Can Wine Freeze? Exploring the Facts and Myths

Can wine freeze? – All you need to know

Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage enjoyed by many around the world. However, there may be occasions when you find yourself with leftover wine or the need to store it for an extended period of time. This begs the question: can wine freeze? In this article, we will explore the freezing properties of wine and provide you with all the information you need to know about freezing wine.

The myth of freezing wine

There is a common misconception that alcoholic beverages, including wine, can withstand freezing temperatures. While it is true that the alcohol content in wine can delay the freezing process, it does not make wine completely immune to freezing. The freezing point of wine is affected by its alcohol by volume (ABV). Ethanol, the alcohol in wine, has a lower freezing point than water. However, most household refrigerators are not capable of cooling food to very low temperatures, typically reaching only about 0°F to 2°F (-18°C to -16°C).

Freezing Wine: The Science Behind It

To understand why some wines withstand freezing while others do not, it is important to understand the process of winemaking. Wine is essentially a combination of grape juice and yeast, which converts the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol. Different types of grapes can be used to make different types of wine, such as white wine from green grapes and red wine from certain types of red grapes.
Grape juice contains a significant amount of water, and winemakers use this water content to their advantage. It provides oxygen for the yeast and adds volume to the mixture. As the wine ferments, the yeast consumes the sugars, leaving behind a mixture of alcohol, grape concentrate and water. The final product is then bottled to protect it from air and light.

Types of wine and freezing

There are several types of wine, and each may react differently when exposed to freezing temperatures. Let’s explore the three main types of wine and how they are affected by freezing:

1. White wine

White wine, known for its round flavor, is made without the grape skins, resulting in a clear or light golden yellow color. White wine typically has a lower ABV than spirits such as vodka, which can have an ABV of up to 40-50%. While the alcohol content in white wine can resist the formation of ice crystals, the water content in the wine will freeze, causing the entire mass of the wine to freeze.
With an average freezing temperature of about 22°F (-6°C), white wine can easily freeze in a household freezer within a few days.

2. Red Wine

Similar to white wine, red wine freezes relatively easily. Although it has a slightly higher ABV than white wine, prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can cause red wine to freeze. However, freezing red wine for a short period of time, such as a few days, is unlikely to have a significant impact on its flavor or quality.

3. Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine, which includes carbonated wines with mild to intense effervescence, should not be frozen. Freezing sparkling wine can cause the bottle to burst due to the expansion of the soda water. In addition, freezing can change the taste and texture of sparkling wine, making it less enjoyable to drink.

Characteristics of frozen wine

When wine is frozen, certain characteristics may change. Here are some important things to consider:

1. Flavor

  • White wine: When frozen for a short period of time, white wine is unlikely to experience significant changes in flavor or texture. However, prolonged freezing may result in a loss of original flavors.
  • Red wine: Freezing red wine for a few days is unlikely to affect its flavor. Longer periods of freezing may result in a loss of quality, especially in previously opened bottles.
  • Sparkling wine: Freezing sparkling wine can cause changes in flavor and texture, making it flat and less enjoyable.

2. Texture

  • White wine/red wine: Short-term freezing has minimal effect on the overall smoothness and viscosity of the wine. Once properly thawed, the wine will return to its original texture with no noticeable changes.
  • Sparkling wine: Frozen sparkling wine tends to lose its effervescence and may have a different mouthfeel after thawing.

How to freeze wine

If you decide to freeze wine for culinary purposes, follow these steps:

  1. Use a quality ice cube tray with a lid to store the wine.
  2. Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray with wine, making sure the wine is evenly distributed, and tap the tray gently to release any trapped air bubbles.
  3. Place the lid on the ice cube tray and store in the back of the freezer for 2-3 months.
  4. When you need to use the frozen wine, simply remove the desired number of wine cubes and thaw them in the refrigerator or use them directly in cooking.

Bottom line

In conclusion, wine can freeze if exposed to sufficiently low temperatures. While the alcohol content of wine can delay the freezing process, it does not prevent it altogether. Both white and red wine can freeze, but white wine is more susceptible due to its lower ABV. Sparkling wine should not be frozen as it can cause the bottle to burst and alter the flavor profile.
When freezing wine, it is important to consider the potential changes in flavor and texture that may occur. Short-term freezing is unlikely to have a significant impact, but prolonged freezing may result in a loss of original flavor notes and changes in texture.
If you choose to freeze wine for cooking purposes, using an ice cube tray with a lid is a convenient method. This allows for easy portioning and retrieval of frozen wine cubes.
Remember to always thaw frozen wine properly before drinking or using it in recipes. Enjoy exploring the culinary possibilities of frozen wine, while keeping in mind its limitations and potential changes.


Can wine freeze?

Yes, wine can freeze if it is exposed to sufficiently low temperatures over a long period of time.

Does the alcohol content of wine prevent it from freezing?

While the alcohol content in wine can delay the freezing process, it does not completely prevent it. The water molecules present in the wine will eventually crystallize and cause the wine to freeze.

What types of wine are more susceptible to freezing?

White wine and red wine are both susceptible to freezing, but white wine is generally more susceptible due to its lower alcohol by volume (ABV) compared to red wine.

Can sparkling wine be frozen?

It is not recommended to freeze sparkling wine. The carbonation in sparkling wine can cause the bottle to burst when exposed to freezing temperatures. Freezing can also alter the taste and texture of sparkling wine.

What happens to the flavor of wine when it is frozen?

Short-term freezing of wine is unlikely to cause significant flavor changes. However, prolonged freezing may result in a loss of original flavors and a decrease in overall quality.

How should wine be stored to prevent freezing?

To avoid freezing, wine should be stored in a cool, dark place at a stable temperature. It is best to keep wine away from extreme temperature fluctuations as this can affect its flavor and quality.