottle to crack or even break. This is because water expands when it freezes, and the expansion can cause the bottle to rupture under pressure. So, what happens when you freeze wine?


Frozen wine can cause a wine bottle’s seal to break in two ways due to its expansion.

The first way: the cork is pushed out of the bottle. When there is no cork, the wine will be in direct contact with the environment, the oxidation process is good for the wine, but the flavor of the wine will be reduced if it is exposed to the air for a long time.

The second way: break the wine bottle. The appearance of cracks on the bottle makes the whole bottle of wine go to waste.

Freezer burns

When food and drinks such as wine are exposed to air for a long time, it can result in freezer burns. However, this is not the same as regular oxidation. If wine is affected by freezer burn, it will eventually lose moisture and dehydrate.

Freezing wine is not recommended for aging wines, as freezers are not an ideal environment for wine storage. If kept for a long time in the freezer, not only will the flavor of the wine be reduced, but the alcohol and tannins will be changed, even the wine cannot be used for cooking.


Can You Place Wine Inside the Freezer?

Yes, you can place wine in the freezer for a short period of time. However, it is not recommended to store wine in the freezer for long periods of time as it can cause oxidation and lead to freezer burn.

Can You Freeze Wine That’s Already Been Opened?

Yes, you can freeze opened wine with no problem. However, it is not recommended to drink the wine on its own as freezing can alter the texture and flavor of the wine.

How Long Will It Take For Wine To Freeze?

If your freezer is set at or below 0°F, the recommended temperature by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), wine will freeze in around 5 hours. However, within 1-3 hours of being exposed to such low temperatures, the water molecules within the wine will begin to solidify, which can start to alter its texture.

Is It Safe to Drink Frozen Wine?

It’s completely safe. However, drinking frozen wine is not recommended, as freezing can alter the taste and texture of the wine and cause it to lose some flavor and aroma.

How Do You Unfreeze a Wine Bottle?

To unfreeze a wine bottle, remove it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours until it has thawed. Do not use hot water or a microwave to speed up the thawing process, as this can cause the wine to heat up and potentially alter its flavor and texture.

Does Wine Taste Different After Freezing?

Yes, wine can taste different after freezing. Freezing can alter the flavor and texture of wine, and it can also affect its aroma and color.

Final Thoughts

So, Does Wine Freeze? Yes, of course. Wines contain alcohol, which makes them susceptible to freezing if it is exposed to temperatures below their freezing point for an extended period of time. 

While it is safe to consume a frozen wine, it does not provide the same taste and flavor as when stored at its ideal temperature in a wine cellar. Too much freezing can damage the delicate nature of good wines, so if you prefer chilled varieties, be sure to check the alcohol content.  This will ensure your favorite wines remain in the best condition and at their ideal flavor.

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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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