Can You Freeze Wine?

How to Use Frozen Wine and How to Freeze It

Frozen Wine. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Question: Can You Freeze Wine?

If you have an open bottle of wine and can't finish it, can you freeze the rest to drink or cook with later? What about wine that you accidentally froze, by sticking it in the freezer and forgetting about it, or leaving it in the trunk of your car on a cold day? Can you still thaw it and drink it or use it in cooking?

Freezing Wine

Yes, wine can be frozen. It freezes at a lower temperature than water due to the alcohol content but will freeze at the temperature of most home freezers, at about 15F.

It is safe to drink wine that has been frozen. But after spending time in the freezer, it may be better suited to cooking than drinking. Freezing can alter the taste, but many people detect only slight changes.

Can You Thaw and Drink a Frozen Bottle of Wine?

If you forgot a bottle of wine you put in the freezer for a quick cool-down, check first to see if the bottle is cracked or broken. You don't want glass shards in your wine. Wine will expand when it freezes, and the cork may be popped, or ice may force its way past the screwcap. Just make sure there isn't any broken glass.

Some people save partial bottles of wine by freezing them. In this case, it would be safest to transfer it to a freezer container or freeze it uncorked and then replace the cork once it is frozen. You might see tartrate crystals in the wine, which are harmless. It is best to drink or use a frozen bottle of wine soon after thawing it.

If you don't like the flavor for drinking, maybe you can make a wine cooler or sangria. Also, consider using it for cooking. Time for stew or coq au vin!

How to Freeze Leftover Wine for Cooking

For an easy way to freeze your leftover wine, just pour it into an ice cube tray. Then, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag once they’re frozen.

Be sure to label the bag, so you don’t forget what’s inside.

One cube is usually the equivalent of two Tablespoons, but you may want to measure to see how much your particular ice cube tray holds. It’s easy enough to do. Just fill one of the cube slots with water. Then, pour it back into a liquid measuring cup, and make a note of the volume. Include this measurement on the outside of your bag of wine cubes, so you’ll know how many cubes you need to grab for your recipe.

Example: 1 cube = 2 tablespoons

Do you want bigger cubes? Freeze your leftover wine in a muffin tin instead. This should give you 1/2 cup cubes, but again, it’s best to measure your particular pan to be sure.

How to Use Frozen Wine

Don't worry about thawing the cubes when you get ready to use them. They'll melt quickly when you add them to a hot pan.

More Uses for Leftover Wine

Use your leftover wine to make your own wine vinegar. You’ll need a full bottle to get your vinegar started, but after that, the occasional splash of wine from the bottom of the bottle is all that’s needed to keep it going. Start one batch for red wine and one for white wine, and you’ll never have to buy either type of vinegar again.

And vinegar is just one of the many things that you can make.

Use your leftover wine to make wine jelly, delicious marinades, salad dressings and so many other things. You’ll find lots of ideas here:

Uses for Leftover Wine