Get your ice cube trays ready, boys and girls, and freeze your left over wine… I can’t take credit for this bit of genius. This is a tip that I came across while reading Elliot Essman’s Use Wine to Make Sense of The World.

As I read his suggestion, I thought to myself, “Wow, this is good enough for a separate story.” What Elliot suggests is taking great left over wines and freezing it. I don’t know about you, but I love to cook and this one really made sense to me.

Now, I wouldn’t do this with an everyday commodity wine, and that’s not what Elliot was suggesting. Let’s say you’ve got a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild open, and only a half cup of wine remains in that bottle. What if, instead of throwing it down the drain, you simply freeze it?

I can see all of the possible uses. Let’s begin with red wine. How about adding an ice cube or two into a hearty beef stew, a pot of baking beans, or a simmering pot roast. Imagine the enhanced flavors. Yes, you may be having wine with dinner, and you’ll be opening a bottle of wine to go with meal shortly, but why not leave that wine for you and your guests (if you’re also having company), and just use what’s in the freezer for your cooking purposes?

Now, off to white wines….

There are uses here, too. Staying with cooking, an ice cube or two of a great Oregon Pinot Gris or a delicious Soave Garganega would be excellent in a chicken soup for added flavor, or one that becomes part of a fish sauce.

Here’s one to get you wine geeks going… And I’ll probably have more than a few Europeans laughing at me… “Like, right, you think you just invented this?”

What about throwing an ice cube into a really warm glass of wine?

I’m not talking about a wonderfully hand crafted wine, here. I’m talking about an everyday wine that’s more of a commodity item… A good house wine. We’ve all got one, right? At the risk of sounding like a desperate alcoholic… I remember a day when I had worked my brains out, and I just wanted a cool glass of wine on a hot summer’s day. All I had was a warm(ish) unopened bottle of wine that was an everyday wine. That’s just what I wanted and needed… a glass of wine that was more about instant gratification than one to ruminate over. The thought of drinking that warm, white wine  just turned me off. But I really wanted a glass of wine to refresh my body, mind, and spirit; so, I did the unthinkable. Yup, I used an ice cube.

Okay, truth be told, I’ve done this more than once. And survived. The first time I did it, I felt like the wine police were going to come and arrest me straight away. But… nothing happened, except that I had a glass of wine that satisfied me, exactly as I wanted it to. Yes, it was a bit diluted by a teaspoon of water, and I found that to be negligible. It was a commodity wine with no handcrafting. I wasn’t looking for nuance, I was looking to quench my thirst and refresh my being. One ice cube does not make for a diminished experience; in fact, it was enhanced. It was just what I was looking for and needed at the time.

Now, imagine if that Pinot Gris or Garganega had been chilled with a same varietal cube? I’m thinking that it would have been even less sacrilegious and more refreshing.

I’m with Elliot… recycle, reuse, and enjoy. Life’s a beach, and then you visit one with a chilled glass of wine.