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Feb 1, 2010 04:21 PM

Anyone cook with sherry?

I occasionally run across recipes calling for sherry. I've had a bottle in my cupboard for probably a year. However, I read a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News in which the author said to buy a half bottle if you don't plan on finishing it in two days. Two days?! Does anyone cook with sherry? Have you found that it has a short shelf life? Do you refrigerate it?

Thanks for any advice. I don't want to buy a whole bottle if I'm going to have to pour it out in a couple of days (I don't think I can drink that much sherry!). I may have to look for substitutes if a recipe calls for it.

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  1. Well, I'm not a big sherry fan as far as drinking it...even dry good quality sherry seems sweet to me...but I do use it in my stir-fry sauce, sherry, toasted sesame oil, maybe a little ginger & garlic if it isn't already in the stir-fry. And it seems to keep a pretty long while...I think the last brand I bought was Osborne from Spain. It does seem to matter to buy a better-quality dry sherry, that I've found. Just my two Lincoln head pennies.

    1. Sherry adds a lovely depth to so many dishes ... try a splash in gravy, and it's a must with sauteed mushrooms. I don't refrigerate and go through a bottle or so a year ... stores fine.

      NB: Under NO circumstances buy anything labeled "cooking sherry." Especially at a grocery store.

      1. two days? ridiculous!

        agree with val and cyndigo

        love it in seafood bisques.

        buy excellent quality.

        3 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          Unlike something like hard liquor, the alcohol level in sherry isn't strong enough to store a opened bottle for a long time. Sherry's alcohol level is about 15%, which isn't that far off from wine. And, you wouldn't keep an opened bottle of wine for a year, would you?

            1. re: hobbess

              i wasn't agreeing on the "year" thing, but i've used amontillado sherry over three-four months, for sure. wine wouldn't last a day! (at least in our house! ;-).

          1. Mrs H drinks sherry so a bottle never lasts too long - but certainly a few weeks rather than days. It's something we always have in but don't have too many recipes that call for it.

            1. I'm lucky. I keep some half-decent sherry around our restaurant, so I have some on hand all the time to cook with, and it doesn't go bad. I have thrown out bottles of sherry that I've had at home that've gotten old in 6 months time. The taste is just off a bit -- but I'm very sensitive about "old wine" tastes.

              The addition of a nice, nutty sherry to cream soups is a wonderful, traditional thing that really brings a whole new elegance to the dish. A restaurant near us makes a sherried New England Clam Chowder that's just superb.

              A dash of sherry in creamed spinach opens up that dish. Sherry is also a fine substitute for XiaoXing cooking wine in recipes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: shaogo

                Im glad you brought up cream based soups- I used to use reduced sherry in my mashed potatoes with some herbs I believe-it added a really nice background to the dish and I felt that it boosted the overall quality of the dish. Ill have to try that again soon-its been forever.