Wine Chillers

Published January 1, 2013. From Cook's Illustrated.

We found three innovative wine chillers priced from $25 to $50. Could they beat the ice bucket?

Overview:

An ice bucket keeps wine cool for the duration of a meal and can even chill a room-temperature bottle. But we found three innovative wine chillers priced from $25 to $50. Could they beat the bucket? The Corkcicle, a cork-capped prefrozen plastic tube inserted in the bottle, kept Chablis that we prechilled in the refrigerator below 50 degrees for only 20 minutes. The Ravi Instant Wine Refresher, a freezer-gel cartridge that fits on the mouth of the bottle, made pouring slow and awkward and lost its cooling ability after only 25 minutes. That left us with our winner, a glass carafe with a stainless steel insert that holds ice, which kept the wine below 50 degrees for 90 minutes. It was also the only device able to chill a room-temperature bottle, dropping it to 50 degrees in 15 minutes.

An ice bucket keeps wine cool for the duration of a meal and can even chill a room-­temperature bottle. But we found three innovative wine chillers priced from $25 to $50. Could they beat the bucket? The Corkcicle, a cork-capped prefrozen plastic tube inserted in the bottle, kept Chablis that we prechilled in the refrigerator below 50 degrees for only 20 minutes. The Ravi Instant Wine Refresher, a freezer-gel cartridge that fits on the mouth of the bottle, made pouring slow and awkward and lost its cooling ability after only 25 minutes. That left us with our winner, a glass carafe with a stainless steel insert that holds ice, which kept the wine below 50 degrees for 90 minutes. It was also the only device able to chill a room-temperature bottle, dropping it to 50 degrees in 15 minutes.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    Metrokane Rabbit Wine Chilling Carafe

    This glass carafe uses a stainless steel insert that holds ice, chilling wine like an inside-out ice bucket. It kept wine chilled for 1 1/2 hours and required no special handling as we poured wine from the carafe. It was also the only device in the lineup that was able to chill a room-temperature bottle, getting it to 50 degrees in 15 minutes and keeping it there for 30 additional minutes.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $49.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Not Recommended

    Ravi Instant Wine Refresher

    This cylinder-shaped cartridge fits on the mouth of a wine bottle and uses a freezer gel to chill wine by the glass, but in order to chill it properly, the pourer has to hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle while simultaneously holding a gasket to fill the cartridge completely with wine. Once released, the wine flowed at an interminable trickle—and the device stopped chilling adequately after 25 minutes atop the bottle. It was also fussy to clean and reassemble for the next chilling.

    • Ease of Use
    • Performance ★★

    $39.99

  • Not Recommended

    Corkcicle

    This cork-capped plastic tube (filled with a freezer gel) chills wine from inside the bottle, but inserting it meant that we first had to pour off 2 ounces of wine so the tube wouldn’t displace and spill any. It kept prechilled wine below 50 degrees for only 20 minutes—far less time than the 45 minutes its manufacturer promises. Though we didn’t detect any off-flavors from the plastic tube in our wine, the fact that it is stored in the freezer without any wrapping or sheath did give us pause.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance

    $24.95

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