'Corkcicle' - an abomination to fine wine companies?

Any self-respecting fine wine company is likely to react with knee-jerk horror at the sound of Corkcicle, a Floridian invention designed to keep white wine chilled and red wine cool.

Even in the Sunshine State itself, serving fine wine with ice probably causes independent wine merchants a moment of discomfort.

Corkcicle takes this a step further, combining a bottle stopper with a long icicle that plunges into the wine to keep it cool.

This spear of plastic is lined with thermal gel and, fresh from the freezer, can take the heat out of a bottle of red in a few minutes, or keep an already-chilled white cool for almost an hour.

But is it a fine wine company's worst nightmare? Actually, no - and with the manufacturers making it available to commercial customers such as restaurants, you're increasingly likely to be served a bottle with a Corkcicle in the top.

Although good-quality independent wine merchants might flinch at the thought, the Corkcicle is not made of water ice, but simply plastic that has been cooled in a freezer.

It therefore achieves the same purpose as an ice bucket, but with less mess and fuss, and takes up less space on the table.

We're not convinced we'll be seeing bottles served with a Corkcicle in the UK in the near future, but it's one to watch out for if you order fine wine the next time you eat out at your favourite restaurant.

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