Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Jan 27, 2011 10:28 AM

How long does wine keep?

I'm a non-drinker, however, if a recipe calls for wine I do use regular drinking wine for it. The problem is I always end up with an almost-full bottle of wine lying around in the fridge (capped) for a long period of time.

I don't own a corker and I don't want to keep buying large bottles of wine to simply use a small fraction of it for one recipe. So, I guess what I'm asking is how long can I continue to use that opened, refrigerated bottle of wine for cooking before it becomes unsafe?

I guess I can use the small airplane bottles...but I have a really hard time finding those...and there isn't much variety.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Put the unused wine in ice cube trays and freeze it. Then just use a piece each time you need some. Otherwise, most reds last two-three days normally and whites can sometimes go for about a week, as long as both are in the fridge.

    2 Replies
    1. re: invinotheresverde

      +1 Agree on the reds--freeze it up--but I keep white wine in the frig for cooking and it is fine for weeks.

      1. re: escondido123

        It definitely depends on the wine. I've not experienced whites being much to drink after being open for a week. To cook with only, perhaps longer.

    2. You might also consider these/ They're generally available in the larger liquor stores:

      1. I buy the four packs of small bottles (I guess that's what you call "airplane bottles"); they are readily available around me and are about 3/4 of a cup-- which is often just about what one needs for a recipe. Yes there's only a limited variety, but IMHO for cooking they are just fine.

        1. As surprised as I was to learn about the freezing technique, I've come to accept that it will work fine for cooking purposes. If that's not something you're comfortable with, the next best no-cost thing for you to do is to keep transferring the leftover wine to smaller and smaller containers. It's contact with air (in addition to temperature) that degrades wine the fastest, so containers with little or no air space are helpful for a week or so.
          Sensitivity to changes in wine vary widely, but these methods will work for most people.

          1. Get yourself a couple 375ml and 187ml split bottles and a few trial stoppers and put in your fridge. If you want to get fancy (or the wine is $$), Vac-U-Vin or sparge with a little argon before stoppering. For cooking purposes, you should be good for 2-3 weeks, easy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kaleokahu

              Good suggestion, i've been using 200 ml and 400 ml glass "flasks" with the rubber seal ceramic snap tops. Since my wife doesn't drink wine I can say sample a glass with dinner by filling the 400 ml (to the top, no air) and put it in the fridge and have a nice size pour to have with dinner. Next night if I plan to have a couple of glasses of a different wine, I'll fill the 200 ml and polish off the rest.

              Another solution, consider one of the higher quality box wines. I discovered a nice white for cooking and sipping, La Petit Frog's Picpoul de Pinet (3 litre), and a Cab Franc, Marc Plouzeau's Chinon (5 litre). Keep the white in the fridge and the red on the counter, out here on the left coast they were 32.99 and 49.99 respectively at The Wine Country just south of the Long Beach airport.