It’s so hot, is it okay if I put ice in my wine?
I previously had a very bad wine snobbish attitude toward people that put ice in their wine. I felt like, really, if you don’t care that the flavor is diluted why not just order a Spritzer (wine with soda and ice). Then I spoke to a woman sipping hers at the bar of The Social. Her husband, a generous man that we learned was related to my neighbors and would send us over a round of drinks if he saw us, said she did it to purposely dilute her glass so that she could happily sip, and then drive them both home later. And having sweet soda did not appeal to her. Well. I still won’t put ice in my wine, but I now reserve my judgment of anyone else doing it.
I want to try some light summer drink recipes; do you have a favorite to share?
One craft cocktail that has taken center stage lately has been around for years: the Moscow Mule. I think the thing that sets it apart is that it’s traditionally served in a copper mug to keep it icy cold. It’s very easy to make as well; this is the recipe I finally settled on but when you make it feel free to experiment with the ingredients for the flavor you want:
The Chase Erwin Mule (named after the two friends whose recipes I morphed)
Ingredients (Makes one Mule)
1.5 ounce vodka of your choice
½ fresh-squeezed lime juice
4 ounces Ginger Beer (I like Fever Tree Ginger found at Bev Mo, but try any brand you like, even a non-alcoholic Ginger Beer) crushed ice (1 cup in a baggie and a meat tenderizer worked for me.)
Stir together and serve. (The copper mug can be found at World Market)
Can I chill my red wine before serving it during the hot summer months?
Your cellar will keep your wine below 60 degrees (usually set at 55) so yes, if it’s a sultry100-degree day, by all means don’t let your wine warm up before serving, you can take it directly from your cellar and open up. But with this warning: a wine served too cold can actually close down the aromas and taste enough to be noticeable. What I do is remove from my cellar and let it stand on my counter for 30-60 minutes. This will raise the temperature a bit without compromising the wine. If your wine is not in any kind of cooler then you can put the bottle into an ice bath (an ice bucket filled with water and ice) for up to 20 minutes. Best answer is to experiment, as every palate is different. And hot wine is not a good option at any time.
Sometimes a restaurant will serve my white wine in a chilled and frosty wine glass, is that okay to do?
If you are sitting on a hot patio, maybe. But being handed a frosty mug o’wine is not how the wine was intended to be served. Some people feel that their white wine must be kept in an ice bucket at the table, I’m not one of them. I actually prefer my white wine cool, but definitely not ice cold. Again, experiment and see what your palate prefers.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email [email protected] to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via [email protected]>