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Q: Wine ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Wine
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jaana-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 Sep 2003 14:39 PDT
Expires: 16 Oct 2003 14:39 PDT
Question ID: 257417
If wine freezes and later on is thawed will it affect the maturation
of the wine?
Subject: Re: Wine
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 16 Sep 2003 22:14 PDT

With regard to the maturation process, yes, freezing will slow
the process, as discussed in this detailed article by Jeff Cox
at the website:

"The ideal temperature is a constant 58-degrees F
 (14-degrees C), which allows wine to age slowly
 and gracefully to perfection. Although you may
 not be able to arrange for a constant 58-degrees
 (14-degrees C) (cooling units are not worth the
 cost for wine storage), remember that the limits
 are 50-degrees F (10-degrees C) minimum and
 65-degrees F (18-degrees C) maximum, average
 yearly temperature...Below 50-degrees F
 (10-degrees C), maturation is delayed; above
 65-degrees F (18-degrees C) it is hastened to
 the point of damage. The maturation of wine
 cannot be hurried without harming the quality.
 The best things take time."

However, at least in the experienced opinions
of some wine lovers, freezing wine that has been
opened can have a very beneficial effect on its

An article entitled 'After Freezing Left Over Wines,
They Taste Better', by Julian Schultz, on the Oxford
Wine Room website, discusses this at length:

"...when I removed the bottle for the wine to thaw,
 the wine resembled a popsicle. About six hours later,
 the water and solids had separated. I shook the bottle
 vigorously to restore the wine to its natural condition.

 Although the wine's color showed somewhat dull, its
 flavor was superb! Better even than when the wine was
 first tasted. Sandy tartrates at the bottom of the
 bottle indicated the freezing.

 Since then, I have frozen dozens of wines when I knew
 I would be unable to drink them until after four days
 had passed. White or red, it made no difference.

 Wines should be frozen while fresh—shortly after the
 bottle has been opened. After having been frozen, the
 wine tasted immeasurably better. Warning: Once having
 been frozen, do not re-freeze the wine."

Much more on the page:

A more conservative assessment, on the Early To Rise
website, does not disagree:

"What happens if you leave a bottle of wine in your
 car during sub-zero weather and it freezes? Will
 it do any serious damage?"

"Because of its alcohol content, wine has to get
 really cold -- typically around 15 degrees --
 before it will freeze. Yes, the freezing wine
 could force the cork out or even break the
 bottle. But if that doesn't happen, the quality
 of the wine should be OK. According to the 30
 Second Wine Advisor (,
 'near-freezing temperatures may precipitate out
 some of the wine's natural acidity in the form
 of insoluble tartrate crystals, but most
 authorities argue that this doesn't perceptibly
 affect the flavor. (In fact, although the
 practice is controversial, some people actually
 put a half-finished bottle in the freezer to
 preserve it.)'"

Next, from a website whose homepage is entitled
'Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium - The Very Best
in Santa Barbara Wine and the entire Central Coast
Wine Region!', we have this from the UseNet Wine FAQs:

"...there have been a fair number of people who claim
 positive results with the process--not only with
 freezing, but even by nuking the wine (gently) in a
 microwave to thaw it (at least part of the way).

"These people [are] very happy with the results. A
 few have noted that in some wines there are radically
 increased precipitates, mostly potassium tartrate.
 (Increased precipitates result because the water
 freezes at higher temperatures, therefore the
 concentration of alcohol and soluble items--such
 as potassium tartrate--are higher in the liquid
 portion [the water turning to ice]. Things which
 will precipitate out easily, will do so, and
 probably won't dissolve back into the wine so
 quickly. Now, one possible effect of this is
 that a wine will taste less acidic--which may or
 may not be a desirable effect. Another effect is
 that the constituents of the wine which make up
 taste and color can be affected. But then, if
 it works for you . . . ."

Other articles about freezing wine can be found
in the search results I provided below, however
I believe I've given you the consensus perspective
on the matter.

Please do not rate this answer until you are satisfied that
the answer cannot be improved upon by means of a dialog
established through the "Request for Clarification" process.


Searches done, via Google:

"maturation of wine

"freezing wine" maturity

"freezing wine

"effect of freezing on wine
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