Why Some People Think It's Wrong To Put Ice In Wine

To add ice or to not add ice to your wine — that is the question, often followed up with a query as to whether those around you will whisper words of shame and shun you for doing so. We have to wonder, why are people opposed to putting ice cubes in their wine? 

Perhaps the act isn't as serious of an offense as it once was. With the likes of Giada De Laurentiis and Martha Stewart giving their seal of approval to the practice of adding ice cubes to their glasses of vino, we've reached a new juncture where it's no longer gauche. Stewart told Jezebel, "I often put ice in my rosé. Just to, well first of all, keep it really cold on a hot night. ... But [also] for me, I don't drink a lot. So when I drink I like to nurse a glass for awhile. But it prolongs it for awhile, it's good. You don't have to feel guilty, if they're putting ice in sauternes and ice in cognac, forget it! You can have ice in your wine."

These celebrity chefs are not alone. Per Insider, Taylor Swift added ice to her white wine while chatting with her friend Abigail in the documentary "Miss Americana," and in 2015, Diane Keaton shared with People her namesake wine was created to be served on the rocks.

Ice can change the quality of the wine

While Martha and Giada enjoy ice in their wine, some experts don't agree with this practice. Kimberly Prokoshyn, head sommelier at New York City's Scampi, compares putting ice in wine to ruining a great steak by dousing it with ketchup. Prokoshyn tells the Takeout, "If it's a small winemaker, and they go to all this trouble to give the wine a unique flavor, aroma, and sense of place, it's basically like taking a meal cooked by a great chef and covering it in barbecue sauce." But is it really?

Tim Rawding, a beverage director at a restaurant in Nashville, told the Takeout that "Ice becomes water, and that adds a new element to the taste, and more importantly it takes away from the taste." Richard Vayda, director of wine studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, concurs. He tells Vinepair that adding ice to your wine "...will dilute the colors, aromas, texture, and tastes." 

Still, we all have individual palates and Rawding conceded that when having a glass of wine, you should enjoy it however you'd like. He said, "It's their wine, it's all theirs, and they should drink it however they want." The next time you find yourself enjoying a glass of your favorite vino, smile, raise your glass for a toast, and if your heart desire it, bring on that ice, ice baby.