When the weather outside is downright frightful, you can rest easy knowing your wine situation is taken care of. From shipping to serving, here are our top cold-weather wine tips to see you through any “snowpocolypse” or snow day at home with the kids.
1. Stock the cellar. (With snow days potentially on your hands, you’ll be glad you did.) Blockbuster reds and hearty whites are perfect with comforting fare such as roasts and stews. Winter warmers like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay can also be used for cooking or for serving up steaming cups of mulled wine. Yum!
2. Safeguard your wine. Take care to ensure your bottles aren’t exposed to colder conditions (like in the garage, outdoors or in the trunk of your car). Flavors and aromas of certain varietals begin to dull the longer they are exposed to extreme cold.
3. Even on snow days, it’s hard to be at home to sign for your wine deliveries every time. Take advantage of the many tools available to safeguard your shipments and give you the flexibility to pick them up when and where you want them. Use FedEx Delivery Manager to customize your delivery experience and choose, for example: delivery on a specific day, evening delivery, delivery by appointment or Hold at Location. Thousands of Hold at Location pickup points are available, including nearly 8,000 Walgreens. Your wine will be held safe & secure for five business days at no extra cost. Sign up today at fedex.com/delivery.
4. Serve white wines a tad warmer than usual. If you’re used to chilling your whites in the fridge before serving, try cutting the chilling time down to enjoy a fuller aromatic effect.
5. If you experience a frozen bottle, do not panic! If you notice that the bottle and seal are still intact and not damaged, let the wine thaw at room temperature. Do not heat it or microwave it. Patience is a virtue when it comes to frozen wine.
6. However, if you have a frozen sparkling wine on your hands, take the bottle outside and dispose of it safely. Due to the wire cage holding the cork in place, a frozen bottle of bubbly will actually explode.
7. If your frozen wine has a deformed screw cap or a cork that is slightly out of the neck, drink the bottle sooner than later (and discard if the wine is oxidized). Keep in mind that wine is mostly water. As water freezes over, it expands, causing the seal to push upward. Air can then sneak in, oxidizing the wine and degrading the wine over time.
8. Frozen wines can sometimes cause “wine diamonds” or potassium tartrate crystals to form. Wine diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, but they are perfectly harmless. These tiny shards will drop to the bottom of the bottle as the wine comes to normal temperature. Aerate your wine thoroughly and enjoy as normal.
9. Wake up your wines! Be sure to decant or aerate both your reds AND your fuller whites to get the most flavor and aromas out of them on the chilliest of days.
10. TL;DR – Customize your delivery or have your wines shipped to a Hold at Location pickup point for extra flexibility. Keep them indoors, aerate them and treat them to an extra bit of TLC if they become extra frosty.