The Controversial Way Alton Brown Drinks Red Wine

It's not terribly difficult to ruffle a wine snob's feathers, and Alton Brown appears to take a little pleasure in it. One of the makeshift delights of the pandemic was Brown's YouTube broadcasts with his wife, Elizabeth Ingram, which they cleverly called "Quarantine Quitchen." The videos feature the couple casually cooking in their home kitchen, often accompanied by their adorable dogs. And yes, they're frequently sipping or making delicious beverages.

The temperature at which wine is served is oft-debated, with wine aficionados decrying the practice of serving rich white wines too cold while also serving fine reds too warm. The typical advice is to chill a bottle of red wine in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to lower the temperature before enjoying it. As you might expect, Quirky Alton Brown has a different solution, one a sommelier is unlikely ever to recommend. How does Alton Brown drink red wine in one of his "Quarantine Quitchen" videos?

Add an ice cube to keep wine cooler than room temp

In a Quarantine Quitchen episode, Alton Brown is savoring a Robert Young Cabernet Franc from California's Alexander Valley while he and Elizabeth prepare a delectable tomato tart. Elizabeth, by the way, was sipping a white blend of Spanish grapes by Avaline, a brand created by actor Cameron Diaz and friend Katherine Power. Elizabeth's multipurpose mason jar contained both wine and plenty of ice cubes. Alton chose stemware for his wine and explained that he prefers his red wine "just a little bit cooler than room temp," which is why he drops a small ice cube in his glass. Wine experts might be shocked, as adding ice to wine can dilute the flavors and aromas, but Alton laughs the pretension off and enjoys his Cab Franc nonetheless.

The U.K.-based wine magazine "Decanter" explores the controversial topic of putting ice cubes in wine, citing sommeliers who find the practice annoying, particularly with expensive wines. However, they feature the more flexible approach of Master of Wine Peter Richards, who said, "My take is: do whatever you want with your wine as long as it makes you happy!" Richards does recommend that if you don't have time to put a little chill on your bottle of wine, you can use a few frozen grapes to get the job done without diluting the drink. We suspect Alton would endorse this idea.