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Cooking with sherry. How long do you keep the bottle for after using it?

I occasionally cook with a recipe that calls for a few tblsps of sherry. I run out, buy a bottle, and then a few months go by until I need to use it again. I have no plans to drink it so it just sits in the fridge until I need a few more spoonfuls. How long does a bottle keep in the fridge? If it isn't too long, what do you do in order to not have to buy a whole bottle every time you just need a bit of it?

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  1. I buy a bottle about every six months. Use it only for cooking so the rest of the time it sits in the frig. Works for me.

    1. Dunno how long it'll last. Mrs H drinks it as an aperitif from time to time, so there's always a bottle in the cupboard. We probably buy a bottle every three months or so.

      1. You have it backward. Develop a taste for sherry and occasionally use it for cooking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Akitist

          Shhhhhhh. Nothing to see here, folks. The only stuff worth drinking are overpriced Cali cabs and their globalized cousins. Just keep buying the cooking sherry on odd occasions and leave the other stuff to we old maids and stuffy british gents who can't believe the deals we're getting.

        2. For your purposes it will keep indefinitely. Some places talk about using it up within a matter of weeks or less, but they are concerned about optimal flavor for drinking.

          2 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            Oh thanks, because I just used some in a grave and the bottle expired July and it has been opened a year or two.

            1. re: texas_glenda

              If you are all ready in the Grave, I wouldn't worry about it at all! ( - 8

          2. It will definitely last, closed tightly in the fridge, until the next time you use it for cooking.
            But sherry can be substituted with dry red or white wine, wine vinegars, chicken stock and white vinegar in equal amounts, orange juice, and some even say, vanilla extract.

            4 Replies
            1. re: healthybeet

              Orange juice for sherry? I can't imagine that giving you the same flavor.

              1. re: escondido123

                I agree...OJ certainly wouldn't be a very good substitute, neither would the vinegar in that concoction.

                For cooking, I stay away from the "cooking sherry" in the supermarket which has salt added to it. I buy inexpensive Gallo or Taylor sherry and use that. It doesn't sit in my cupboard for very long, but even if it did I wouldn't worry about it. At 16+% alcohol it has prety good keeping quality and since sherry typically already has a slightly oxidized tang to it, that's not a worry either.

                At less than $6 for a 750ml bottle of inexpensive sherry, I cant see any point in using substitutes (unless of course there is an issue with having alcohol in the house).

                1. re: The Professor

                  Taylor, that's the one I always end up buying.

                  1. re: michele cindy

                    Gallo and/or Taylor dry sherry are considered condiments in my shelf; right next to the Lee & Perrins, Old Bay, Tabasco, Colemans, Maggi et. al. venerable brands...

            2. It's fortified, so as long as you don't put it out in the sun or leave the cork off you could probably just keep it in the cupboard, if it's amontillado or sweeter. I'm partial to the bone-dry finos, which I like to drink very cold, so mine lives in the door of the fridge. I think of it as a less-powerful alternative to the martini, meaning I can have two before dinner if I want …

              I don't cook with it that much anyway, though if we can afford the calories I'll take having some sherry in the fridge as a good excuse to make some Tetrazzini. Off the bat, I can't think of another dish I use it in.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen

                I bought a bottle of good sherry once to make a turtle soup, couldn't handle the turtle soup, and didn't use the sherry until we discovered that it was a pretty nice after-dinner sip. Oh, and I used a splash of it in a Seafood Newburg.

                1. re: mamachef

                  I've had it in turtle soup as well...but if you don't care for turtle soup, you can use it the sherry the same way as a finishing touch for any dark roux based gumbo (especially a seafood one).

              2. Not only does sherry last indefinitely, but there's zero reason to keep it in the fridge. It will last indefinitely right in the pantry or liquor cabinet, the same as other fortified wines like Madeira & Marsala. Free up space in your fridge & keep it somewhere else.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Breezychow

                  Yes, I keep mine in the cupboard. I also use sherry for creamed soups.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Yep, I live in SWFL and sherry is okay on a dark shelf with the cork even in this climate. I really love it for Asian stir fries. Not crazy about drinking it...even the driest I've been able to afford, an actual Spanish sherry (fino?), is too sweet for my palate. That's okay...it's calories I don't need...

                    1. re: Val

                      Yup - most of mine ends up in Asian dishes, but I also believe that any seafood bisque or newburg sauced dish is sacrilige without it. : )

                  2. re: Breezychow

                    Good call! The reason for the production of these fortified wines in the first place was preservation. Let's add Port and Vermouth to the list...JJ

                    1. re: Breezychow

                      As I noted above, there IS one good reason to keep it chilled, and that's if it's the bone-dry kind and you want to have it ready to drink. Warm fino may be better than none, but it's much more pleasant ice-cold. Then if you want to cook with it, it's easy just to pour it in a glass cup and nuke it.

                      Following up on those earlier remarks, I ran out that evening and bought some, and used about half a cup, not in tetrazzini but a similar noodle dish somewhat resembling that. The rest I have been following my own advice with, and having a pre-dinner glass instead of a martini.

                      1. re: Breezychow

                        I have never even thought of putting sherry in the fridge. It keeps forever (unless you use a lot in cooking, as I do). Seafood dishes, Asian dishes and do try a splash in your split pea soup.

                        1. re: miriamjo

                          l disagree, they oxidize as do regular wines. The dry lose their brightness and nuance more quickly than the sweet , but both fade relatively quickly. They can be used for cooking, but after a bit will not be much fun for drinking.

                      2. Judging by my parents' experience it keeps practically forever. We never kept it in the fridge either, just in a cool dark cupboard. It's not something that's highly perishable or in need of refrigeration. It took a year or two to get through a bottle and I can't ever remember having to throw one out unfinished. (this goes for both dry and sweet sherries, we used both...)

                        And never ever EVER buy the abomination labelled as 'cooking' sherry, or 'cooking' wine for that matter. Ugh.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kajikit

                          I use both sherry and port the same way. Either one makes a great little drink with a plate of assorted cheeses and fruits. And sometimes I actually cook with it. LOL.

                          Seriously, I put a little sherry or port in my French Onion Soup and it gives a great flavor. If you make seafood bisque a little sherry takes it from good to great. Try it.

                        2. If you are just using it to splash down the sides of your wok, it will be fine enough for months. If you want to drink it, sherry seems very perishable (to me). Measure it in days, unless it is sweet.

                          I don't think it will keep indefinitely, even if all you are doing is putting it in a stir fry. You'd have to taste it to know when, but it eventually seems to me to completely lack merit.