What's the best way to chill a bottle of wine quickly? I have tried putting the bottle in the freezer but it tends to pop the cork. I thought alcohol doesn't freeze? If the wine is popping the cork, you are freezing it too long. Wine is composed mostly of water, which expands as it freezes. The small amount of alcohol - usually no more than 14 per cent - is not going to prevent the wine from freezing. As the wine freezes, it uses up the small amount of head space in the bottle, and the pressure from the inside pushes out the cork. If you are going to put the bottle in the freezer, leave it for no more than an hour. Do not try this method with a bottle of champagne because it kills the bubbles. The quickest way to chill a bottle of wine is to fill a container with ice then add cold water. Put the bottle in the container and it should be sufficiently chilled within 30 minutes. It takes less time this way than if you were to put the bottle in a container filled only with ice, which leaves a lot of air space between the cubes and the wine bottle. Because ice water is a more fluid substance, it comes in complete contact with the exterior of the bottle, and therefore chills it more efficiently. I have seen recipes asking for ingredients to be pureed in something called an immersion blender. What is it and how is it different from a regular blender? Immersion blenders have been fashionable with professional chefs for a number of years, and there are smaller versions available for the home cook. They are popular because they are compact, easy to clean and do not take up any room on the kitchen counter. It is a hand-held, long, narrow device that purees or liquidises ingredients in any bowl or container. The controls are at the top, while the whizzing blade at the bottom is surrounded by plastic (or metal, with professional models) to protect the fingers. You will find various models at Fortress. To clean, just immerse the lower part in warm, soapy water and turn it on. Rinse it with hot water.