Would You Like an Ice Cube with That Glass of Red Wine?

red wine with ice cube

I’m just curious what your first reaction is when you hear that first line? Is it ‘outrage’, as in ‘I can’t believe anyone would even THINK of asking that question!’? Is it ‘disgust’ as in ‘I can’ think of anyone ACCEPTING an ice cube with their red wine!’? Is it ‘sympathy’ as in ‘I feel SORRY for that person who would put an ice cube in their red wine.’ Or is it something else?

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day, and he said that he always thought that putting ice in a red wine was ‘blasphemous’ – until he was in Florida and every glass of red wine he had was served too warm! Guess what he did – yep, added a little ice to it to cool it down . . .

I continue to be amazed out how dated some of the’conventional wisdoms’ are in the wine business – the generally accepted ‘dos’ and don’ts’ that seem to guide so many people. Now, I know many of you are thinking – but that’s not me, I’m really open minded about all things wine.

Really? Let me hear it for white zin!!! Yep, I know many of you are laughing right now – it’s just a knee jerk reaction that is prevalent in the wine biz – both at the producer level AND definitely with consumers. Well, did you know that white zin continues to be one of the most popular wines out there? And no, it’s not just because ‘many wine consumers are uninformed’ . . . a lot of people, wait for it, actually LIKE white zin. You may not, and that’s cool – but it is not cool to look down upon or not accept those who do like it.

There are so many of these conventional wisdoms that I feel need to be ‘re-evaluated’ these days and either discarded or updated. What about the ‘only have white wine with fish’ idea? Can this ‘rule’ be broken?!?!? Heck yeah – I am many of my friends do it all of the time! What about ‘only reds with red meat’? Well, how about a nice glass of white burgundy or perhaps a roussanne – yep, these can and do certainly go with red meats.

What are some of your favorite ‘rules’ in the wine business that you feel need to be ‘broken’ or re-evaluated? Here’s another one to start the discussion – screw caps are only meant for ‘cheaper’ wines or only those wines meant for ‘consumption now’!



10 comments on “Would You Like an Ice Cube with That Glass of Red Wine?

  1. If people want to put ice cubes in a glass of red wine (or even white if it’s warmer than they’d like), it’s fine, they are drinking it. Some people put milk in their coffee, or ketchup on a steak. Or add something-or-other to whatever. But it might not be a bad idea to point out that adding ice can dilute the flavors. Would they care? If not, STFU. You could suggest adding frozen grapes that will chill the wine without diluting it.

    As far as White Zinfandel, why not? Just because it has been made badly over the years is no reason it has to be bad. White (or Pink) wine has been made from many different red grapes. Some work better than others, and there’s no reason a good White Zin can’t be made. It might be hard to sell though, so if you make one, maybe call it Zinfandel Rosé. Or don’t say what the variety is. Another choice is to be Turley.

  2. Maeapple says:

    Great post! The more people I know the less I take convention, of most types, to heart. I discovered over this last summer that I enjoy a number of red wines chilled … and a number of my IPA beers just a bit warm. Above all though I really believe, “it is not cool to look down upon or not accept those who do like it.”

  3. Timmy says:

    Fine wines in screw top, 375 ml cans. Larry, when you do this, make sure that they will fit in my wine fridge. I’ll send you the dimensions. 😉

  4. Hmmmm – let me get working on that 😉


  5. Why thank you, darling 🙂 You do a great job of ‘being as you are’!


  6. Great points as usual, Larry. Yep, it may dilute the red wine a bit, but probably not that much – and heck, if you’re drinking a warm climate rhone blend, perhaps it will ‘help’ 😉


  7. Shannon Pritchard says:

    I don’ think anyone I know thinks screwtop wines are to be dismissed, and we had a “box” wine from Chateau Margerine (Paso) two years ago that was fantastic!

  8. You are fortunate, Sharon, because I still think the feeling is prevalent out there . . . And I’ve had some quite nice boxed wines – and if you’re only going to have a glass at a time, it’s a great vehicle for keeping wine fresh for a very long time!


  9. Dave Simpson says:

    As a rule, ice in wine is detrimental. the waters have so many additives, that it could disguise the nose of the wine and distract from that tasting. However , if you are having Sangria, by all means add the ice. as for screw tops, corks in 2 buck Chuck and screw tops on much better wines shows how the industry has changed.

  10. David B. says:

    Conventional wisdom is too conventional. Innovation is the key to progress. Corks were innovative a long time ago. Why not innovate now.

    As for the ice cubes, make them with filtered water then have at it! People put ice in Scotch, so why not put ice in wine.

    While we’re at it, let’s see more and varied plantings in California and other US wine regions. We don’t need more Cabernet or Chardonnay. We need more Albarino, Cortese, Carignan, Dolcetto or Mourvedre.

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