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Can we cook with an older bottle of wine that has lost its legs but is still ok?

hopegoode Sep 11, 2008 03:58 PM

We opened what we hoped would be a special cabernet sauvignon from the 1980s. It was not spoiled but lacked oomph. I have a recipe for chicken in a wine plum sauce. Do you think it will work?

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  1. maria lorraine RE: hopegoode Sep 11, 2008 08:39 PM

    How long has it been open? Have you decanted it and re-tried it? Sometimes older wines are "dumb" and need a little air and time to bloom..

    1. Bill Hunt RE: hopegoode Sep 11, 2008 08:42 PM

      After you address ML's questions, I'd say a resounding YES. If it's not wowing you later, it probably will not. If your recipe calls for a Cab, then it should still be very good for that. Since this was someone's love, let it live, even for a brief moment in the saute pan.


      1. c
        craig_g RE: hopegoode Sep 12, 2008 08:32 AM

        You can, but if it doesn't have much flavor in the glass, it'll have even less in the dish! Cooking tends to break down the flavors in wine, and with a bold flavor like plum, it'll just get lost.

        Also, I have to disagree with the recommendation to have it in the pan briefly. When cooking with wine you (usually) want it to cook long enough for the alcohol to burn off, as well as for the flavors to integrate with the dish.

        4 Replies
        1. re: craig_g
          maria lorraine RE: craig_g Sep 12, 2008 10:14 AM

          Um, I don't want to speak for Bill, but I think you may have misinterpreted his last line. He said to "let it live, even for a brief moment in the saute pan," which I read as giving the wine and its faded beauty the chance to make a contribution to enjoyment, albeit in the saute pan, even though it cannot be drunk. He wasn't referring to the cooking time.

          1. re: maria lorraine
            hopegoode RE: maria lorraine Sep 12, 2008 02:50 PM

            Thanks, we took your advice and cooked with it. The wine had its "shining moment" and is quite good in the sauce!

            1. re: hopegoode
              maria lorraine RE: hopegoode Sep 12, 2008 03:04 PM


              1. re: hopegoode
                Bill Hunt RE: hopegoode Sep 12, 2008 05:47 PM


                Thanks for sharing. I hope that you raised a glass of a bit younger wine, as a sendoff to this old fella'.


          2. h
            hawaiigrl2003 RE: hopegoode Sep 21, 2008 02:05 AM

            It's the perfect use for old wine.

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