Why you shouldn’t ever add ice to your wine
The short answer is no and the longer one sufficiently makes the case to settle for warm wine over ruining it with blocks of ice.
What happens if I add ice to my wine?Some questions shouldn’t need answering because asking them in the first place is tragic. And while it’s encouragingly held that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, there are always exceptions. Should you add coke to an 18 year old single malt or smother Norwegian salmon with supermarket ketchup? Should you give into the savage temptation to lob a few ice cubes into the glass when the wine’s gone warm on a sultry afternoon. The answer to all of the above is an unequivocal no. Given how searing the summer’s been, some might even consider the query reasonable. Those who know and adore wine might be less forgiving in their response. Objectively though, adding wine ice is a bad idea – wine is a delicate balance of fruit, acid and alcohol. If you add ice to it, the wine is severely diluted and its flavours diluted and irreversibly changed.
In the end all you’re really getting is the alcohol content. There’s a rather dubious notion that consuming the wine fast before the ice melts might do the job. No evidence to suggest that’s true and anyway wine was never meant to be drunk quick. So effectively adding ice to wine doesn’t really make it wine anymore. Perhaps doing things right at the start as in chilling the wine down considerably to compensate for the prevailing heat before opening it will avoid forcing this destructive choice. Just like the virtue of honesty, hold on to your glass and resist. Yes, drinking warm wine isn’t pleasant and does inhibit flavour and dial down the pleasure but, at least it is still wine you’re drinking. So don’t fool yourself and please hold the ice.