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Jan 29, 2009 09:53 AM

leftover red wine - it's been there a while!

I was cleaning a cupboard last night and was reminded of a half bottle of nice red wine that got put away after Christmas dinner. This happens fairly often. I'm more likely to cook with it than drink it. Does it still have any life left?

Can someone educate me on leftover red wine? We don't drink much at all -- don't object to it so this is a typical occurrence after holidays. How long does it stay drinkable? How about useful for cooking. Any good recipes for cooking with it -- I have a risotto recipe but that's it. Is it better to store in the refrigerator if I know we won't be drinking it but might save it for cooking?


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  1. There was a long thread on this last month:
    Bottom line: so long as it has not turned to vinegar it is fine to cook with. 4 week old red wine should be fine for cooking. Yes, store it in the refrigerator.

    5 Replies
    1. re: masha

      Thanks. Sorry for the repeat -- I guess I missed some critical word in trying to search -- but that was exactly the information I was looking for. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the half bottle that's been in the cabinet -- dump it or vinegar experiment.

      1. re: runandeat

        Was it properly sealed? Did you use a vacuum seal or just pop in the cork? If it's the latter, I'd dump it, for heath reasons. If you sealed it, you should be able to use it again. But please keep leftover wine in the fridge. The enemy of opened wine is oxygen.

          1. re: runandeat

            Yeah, next time try to drink it soon after it's opened. Within a day or 2. There are various wine saver devices that will get you a few days of buffer.

            I would also suggest putting it in the fridge no matter what you do with it. It'll last slightly longer in there and it won't take long to warm up to cellar temp.

            There are no health problems associated with drinking it now other than it just tasting bad. It's only been a month, I'd be surprised if it was moldy or something similar, but the taste will be way off.

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              To take the chill off of refrigerated red wine, when I've not wanted to wait, I've been known to put it in a glass in the microwave for about 15 seconds on Defrost. Just be sure to put it in a microwave safe glass, not the good crystal. And, I only do this with a leftover partial bottle, that has already partially oxidated. I'd never do this with a newly opened bottle.

    2. anyone, why not use it as vinegar?

      3 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        You could, that's a very valid point. I find it helpful to add some bottled vinegar to it to give it a boost, but be aware that some vinegars don't really work that way. To keep the explanation simple, some vinegars are pasteurized and don't contain any beneficial bacteria (the mother) that can help produce the new vinegar.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          isn't the mother yeast? so, leave uncorked to admit free-floating yeast?

          1. re: alkapal

            or put a few granules of yeast into it?

      2. PERFECT SOLUTION ... I you don't plan on drinking in pour it in a ice cube tray and freeze I a baggie. They are great addition to beef stocks, sauces, soups, pork and beef roasts. Anything that calls for red wine. They will stay for 6 months or more. I do red and white like that however we usually drink all ours , lol.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kchurchill5

          k, that *is* a great idea. but i don't have leftover wine, either. ;-).

          1. re: alkapal

            We would have a good dinner party :) No wine and no food left, lol.

            Sometimes I actually buy some of the wine on sale, not the "BAD" wine but a descent wine being discontinued and freeze. In a soup or stew it still seems to go ok. Even a simple sauce. But I still get good quality wines. ABC and Publix both discontinue some descent wines for 1/2 price which makes this a great option.

            What's your favorite wine ... me cab or merlot for the most part. Got my particulars but even a pinot gris sometimes ... A red wine gal ...

            1. re: kchurchill5

              you're in florida? i'm from fort myers.

              i like buttery chard. cliche, i know. still... russian river valley. lickety-split! ;-P.
              mr. alka is the cabernet guy. i'm liking aussie shiraz lately.

              1. re: alkapal

                SRQ, Sarasota. Us FL guys and gals. Shiraz is good, a bit light for me. Like a rich burgundry too. Love chard, all the colors, stems removed, lots of onions and garlic and I love it. I like it is lots of things. kchurchill 5 (very original) my email. Need to come up with something new.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  H,i if your shiraz is to light you should try some Aussie ones, best are from Hunter Valley, Barossa, Padthaway and Maclaran Vale.