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There are lots of reasons to have leftover wine. Maybe it has gone a little past its best or you cannot drink it right now for some reason, e.g., taking medication or going travelling.

Regardless, leftover wine never needs to go to waste.

You can freeze wine to use later as an ingredient for cooking your favorite recipes. The simplest way to freeze wine is to make ice cubes.

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Don’t freeze unopened Champagne / sparkling wines

Never freeze unopened sparkling wine – it can explode and ruin both your wine and your freezer. Your sparkling wine will also lose its sparkle.

How to freeze wine for cooking

Red and white wine can be frozen to use later for cooking delicious recipes with wine, e.g., red wine pasta sauce, or a Port gravy. So, if you have leftover wine that you don’t want to waste, freeze it.

The simplest way to freeze wine is to make ice cubes. Use covered ice cube trays to prevent freezer burn or put the ice cube tray in a sealed bag.

You can also measure out specific amounts, e.g., 1 cup or ½ cup and freeze in a suitable container. Allow extra room for the wine to expand when it freezes in the container.

How long you can freeze wine

Use frozen wine within 3 months of freezing. You can freeze it for longer, it won’t be harmful to your health, but it may develop freezer burn and not taste very nice.

Can you freeze white or red wine to drink after opening it?

Extremes of cold and heat can damage wine, so freezing wine after opening to drink later is not recommended.

If you drink wine on a regular basis, it may be worth investing in a vacuum or inert gas system to make opened wine last longer.

With a vacuum system, the oxygen is removed from the bottle and the bottle is sealed. Inert gas systems use various gases (that don’t react with wine) to prevent it from coming into contact with oxygen.

Note: Vacuum systems are not suitable for sparkling wine – they will lose their fizz.

Using a freezer to chill white wine quickly

White wine will chill quickly in the freezer, but if you forget about it, you will end up with frozen wine.

A safer option is to consider investing in a white wine chiller stick. Store it in the freezer and use it to quickly and safely chill your next bottle of white wine.

Alternatively, chill wine quickly in equal parts water and ice in a bucket.

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FAQ

Can you freeze wine in the bottle?

Never freeze unopened sparkling wine or Champagne as it is dangerous.

The bottle will likely explode, ruining both your sparkling wine and your freezer.

When wine freezes, the water in the liquid expands and can break the bottle or the cork, causing leaks and exposing the wine to oxygen. This can lead to oxidation, which can alter the wine’s flavor and aroma, making it taste flat or stale.

If you have a corkscrew bottle, and really want to freeze it, then pour out some wine to allow enough room for expansion. Replace the cap tightly before putting in the freezer.

Does freezing ruin wine?

Freezing wine can potentially ruin it, as the freezing process can cause several changes to the wine’s taste and texture.

When wine freezes, the water in the liquid expands and can break the bottle or the cork, causing leaks and exposing the wine to oxygen. This can lead to oxidation, which can alter the wine’s flavor and aroma, making it taste flat or stale.

The freezing process can also cause the wine’s sugars and acids to separate, leading to a change in texture and mouthfeel. This can make the wine taste watery or thin.

In general, it’s best to avoid freezing wine if possible, and if you must freeze it, do so for the shortest amount of time possible to minimize any potential damage.

Can I drink wine after freezing it?

It isn’t harmful to your health to drink wine that has been frozen. It is likely that it won’t taste as fresh or have the same texture that it did before freezing.

If you really want to drink wine after freezing, mix it with other ingredients to make up for any flavor loss and disguise any texture changes.

For ideas on what cocktails to make with wine, see our article on red wine cocktail recipes.

Use up frozen white wine by making sangria with our delicious easy white peach sangria recipe.

Do wine cubes need thawing before using for cooking?

No, you don’t need to that frozen wine to use it for cooking. Just add them directly to the pan.

Read with confidence: I am a certified wine expert (WSET L3).