How to Use a Clay Wine Bucket

Written by roland hulme
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How to Use a Clay Wine Bucket
A clay wine bucket or wine cooler is the best way to keep your wines at the right serving temperature. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Certain types of wine are always best served chilled - especially whites and rosé varieties. A bottle will quickly warm up to room temperature when removed from the fridge, especially if it's left out for the length of an entire meal. One way to chill wine outside of the fridge is with a wine bucket full of ice and water - but that will often make a wine colder than it should be. A better solution is a clay wine cooler or clay wine bucket, which helps preserve the temperature of a cold bottle of wine long after it's been taken out of the fridge.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bottle of wine
  • Cold water
  • Refrigerator
  • Ice

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  1. 1

    Choose the right wine. Clay wine coolers inherently preserve wine at a slightly higher temperature than an ice bucket, which is why they're best used for wines that only need a slight chill - Chardonnay, Rosé and certain types of red like Beaujolais Nouveau and sweet Shiraz. Wines that taste better at a colder temperature, like Champagne and Cava, should be chilled in a traditional ice bucket.

  2. 2

    Chill your wine to the correct serving temperature in a refrigerator. A clay wine bucket does not chill a wine - it merely preserves its temperature and prevents it heating up as quickly as if would without some kind of cooler. Therefore you need to have your wine at the correct drinking temperature, or slightly colder, before you take it out and leave it in the clay wine cooler.

  3. 3

    Drench your clay wine bucket in cold water and store in the refrigerator until it's the same temperature as the wine you wish to serve from it. Most clay wine coolers are made from unglazed clay, which means they absorb much of the cold water. This will later help it maintain the temperature of your wine.

  4. 4

    Place your chilled bottle of wine in your chilled clay wine bucket. The warmer ambient temperature will cause the cold water in the clay wine bucket to evaporate, and this will help it maintain the temperature of your chilled wine for longer than without a cooler.

Tips and warnings

  • Different wines are best served at different temperatures -- from a Chardonnay at around 9.44 degrees Celsius to a Rosé at around 12.2 degrees Celsius. Research the best temperature at which to serve your wine.

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