Hillary Clinton likes Cabernet over ice cream, Bernie Sanders is a beer man, Donald Trump doesn’t drink, and Melania Trump will have whatever Michelle Obama’s having. As we find ourselves mid-convention, there seems to be no shortage of alcohol-oriented trivia to reel off about the major political players of the moment—from the weird amount of wine loot Sanders has inspired to the Virginia winery that Trump owns “100 percent” of (and also not at all).
But today, I want to briefly mention a drink inspired by someone who’s more of a bit player on the current political scene—albeit an endlessly fascinating one. So it’s time to pull out a mug, fill it with ice, pour the white wine, and enjoy yourself an Ivana.
Now of course Donald Trump’s first wife didn’t invent the wine-over-ice phenomenon—but it’s apparently a favorite of hers, according to an anonymous Home Glass source who was hired many years ago to remove the storm shutters from her Florida home. And never got paid. To be fair, when Ivana realized she was short on cash, she offered to pay her helper in Champagne—before further realizing she’d mislaid the key to her wine cellar. No matter, said helper was amply rewarded with an introduction to a beverage he named for his former employer and happily imbibes to this day—although he drinks his Ivanas in a glass.
Like Ivana, I won’t hesitate to plop an ice cube into a glass of white on a hot day—and I know that we’re in good company because the internet says so. Search “ice cubes in white wine,” and the first three results are articles about why wine on ice is “totally OK.” (The fourth says Diane Keaton does it, so . . . further evidence.)
A reasoned counterargument comes from my favorite wine expert, Jancis Robinson, who actually thinks white wines are generally served too cold—especially full-bodied whites whose aromas are constrained by too much of a chill. She writes that serving wine at the correct temperature “really can transform ink into velvet and, conversely, zest into flab,” and she recommends storing only the lightest, sweetest wines at the standard fridge temperature of 40º, serving the biggest white wines at closer to 60º. And forget about that mug—anything but glass messes with a wine’s mouthfeel, Jancis says, but even a paper cup is better than pottery.
I think it’s fair to say that encouraging aroma and optimizing mouthfeel were not Ivana Trump’s top priorities when her shutter-remover noticed her enjoying that mugful…. But the woman who famously said “Don’t get mad, get everything” presumably has no qualms about defying convention. If only she could do something about the one that’s happening right now.