Food & wine storage questions
I drink around one bottle of red wine per week at a rate of a glass per evening. And red wine should be served at room temperature. So my question is, is it really safe for me to leave the bottle of wine sitting out, or do I need to refrigerate it? I'm sorry to say that right now, I keep it in the fridge and microwave each glass for 15 seconds or so to bring it to room temp. Yes, I know this is just not done...so please help!
Also, how long can I store opened pesto (jar) in the refrigerator?
It should be safe to drink. The last glass just won't taste as good as the first couple. Have you ever used the vacuum stoppers (vacu vin)? There are differing opinions about whether they work or not, but I use them. I'm lucky enough to have a 55 degree spot to keep open wine.
You might try finding a spot in a closet or something that isn't as warm as the kitchen. In summer, some place that is over-air-conditioned or in front of a vent.
I'm not sure how pesto will last in the fridge, but I freeze it for up to a year.
Unless the microwave is unusually low power, five or six seconds is enough to take the chill off.
As another poster mentioned, keeping the leftover wine in the fridge is the best preservative. Rule of thumb for most biochemical reactions is doubling for each 10 degrees C. So keeping it cold will slow down deterioration considerably.
Wine: No one answer, but guidelines. The younger the bottle, the better it will do. Also, the higher the alcohol %. Young wines might well be better on day 2 or 3, having been exposed to air. You didn't mention if you just recork the wine or use some storage method (e.g. Vacu-vin, Nitrogen gas, etc). They help preserve the freshness. I would suggest that by day 7, with 6/7 of the bottle replaced by air, most wines, including young wines, would suffer. The refrigerator acts as a preservative by slowing the ageing.
You could experiment by opening a new bottle of the same wine on day 7 and comparing the long-opened bottle to the fresh bottle. But it would only be valid for that one wine, which is why there is no one answer to the question.
A few quick storage and temperature thoughts:
The current consensus seems to be that refrigeration plays the greatest role - even moreso than vacuum sealing - in keeping a bottle relatively fresh for a few days.
"Room temperature" varies with the room. Your average room temp. in the middle of summer is far too warm for wine. It brings out the alchohol unpleasantly.
Hugh Johnson offers the general guidelines that great reds are ideal at temps in the low to mid-60s (f).
Younger fruitier wines a bit cooler, say upper 50s.
The lightest reds in the low to mid-50s.