Keeping Wines Cool Outdoors on a Hot Day

Wife and I are assisting with a post wedding ceremony (3 months ago) reception picnic for those in our area who were not able to travel to the wedding. It will be a relatively small affair and I am in charge of getting the wines (22 sparkling, 12 rose, 24 PNs and 30 whites(Chards ,CS and PGris) to the park and keeping them in appropriate temperature ranges. I will have a number of standard plastic picnic coolers available, lots of Styrofoam case shippers plus my Wine Check carrier.
Unfortunately, the park is a 45 minute drive away and temps will be in the 86-92 range. There is a frig in a modestly air-conditioned shelter but the food preparers tell me not to plan on using their refrig space during the critical period. I have lots of ice at my disposal but recoil at the thought of packing the wine bottles like pop bottles. Has anyone used dry ice? Any suggestions will be appreciated! Sincerely, Father of the Bride. champagne.gif

If you have huge plastic picnic coolers, you could put 20 bottles in each, standing up, then put double-bagged ice over the neck areas?

I have used dry ice and it is OK, but can be cumbersome.

I would recommend a cheap kiddie pool and regular ice, with the whites standing in deeper ice and the reds in ice about 1/5 the depth of the bottles.

11.00 for the kiddie pool.


Then, probably fifteen 20 pound bags of ice.

When you are done, ask anyone if they want a free kiddie pool.


I used a lot of dry ice years ago when I worked airline catering in summer (college). Good if you have space limits, but it doesn’t sound like you do. Unless experienced, a lot harder to predict cooling with a disc of dry ice than a bag of water ice. Of course if you use dry ice be careful re fumes, direct touch, and make sure bottles don’t directly touch.
But what would make you recoil about using regular ice? Do you recoil at ice buckets at restaurants? I hate wine served too cold but just pull out whites 15-25 minutes before serving at those temps, they should quickly warm up. Or don’t- if 90 degrees outside pouring too cold whites isn’t an issue. They’ll warm very quickly in glass.
I’d keep the reds in styro and put them in a low bath as suggested above a bit before serving.

Ice or Blue Ice, careful with Dry ice too cold & fumes will asphyxiate.
If concerned , plastic bag over bottles to protect labels.

The things i have done in the past are reds on the ice whites in the ice and or block ice for the reds. For events we rotate the bottles every 5,10 or 15 minute intervals as needed.

I dont like water to build up either and drain as needed. Its easy to overchill and the bottles fall over.

A pyrometer or 2 can help as well.

I have not had good luck with dry ice to cold and when its gone its gone. If you need a longer lasting solution block ice is perfect and can be broken as needed.

This works for me, I keep it in the freezer until needed

But there are only 14 available.
do you know where he can get the other 80? neener

If it is a big priority and cost is a lower consideration, check into wedding/ catering rentals. You can probably get a cooler or frig delivered to the site for the day.

We used one of these in the center of each table with ice. Lots of options at minimal cost.

Ours held two bottles and they are available in various sizes. Bubbles will be poured so keep those in ice chests. I’m sure the guests would rather have a damp label than a hot wine. If not, invite new guests.

Oops, missed that part, lol!!

Joking aside, buy a dozen and rotate them. Presumably folks will be going through the wine quickly - keep bottles on ice until needed to serve, then put into the granite sleeve for serving to keep them cool. Rotate usage from white to red as the sleeves warm up.