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Dear Dr. Vinny,
I left a bottle of wine in the freezer overnight. It appeared about half frozen. Is the remaining unfrozen liquid higher in alcohol content?
—Bill, Largo, Fla.
Sure. If you took your partially frozen bottle of wine and separated the frozen part from the unfrozen, the unfrozen part would be higher in alcohol. That’s because pure alcohol freezes at a colder temperature than pure water, so the water content would start to freeze first, leaving the rest with a more concentrated alcohol content. It’s the same science behind ice wine (or ice beer). Of course, that’s not the same thing as saying it would taste better.
Freezing your wine isn’t necessarily a terrible idea, except that if you put a full, sealed bottle in the freezer, as the water crystals form and start to expand, there isn’t much room inside the bottle for them. The cork could be pushed out or the bottle could crack, leaving you a sticky mess to clean up in your freezer.
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