As I’m writing this, it’s starting to warm up outside. In fact, after a solid week of subzero temps, yesterday was a balmy 81 degrees. I’m not sure what Mother Nature was thinking, but I thought it best not to question her ways.
Instead, I’m preparing to enjoy the spring and summer days ahead. I broke out my shorts and sunglasses, rolled out the awning over the patio, and set out the lawn chairs. However, I still have to solve the problem of chilling my wine when I want to drink it outside.
This year, rather than wheeling a cooler full of ice outside (what a hassle), I’ve decided to give the Corkcicle wine chiller a try. It’s a nifty little device that I can chill beforehand and then slip into my open bottle of wine to keep it cool without watering it down.
Now, for big gatherings, a wine cooler is still your best bet, because you’ll need to keep a lot of bottles on hand. But for a relaxed evening with your spouse, the Corkcicle could be just the ticket to some stress-free sipping.
What is the Corkcicle?
When white wine gets too warm, it tastes flabby, but if red wine gets warm, it gets bitter. Neither is good or refreshing, especially on a hot night when all you want is to cool off.
The Corkcicle is convenient if you don’t want to mess with a cooler or a bucket of ice and you only need to chill one bottle. It looks like an icicle, but it has a cork at the top. You simply chill it in advance and then slide it into an open bottle and it will keep it cool.
The Corkcicle company came out with the product in 2010 after watching people dilute their wine with ice cubes to keep it cold. It takes a few hours in the freezer to cool down, so the best option is to leave it in overnight.
It comes in a nice box you can use for storage and the material is BPA-free and non-toxic. It’s also long enough to extend to nearly the bottom of the bottle to keep all of the liquid cool.
The company has found so much success with the Corkcicle wine chiller that they’ve expanded to include the Corkcicle Air as well, which features a pour through design that aerates your wine as you pour without having to take the Corkcicle out of the bottle.
They also sell mugs, tumblers, stemless beverage cooling solutions, and a lot more.
There are two different Corkcicle options from which you can choose. Maybe you’re a traditionalist and you prefer to pour your wine into a glass and let it sit for a moment. Or perhaps your an artisan who uses fancy kitchen gadgets and always raves about the latest thing.
Either way, there’s a Corkcicle wine chiller for you.
The original Corkcicle came out in 2010. It’s a liquid-filled icicle-looking device attached to a cork. You simply freeze the liquid and insert it into a bottle of wine to keep it cold. That’s all it does, and that’s all it needs to do.
There’s nothing fancy about it unless you want to wield it like Harry Potter’s wand, which it very closely resembles.
At any rate, I certainly think wine is magical, so if keeping my wine at just the right temperature is its only spellbinding power, I’ll let it stick around. Get it? Stick around?
- Easy to use
- BPA-free and non-toxic
- Elegant design
- Box can be used to store device
- Only keeps wine cool for about an hour
The Corkcicle Air came out a few years later after the makers of the Corkcicle realized that maybe their device had a few extra spells up the sleeve of its robe. This one looks nearly identical, but it has a spout on the end of it with a pour-through feature.
You don’t have to remove the Corkcicle Air from your bottle to pour your wine. Just remove the cap and aerate your wine as you chill and pour. It’s so low-tech, it’s genius, and I wish I’d thought of it first.
The upgraded Corkcicle Air isn’t that much more expensive than the original, so it’s worth splurging, especially if you drink red wines that need a bit more exposure to oxygen before sipping.
- BPA-free and non-toxic
- Elegant design
- Box can be used to store device
- Aerates and pours
- More expensive than the original
You can use the Corkcicle in any wine bottle with a standard cork. You may find that it also fits bottles that have screw caps. However, it doesn’t fit well in Champagne bottles or sparkling wine bottles because the pressure inside the bottle pushes the Corkcicle out.
However, there is a way around this. Simply leave the cap off of your Corkcicle Air to let some of that pressure escape, and you’ll be able to chill your sparkling bottles as well.
Just remember that if you’re letting that air escape, you’re also letting some of those precious bubbles out, along with the cool temperatures. But it still won’t cool down as quickly as having anything.
The Corkcicle also doesn’t fit well in 375mL or 500mL bottles because it’s designed to fit 750mL bottles. It doesn’t fit these smaller bottles because the icicle is too long.
The best way to use the Corkcicle is with white wines that have already been chilled. It’s the perfect way to keep them cold while you’re enjoying them in a warm setting. However, it works well to bring red wines down from room temperature to a more ideal temperature and keep them there while you enjoy.
Corkcicle is a novelty product, but there’s certainly no shortage of those. Here are some alternatives to consider if you’re looking for easy ways to keep your wine cool.
Wine Cool Stainless Steel Wine Chiller Stick
I like this alternative because I think the stainless steel makes it a bit more classy. However, the plastic pouring component at the top brings it back down a notch, so I feel like that could be improved.
However, it works the same way as the Corkcicle, so it’s really just a matter of design preference. When it comes to price, the Wine Cool option is a lot cheaper. It’s super durable and made of food-grade stainless steel.
Vacu Vin Wine Sleeve
Using an insulated sleeve is a great way to keep your wine cool for a few hours. The Vacu Vin Wine Sleeve goes in the freezer for 6 hours to activate the cooling gel. Then you place your wine bottle in it to keep it cool.
It’s lightweight and folds flat when it’s not in use, so it’s a great, non-breakable solution that doesn’t have to come in contact with your liquid. Plus, if you like the design of the sleeve, it dresses up your bottles a little bit.
Huski wine cooler
The Huski Wine Cooler is a stainless steel vacuum-sealed container that holds your bottles. You simply set your bottle down inside of it and then screw the top on. You can also adjust the height for taller bottles, but you can’t adjust the width for fatter bottles.
It’s designed to fit most 750mL bottles and comes in a variety of colors. You don’t have to put it in the freezer first. It will keep already chilled bottles cold for up to 6 hours. It also won’t sweat, so it keeps your hands and your table dry.
Keeping your wine chilled is serious business. If you like your wine cold, but you want to sit out on the patio and enjoy the weather, you don’t want to keep running back and forth to the fridge. These frequently asked questions should help you understand more about wine chilling devices are, shall we say, cool?
Answer: All you have to do is chill the stick in the freezer for up to 2 hours, but you can do it overnight if that’s easier. Then open your wine, pour a little into your glass to make some room, and put the stick in the bottle.
The stick will keep your wine cold while the stopper at the top will seal the bottle for freshness. If you get the variety that also aerates as it pours, then you have a 4-in-1 device with everything you need.
Answer: Aside from the wine chiller, Corkcicle tumblers and canteens are excellent products. They will keep your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours at a time, even when the weather outside says otherwise.
The value is great and they come in all kinds of colors, patterns, and designs, so there’s something for everyone.
Answer: Having to put ice in a wine chiller kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? The point of a wine chiller is not to put ice in it. It keeps your wine cold without ice. There are even wine coolers, like Brumate, that are double-walled and insulated, so you can keep your beverages cold without watering them down or making a mess with ice.
Brumate even makes backpack coolers with spouts on them. You can go camping for the weekend and bring your drinks along with you.
Ditch the ice bucket and get a wine chiller if you’re tired of the hassle that comes with prepping and cleaning up afterward.
Answer: So, you have a wine chiller, but you need to get your wine there in a hurry. The Corkcicle will chill your wine for you, but it won’t necessarily do it quickly. If you want to chill your wine quickly before you put your Corkcicle in it, here are a couple of ideas.
You can submerge it in salted ice water or put it in the freezer. It could take 30 minutes or less to get your wine to a great drinking temperature doing it this way. If you pour it into glasses before you put it in the freezer, it will cool faster.
Adding some frozen grapes is another fun way to chill it quickly. After you’re done drinking the wine, you can eat the wine-infused grapes for a fun treat!
Is the Corkcicle a waste of money? Sure! You don’t need a Corkcicle to chill your wines. An old-fashioned bucket with some ice will always do you just fine. But it’s a hassle and when the ice melts, it makes a giant mess.
The Corkcicle also won’t keep your wine cold for long. It might keep it cold for an hour or so, but it’s better than nothing. There are better options, but it’s a fun design that makes enjoying a bottle between two people an experience like no other.
If you think you’ll polish it off in less than an hour while watching the sun go down, why not make it exciting?
The Corkcicle is a great way to chill a bottle to enjoy in the warm weather when you’re trying to relax and you don’t want to worry about cleaning up after yourself later. It’s not that expensive, and it’s just plain fun.