Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 23, 2009 11:03 AM

Cooking wines ect


can someone give me the lowdown on cooking wines, cooking sherry's, white wines ect.

Are these purchased in liquor stores?

Is there a difference be cooking wines and regular wines?

Once you open a bottle of wine for cooking, say white wine, will that wine stay fresh for further use in the refrigerator?

I am kinda focused on white wines and sherries as these seem to be common ingredients in a lot of dishes.

Can someone suggest actual brands to use for white wine, sherry and wines?

do u have to use expensive wines or will cheap do the trick.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Avoid anything labeled 'cooking wine' or 'cooking sherry' . I don't know when or why they were developed but they are simply awful and should all be dumped.

    Wines for cooking were discussed in this thread:

    Use a dry, inexpensive (but not cheap!) wine when cooking. Remember that the flavor of the wine will reflect in the dish, so choose a real wine that you would drink yourself. As for how long a white will last the ref, I'll never know!

    1. Well, I don't have a huge amount of knowledge on this subject, but I do have a few guidelines that should help. First, avoid any supermarket official "cooking wine." It is icky, flavorless, not good IMO. A rule of thumb that I once heard and that has never sent me wrong is not to cook with any wine you wouldn't drink. Now, if you don't drink wine I'd just ask the person at the wine/liquor store for a reasonably cheap wine to cook with-- there might even be some decent wines that come in a little four pack split (I feel like Beringer does this?). That way you wouldn't waste a whole bottle. I use a vacuum sealer (it was cheap-- maybe $13?) and I'd say white wine, sealed and in the fridge will last a couple of weeks. Sherry will last, in the fridge, a good bit longer (several months?).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Procrastibaker

        I've had good luck with freezing leftover wine that I plan to use in cooking.

        Well, except for the red wine that had bag leakage and coated everything in my freezer.

        1. re: JonParker

          Must have looked like a crime scene!

      2. Cooking wines are from the days when cooking with wine was taken for granted, but you didn't want "the help" swilling it down. So salt got added to it so it was unpalatable straight, and it became 'cooking wine'.

        Here in California I'd get them at a grocery store, but other states have different rules about sales of alcoholic bevs, so it depends where you live. But personally, I don't buy 'cooking wines'. I just use the regular stuff I'd drink, something not too expensive.

        The usual rule is to get something that you'd be ok drinking, but don't spend a whole lot of $$$. Not that expensive wine won't work, it just won't produce that much better a result than an ok wine. I usually spend $7-$10 on a bottle of wine that I plan to cook with. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, Charles Shaw, aka "Two Buck Chuck" is perfectly acceptable for cooking. Myself, I also like Big House Red and Big House White by Bonny Doon.

        As for how long they keep, replace the cork and stick it in the fridge and it'll be ok for a few weeks but I wouldn't keep it longer than that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Louise

          I think also many states (like mine, NY) don't sell wine in grocery stores. So they do sell something which is undrinkable, as cooking wine. Silly huh?

        2. The lowdown is don't buy cooking ______. You're better off buying a cheap, but real, wine or sherry. The cooking products are nothing but sodium.