Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 16, 2008 03:45 PM

Cooking Wine

How long can you store a regular bottle of wine versus cooking wine? I've always heard that cooking wine is quite inferior to regular wine. My problem is that we do not drink wine at all. I'd like to cook with some wine, but if I use a 1/2 cup or so, I'll have no use for the wine until the next recipe that calls for it.

Can I just store it in the refrigerator indefinitely? I am assuming that cooking wine has more preservatives that enable it to last longer.

Am I stuck with cooking wine?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would suggest not using cooking wine. Instead, buy an inexpensive wine, and freeze what you don't use.

    1. Agree do not to buy "cooking wine." It is loaded with salt. In my experience, you can keep an open bottle of wine in the fridge for at least a month with no ill effect for use in cooking -- maybe more. Our standard "house" red for cooking is TJ's "2 buck chuck," which is $3 by us. Probably no more expensive than most "cooking wine."

      1. MMRuth and Masha are right. An easy way to freeze is to pour into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, put in a freezer bag or other container. Put water in three or four cube compartments, pour into a measuring cup to figure out how many cubes you'd need to equal 1/2 cup. Then you'll have an idea of how many cubes to grab for whatever dish you're making, whether it's 1/2 cup, 1 cup, or 2 Tablespoons.

        5 Replies
        1. re: nemo

          Nemo, it sounds like you've done this so here is my question: what am I doing wrong with this wine freezing business? I have tried to take my leftover Shiraz to the frozen stage several times now and the best I have managed is 'wine slushy', certainly not cubes of a consistency to put in a bag.

          I should just add that my freezer is cold enough to prime my Krups Ice Cream Maker to make ice cream in less than 30 minutes.

          1. re: LJS

            Alcohol has antifreeze properties, so maybe your Shiraz has enough alk to keep things from freezing solid?

            1. re: stilton

              Yeah, that is sort of what I was thinking...but surely it doesn't have appreciably MORE than other wines?

              I love the theory of this freezing in cubes stuff...but if, for example you put limoncello in the freezer, you don't expect it to freeze, because of the alcohol content.

              Do some wines really have so little alcohol that they do make nice tidy cubes? has anyone actually achieved this?

              1. re: LJS

                There is usually a large variance in alcohol amounts between Old World and New World wines. If you want your wines to freeze, stick with Old World, a la France, Italy, etc. Those Aussie/CA shiraz can have 15%-plus alcohol!

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  Thank you: I had not wonder one glass is my limit. And here I was thinking I was getting have brightened my day and solved the mystery of the cubes that aren't!

        2. Another option is to purchase half bottles of wine.

          1. I rarely drink wine so I had the same predicament as well. My solution is to buy the little four pack mini-wine bottles that several large producers sell. Each bottle winds up being a little less than a cup, so one bottle is usually sufficient in most recipes. They range in price from 6 bucks to 10; however the selection is not great. Of whites, there's usually only Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. It's perfectly fine for cooking though and no more wasted 750ml bottles crowding the fridge.