Many times catering is about thinking on our feet and being able to adapt to situations quickly. Recently, we were catering an event at a client’s home. Several guests brought wine they wanted served immediately. Our bartenders are well trained and quickly assessed each type of wine and what temperature is required for each. All sparkling wine, Pinot Grigio and Reislings should be chilled to 45 degrees. Medium-bodied reds like Cabernets are served at about 65 degrees and the light-bodied reds like Merlot and Pinot Noir are served at 60 degrees.
With no time to refrigerate for an hour or two, our bartenders quickly added the white wines to a container of ice, filled partially with water and then sprinkled salt to the top of the ice. This method using salt will lower the temperature of the ice melting point and make the water colder faster. The wine was ready to serve in 20 minutes.
For home use, a terrific way to quickly chill is by using a corkcicle. This is nothing more than a cork attached to a gel-filled icicle. You just need to freeze for about three hours and replace the cork or screw lid with the corkcicle. Because it is chilling the wine from the inside, it will be ready to serve in 15–20 minutes. Corkcicles are available online or at your local Bed, Bath & Beyond.