Life Hacks

Ina Garten's Clever Wine Trick Is A Must-Know This Holiday Season

A new way to chill.

December 24, 2018
Photo by James Ransom

Ina Garten wants to invite me over this holiday season for a crisp, cold glass of champagne. At least, that's how I'm interpreting her latest Instagram video of a brilliant hack for chilling bubbles—or wine—as quickly as possible:

The tip is simple: instead of using just ice, fill your chilling vessel with half water, too.

So, how does it work?

When we explored this expert hosting trick a while back, we learned that liquid transfers heat away from the bottle faster than the pockets of air that sit between ice cubes. Ergo, it expedites the overall process of moving energy (aka heat) away from the bottle of booze, leaving you with a chilled beverage.

Over at Food52 HQ, we take things one step further—we're suckers for clever time-saving tricks, if you hadn't heard—by tossing our ice with a few handfuls of salt first, then adding the water. The addition of salt helps to lower the freezing point of the ice-water, meaning the ice in your vessel is melting more readily. To do so, it's taking energy from (you guessed it) the bottle.

In the words of Garten, "Fast champagne—who wouldn't want that?"

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“put the bottle in the vessel first, then fill with ice and salt, then water (you want as much ice as possible).”
— Chris

We'll cheers to that.

Do you have any other tricks for chilling wine or champagne quickly? Let us know in the comments.

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Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.


52Coyote December 29, 2018
This is pretty old news...seen this method used since I was a child (I'm 66 now). But watch out with the salt; you can freeze even alcoholic beverages with too much!
Ann F. December 28, 2018
At the end, I think she said “fête champagne” (champagne party/celebration) not ‘fast’ champagne. How easy is that?!
Rhonda35 December 5, 2018
I always have a bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge. Is it possible I am even more prepared for a party than Ina Garten?? ;-)
Cy December 7, 2018
You are! Bubbly goes with everything. My friends and I always joke about this. You never know when you will need it!
Rhonda35 December 7, 2018
Yes, it’s a “pantry staple!”
FrugalCat December 4, 2018
We used to do this at the nightclub I worked at. I used some margarita salt and I would run soda water out of the soda gun into the ice bucket (carbonated drinks come out of the gun faster than plain water).
Cy December 7, 2018
I learned this trick working in restaurants!
Chris December 3, 2018
pro bartender here...100% use the salted ice water bath. a few quick, gentle spins and you have ice cold champagne in a couple of minutes. put the bottle in the vessel first, then fill with ice and salt, then water (you want as much ice as possible).
Shona December 2, 2018
Wrap in a wet cloth then freeze/refrigerate. Much quicker.
Cam November 30, 2018
If you really want to cool it FAST just add a few tablespoons of salt. It will chill quicker than water alone as it lowers the freezing point of the water.
jette November 30, 2018
When did "cheers" become a verb? The sentiment used to be: we'll toast to that...