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Feb 24, 2008 02:36 AM

How long does an open bottle of red keep?

I have almost a full bottle of red wine left over and would like to keep it for cooking. How long will this bottle be good for? Not for drinking, just for cooking?

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  1. Not long. Get dixie cups or an ice cube tray and freeze it in portions,

    2 Replies
    1. re: Den

      I had no idea I could do that! Thanks!

    2. A couple of suggestions: 1) invest in a wine bottle vacuum sealer, they're not that much $, or 2) if you simply take a shallow breath, hold it for a moment and blow in the bottle before recorcking, you will replace the oxygen-rich air in the bottle, with carbon dioxide rich air which slows the oxydation process.

      1. With the cork back in and returned to the fridge you've got about a week. If you've got one of those nifty hand operated vacuum corks (about $10 from a wine retailer or a good kitchen gadget section) it'll be drinkable stored in the fridge for about a week (bring back to room temp first before drinking) and up to two weeks for cooking.

        1. I went to a winery in Sonoma where they fill up smaller screw-cap bottles, at the end of the day, with the wine from the open tasting bottles to make it last longer. This won't totally eliminate the oxidation process since the wine is oxygenated when it is poured. I was surprised to be served wine that had been opened on a previous day at a tasting, but they were marketing it as 'table wine'.

          1. I've had bottles sitting on the counter that last for weeks. Really. They're fine for cooking (and sometimes even for drinking, surprisingly). Rarely has one gone to vinegar. I had one that I WANTED to go to vinegar, and it never did, not even after months, even after innoculating it with unpasteurized vinegar. Admittedly, my room temp is around 60, so keeping in the refrigerator will probably be better for you. Wines can be surprisingly sturdy.

            Cooks Illustrated found that reducing wine to about half mellowed it and made it much better in recipes (it drives off a lot of the alcohol that way, of course). So if you're going to freeze it, you might try reducing it first.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karen_Schaffer

              I agree. If kept corked, the wine won't go make-you-sick bad though it will oxidize, which causes the flavour to deteriorate, after a few hours or days depending on the wine. Still, it'll be fine for cooking. Refrigeration slows the process. Vacuum systems help but only for a day or two (they let quite a bit of air back in). Freezing is the best solution, though dense reds may throw a deposit on defrosting.