HOME > Chowhound > Wine >

Discussion

can you cook with corked wine?

Not sure if this belongs on the wine board or cooking board. We will see if it gets moved.

I have a bottle that is corked. Can I still cook with it?

I know the rule of thumb, never cook with a wine you would not drink, I don't follow this rule, but I am also no gourmet cook.

hate to waste, would be good to get some sort of use of it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Absolutely. I always just taste to make sure it is still ok. I don't let them sit too long without using them, however they usually get drank or used by that time. I will sometimes think about using the wine up and purposly make a dish that uses the left over wine. A sauce, a gravy, a braising liquid or possibly a stew.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kchurchill5

      kchurch: I think you are misunderstanding me, I don't mean an open bottle, I mean corked, as in cork taint.

      1. re: cleopatra999

        Sorry, yes misunderstood. I must of drank a bit too much wine last night, :-)

    2. There's some discussion of the question in this subthread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3991...

      Since posting in that thread, I've tried cooking with a mildly corked white to no ill effect. I used the Saran Wrap trick (also discussed in the thread) beforehand, which is surely the way to go. That said, there's always going to be a risk of off-flavours making it into the dish, so I'd personally avoid making a habit of it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: carswell

        thanks carswell, this post was very helpful. I think at the least I will try the saran wrap trick b4 cooking with it.

        speaking of cork taint. Does the likelyhood change at all with price of wine? We have recently started laying down good wine, would hate to open a tainted bottle.

        if we open a bottle 10yrs from now and it is corked, do you think the wine store will still take it back? I guess best keep our receipts for those bottles just in case.

        1. re: cleopatra999

          «Does the likelyhood change at all with price of wine? We have recently started laying down good wine, would hate to open a tainted bottle.»

          Not in my experience. Can't tell you how heart-wrenching it is to pour down the drain your single bottle of a grand or rare wine that you've lovingly aged for 20 years, that you paid a lot for when you bought it, that has appreciated to the point where you could never afford to buy it now and that you've built a special dinner around.

          And, of course, cork taint isn't the only potential defect lurking in unopened bottles. There's a certain risk in wine collecting and we've got no choice but to accept that a percentage of our bottles aren't going to show well when we open them.

          «if we open a bottle 10yrs from now and it is corked, do you think the wine store will still take it back? I guess best keep our receipts for those bottles just in case.»

          Would depend on your wine store, I guess. Have never heard of one willing to replace a defective ten-year old bottle or reimburse the customer for it. The limit here in Quebec is one year from the date of purchase.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            >>> speaking of cork taint. Does the likelyhood change at all with price of wine? We have recently started laying down good wine, would hate to open a tainted bottle. <<<

            C'est la vie . . . you buys your bottle and you takes your chance! Cork taint ain't got nuttin' to do with da price.

            >>> if we open a bottle 10yrs from now and it is corked, do you think the wine store will still take it back? I guess best keep our receipts for those bottles just in case. <<<

            Check with the regulatory authorities where you live.

            Here in California, the only LEGAL reason to return a wine to the retail store where it was purchased is if it's bad (i.e.: flawed). And the retailer can only replace it with the same or comparable bottle; no cash refunds. That doesn't mean that the store would replace the wine you bought in, say, 1999 with the exact same vintage -- merely with the currently available vintage.

            That said, have retailers in California taken wines back that weren't flawed? Sure -- "the customer is always right" and "a happy customer is a repeat customer" are still valid principles to live by. But the retailer does risk violating the law in order to not violate his or her principles.

            Even so, I have never heard anyone accepting a bottle purchased 10+ years ago . . .

            Cheers,
            Jason

            1. re: zin1953

              Speaking as a retailer we have never taken back bad bottles that have been out of our control for that long, too many questions about how the wine was stored, (although that has nothing to do with corked wines) and because when a customer returns a wine to us, we send it back to either the winery or supplier and they supply us with a new bottle....no winery or supplier will honor a bottle that old, probably for the same reason regarding storage....so sadly it is a chance you take when cellaring.

              As to the original question, I do NOT cook with corked wine, cooking it down is only going to make it worse....as someone that made the mistake in not checking a bottle once, (and only once) and ending up with a sauce that was....well, corked and having to dump the whole thing I find that I am too sensitive to that musty flavor. Now oxidized wines I cook with often, so some flaws are workable but cork...nah.

              1. re: bubbles4me

                Bummer. The answer is as I suspected, no, cooking w/ corked wine isn't the way to go. Generally speaking, "bad" ingredients don't result in a good dish.

                It's just so hard for me to accept that my '98 Silver Oak Cab Sauv is undrinkable and totally worthless. I had such high hopes for it. What a waste.

                1. re: mwreese

                  Is your wine corked or just past its prime?

                  The '98 Silver Oak cabs are pretty much all on a downward spiral, and, to my mouth, should've been drunk 7 or 8 years ago. 1998 was just a bad vintage in general, even for most top wine makers. Your bottle may have been fine a few years back, if, in fact, it wasn't TCA contaminated.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    This question is really phrased wrong. Can you cook with corked wine? Sure. You can also cook with spoiled meat, rotten vegetables or curdled milk.

                    The question really ought to be phrased, "Should you cook with corked wine"?

                    The answer is clearly no.

        2. You probably could, but I live by the rule, "If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it."

          1. Cleo, if you taste a corked wine in your glass, it tastes terrible.

            If you taste it in your food, it tastes terrible.

            I pour corked wine on my compost heap. It is organic after all.