Why do people feel guilty about ice in wine?

Summer time in the Cape invariably means an increase in consumption of beverages, wine included.  The past two weeks have involved numerous social events and have provided me with much amusement where ice is involved.

The older generation boldly toss copious blocks of ice into their wine glasses without batting an eye or offering an explanation.  My generation tend to add ice whilst launching into a protracted story as to why they do it, all of which make me chuckle.  Reasons range from “I am driving so I need to dilute the alcohol” to ” the wine is not cold enough”.  So I got thinking about the first reason cited here and realised that to-date I have not met anyone who puts ice in their red wine.  Would they do so to “dilute the alcohol”?

So should we care if people add ice to their wine?  Personally, if you want to change the wine, then add the ice as you will surely succeed.  If the wine is not cold enough then for goodness sake put it in the fridge for longer or turn the temp down!  But, I suspect that people do it because they are in the habit of doing it and its part of their wine drinking habit.  I just wish people would stop apologising whilst doing it – if that is how you take your drink then why apologise?  

I am often asked about the etiquette that goes with wine and the simple truth is that if you are hosting a dinner party and opening delicious wines, then leave the ice in the bucket!  I cannot see how ice would add positively to a food and wine pairing, but if it does then please enlighten me.  I also fail to see how it could add “something” when in fact it takes away.  With this in mind, am I to believe that ice to added to poorly made wines in an attempt to hide the flaws?  I will have to investigate this further, which will involve imbibing wines that may not appeal to my palate.

So for the record I do not add ice to my wine…

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