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This is one of those 'never knew how useful it could be until you try one' gadget that we acquired a few months back as a present. There are times when we are sat outside with the BBQ, and it is nice to have a chilled glass of wine. However, often, we will have a BBQ on the spur of a moment (normally when we get a glimpse of warmer weather), and rush out and buy some meat and wine for the evening, without really getting the chance to properly chill down a bottle of white wine for the meal. We've tried the 'put it in the freezer for half an hour' approach, which is good, but it quickly warms up again once removed. But then we were given this Vacuvin Rapid Ice Prestige Wine Cooler, and that opened up our eyes to a very useful gadget.
A wine cooler does what it says on the tin – it cools wine, and this Vacuvin model does that fairly well. To look at it, it appears to be something like a stylish silver vase that you would put flowers in. Costing just under £13, it measures 20cm high by 14.5cm round, weighs about 1.4kg and wouldn't look out of place on a mantle piece or on a bookshelf. But the key element is what is inside, because there you have a removable chill bag in the form of a sleeve. The sleeve measures just over 17cm tall and is about 14cm in diameter, and is padded around the internal area with thick gel sacks. The idea is that you remove this sleeve and keep it stored in the freezer. Then when you want to chill your bottle of wine, you remove the sleeve from the freezer, put it in your silver container, and then put your bottle of wine in it so that the sleeve sits around the bottle. It then rapidly cools your bottle of wine down to a chilled temperature. Of note, the sleeve and the gel sacks do not actually freeze solid. They still remain flexible enough to allow you to push your bottle of wine in to it.
The beauty of this device is that it is reusable and there is no mess. When you've finished using it, you just put the sleeve back in the freezer so that it is ready for the next time, which we've found normally takes about 2hrs of freezing before it is fully ready again, although you can freeze it for shorter durations, but it just won't last as long. All of the gel sacks on the sleeve are totally sealed, so there is no mess or need to refill anything. Hence, it is simple to use.
Now the manufacturers claim that this cooler will chill a bottle of wine in 5 minutes, and to some extent that is true, but it really depends on what your perception of chilled wine actually is. To me, after 5 minutes, yes it has reduced the temperature of the wine slightly, but not to the extent of what I would call chilled. In my opinion, you need more like 15 to 20 minutes with a bottle in the sleeve before the wine gets to a nice chilled state. What is nice though is that the sleeve does remain quite cold for some time afterwards. So once your wine has been chilled, the sleeve will keep it chilled for quite a while afterwards, perhaps an hour or so, or two at a push.
A slightly negative issue that is worthy of note is the fact that the sleeve is quite a tight fit on a bottle of wine. Normally, the sleeve would stay inside the container as you extract the bottle, then afterwards, you can just push the bottle back in to keep it chilled. But with this cooler, the sleeve is quite a snug fit on the bottle, meaning that when you go to pull the bottle out, it can be fairly difficult in that you have to hold the container in one hand whilst you pull the bottle out with the other. Often we have just ended up picking the whole container up to pour the wine out of the bottle, which isn't always convenient. We have tried a number of different bottles in the sleeve, and all seem to have the same issue. The only ones that seemed to work well were the fairly slim bottles that you sometimes see in supermarkets, but these don't tend to contain the more popular blends of wine.
Another point of note is that once the wine has been chilled, you will find that the wine at the bottom of the bottle (with the sleeve around it) will be quite cold, whilst the top of the bottle (away from the sleeve) may be more at ambient temperature. So when you pour your first glass of wine out, it will not be totally chilled, although the following glasses will be. We've normally got around this by giving the bottle a quick shake just before we pour it to ensure that the chilled wine is mixed throughout the bottle.
In summary, this is a neat little gadget to have and to use. It chills the bottle of wine fairly rapidly and keeps it chilled afterwards for quite a while. But it really could do with just a little more room on the sleeve so that you can easily fit it around a bottle. Overall though, I would still give it a 4 star recommendation.
Chilling drinks quickly and keeping them cold is no longer a problem using the Rapid Ice! ... more
The amazing Rapid Ice Coolers can be best described as super cold flexible ice jackets. They can, when taken from the freezer, simply be slipped over the bottle. The contents will be chilled after 5 minutes and stay cold for hours. The coolers are unbreakable and re-usable.
Chills wine within 5 minutes and keeps it cold for hours Sleeve is ready for application ... more
to the outside of a wine bottle after 6 hours or more in a freezer Cooler will lie flat when in the freezer (requires minimal space) Flexible and virtually unbreakable - will tolerate regular and prolonged usage Lightweight and easy to transport for use at parties, picnics, barbecues, on holiday etc Award-winning product - used by millions worldwide Features images of white grapes (also available in numerous other colours and patterns), Manufacturer: VACU VIN
Chills wine within 5 minutes and keeps it cold for hours - without the need for a ... more
refrigerator or ice bucket Sleeve is ready for application to the outside of a wine bottle after 6 hours or more in a freezer Cooler will lie flat when in the freezer (requires minimal space) Flexible and virtually unbreakable - will tolerate regular and prolonged usage Lightweight and easy to transport for use at parties, picnics, barbecues, on holiday etc Award-winning product - used by millions worldwide Vintage classic design (also available in numerous other colours and patterns), Weight: 0.73 lbs., Manufacturer: Vacu Vin