Kitchen Hacks

Here's How to Chill Any Wine in 7 Minutes Flat

This week in "Does it work?": a trick for chilling any bottle in seven minutes. 

Don’t you know the seven-minute wine chilling trick? 

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This is what my favorite wine clerk asks me, with an emoji-eseque shrug, when I request a litre of chilled rosé that she doesn't have.

Most likely because of my blank stare, she then swiftly recited the simplest, palm-to-face process that could be: Wet a bunch of paper towels (or a dish towel), wrap your warm or room temperature bottle of wine in them, and stick it in the freezer for seven minutes. 


How? Not possible—maybe? I had to try it as soon as I walked in the door. I giddly sped-walked home, ahead of my party, and immediately doused paper towels at my sink, unwadded them, and wrapped them around my bottle of wine. 

Seven minutes later, I eagerly unwrapped the half-frozen paper towels from my bottle—and well, it was a little bit cold. My theory then was that it works much better for a normal bottle of wine (750 milliliters), but a liter takes double the time—14 minutes was pretty darn drinkable.


We tried it again in the office on a regular bottle, and found it best to: a) use a dish towel and b) get it sopping wet—don't wring it out! The wine was chilled, not cold, and infinitely more enjoyable than it would have been seven minutes earlier. 

Have you tried the seven-minute trick? Did it work? If not, do you have other quick-chill techniques for wine? Tell us in the comments below.

This article originally appeared on September 21, 2015. We're re-running it because, well, it might just come in handy with all the upcoming festivities. 

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I love oysters and unfussy sandwiches.


RisenWell August 31, 2019
Better for the planet if we keep paper towel usage to a bare minimum...
Lori C. October 20, 2018
Best if you put the wet wrapped wine into the ice cube compartment directly.
Lisa M. December 13, 2016
Great idea! I love the faucet in these photos. Any idea who makes it? Thx!
Riddley G. December 14, 2016
It's by Waterworks!
Jaci K. December 13, 2016
I put it in a freezer bag first to preserve the label and then I wrap it. :)
Susan A. July 17, 2016
We use our ice cream maker. Fill is with water, insert bottle, wait 5-10 minutes. Voila. Super easy.
Bex June 23, 2016
Every restaurant alum worth their salt knows the ice bucket, water, freezer trick. At home wheree ice buckers and space for ice buckets may not be available I have been known to use deep mixing bowls and an entire cooler can save a dinner party.
Meghan June 23, 2016
My boyfriend has been doing that to beer bottles for years! Putting his chemistry PhD to work!
NORBERT M. June 22, 2016
Ice bucket, water and salt is obviously the most effective, but not always available. I suggest to spread a handful of salt on a soaking wet cloth, wrap the bottle and place it in the freezer for approx 10min.
Honeylishuss December 27, 2015
I always leave the bottle in the freezer for 20 minutes if you have the time. A physics student working in a bottle shop told me about this trick 30 years ago.
PS007 September 27, 2015
I just put it in ice water, no salt. Spin the bottle round and round by the top sticking out for about 3 mins, done.
kimikoftokyo September 27, 2015
I do the same But with a wet paper towel. But the towel sounds better lol
Honeylishuss September 22, 2015
I've been using this trick for 40 years ever since a science major moonlighting in a bottle shop told me about it and explained why it works; can't remember the science now. However he said 20 minutes and wet towel - doesn't have to be dripping wet, just wrung out. In the freezer for 20 mins and it's perfect for wine or champagne. Believe it.
Nicolai H. September 22, 2015
Water Bath with icecubes and a lot of salt. Will bring it Down in about 5 minuts
Brian P. September 22, 2015
Also try putting the glasses in the freezer with the wine. Will bring temp down by a fee more degrees. Unless you wanna drink from the bottle
Leith D. September 22, 2015
The 2:1 salt water trick in a cooler works really well, especially in a situation where you want to chill more than 1 bottle at a time.
Carlos N. September 22, 2015
Yes definitely have tired it especially when we are just popping bottle late night
Tereza September 22, 2015
Definitely a good life saver!
Lucienne B. September 21, 2015
I just use one of those wine bottle chillers you keep in the freezer. I put the frozen sleeve on the bottle and then the bottle in the freezer for a few minutes. Works really fast
amandainmd September 21, 2015
Maybe we need to conduct an experiment like those test kitchen folks! Science is calling out for an definitive answer.
ChefJune September 21, 2015
I'm not surprised it works. Salted ice water in a Champagne bucket also works. But I am surprised I'we've never thought of it before! I've no cold rose in the house, so I'll be trying it out tonight. Cool article. :)
David N. September 21, 2015
This would work better than the salted water. Salting water lowers the temperature at which ice forms in water, lowering the temperature of a solution of ice water by adding salt is a function of concentration. Adding 31 grams of salt (a little more than 1 ounce) drops the freezing point of water less than 2 degrees Celsius. Recommended freezer temperature is -18 Celsius, which would require almost 10 oz of salt per liter of water and a stabilized ice, salt, and water solution. The wet towel is more efficient, and less wasteful, although you could recover the salt, if desired... (or reuse the solution by freezing it).
Nora R. September 21, 2015
It doesn't work better than salted water because the temperature is not the relevant data point. Air won't transfer the temperature the same as water. (think 212 degree over vs boiling water). So ask yourself if you would prefer to stand outside in -2 weather or if you would like to be submerged in -2 water and then you'll know which cools wine faster.
Samantha W. September 21, 2015
ChefJune -- Let me know if you have to go for longer to get it to an optimal temperature for you. It seems like there must be somewhere between David Nurbin's downright-cold 30 minutes and the just-chill of 7 minutes.
David N. September 22, 2015
Actually you are wrong about the temperature not mattering, it is also part of the delta equation... Since we are talking about the amount of time that the change will take...