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Leftover Port Wine

I bought a bottle of ruby port for a port wine-mustard sauce this holiday and it turned out great...but now I have a whole bottle of port wine leftover. We eat very little steak in my house, and most of what I've seen for using port is a sauce for steak or heavy beef roasts. What else can I do with the rest of this bottle? Or does it stay good forever and I can just use it again next year for the holidays?

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  1. Why not enjoy it along with a cheese plate for desert?
    As always, the _best_ use for port wine is to drink it. ;-)

    1. Yes port does last so you can shelve it for next year OR you could share a glass or two and have some fresh baked bisquits, butter and blue cheese, on a chilly December morning.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chinon00

        I have to disagree that an open bottle of ruby port is good for a year on the shelf. Have you actually enjoyed ruby port a year after the bottle was opened?

          1. re: Chinon00

            I take it this means that after a year, you have not enjoyed drinking ruby port..

            The tried and true rule is that wines that are not good enough to drink are not good enough to cook with.

            Thus, ports cannot be shelved for a year and expected to be still good.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              I don't recall the exact type of port in inventory, probably a tawny port, but while on a trip to Tampa and a visit to Bern's Steakhouse......after dinner we toured the kitchen and walked through the basement cellar. During part of the tour they made a stop to discuss their wine inventory which included Port wines from the Revolutionary Period, or the late 1700's. There were open bottles of Port from this period and they were available for sale by the glass in the restaurant or Dessert room.

              For those who do not know about Bern's...they are renowned for their extensive wine inventory, collection and offerings.

              1. re: FrankJBN

                Fourunder is correct. The port will be fine.

                And Bern's is awesome.

        1. I take it you are not a drinker, otherwise the question of what to do with a bottle of dessert wine wouldn't come up. First, while ruby and tawny ports have a long shelf life once open, a bottle opened in December won't make it 'til Easter let alone next Christmas. Likely useable but it won't be as good as it is now.

          A very popular dessert dish that could use a significant amount of your bottle is pears poached in port wine. Recipes abound.

          1. Cook with it! Make risotto using the port in proportion to the rice used. I make risotto with leftovers like chicken, turkey or some meat of which there is not enough to be a meat course. We have an empty nest so I make risotto with only a cup of arborio rice. A half cup of fortified wine is added to the rice before starting to add chicken stock. The wine at our house is either Marsala or Madeira, but port can be used. Be creative!

            1. I tried to sip some but it's just too sweet for me, therefore I'm looking for cooking uses. I like the risotto idea, and hadn't thought about poaching fruit so that's a great way to use it up. Any other thoughts on cooking with port?

              1 Reply
              1. re: jboeke

                Port Poached Pears is a classic! Port makes a great sauce for veal chops.

              2. A friend made this for a dinner party and it was quite good even though I am not a sweet eater. I do have to say that I loved the sauce the most and have made a version of it since (using considerably less sugar) as a sauce for pork.


                I have also heard it is really good added to brownies and chocolate cakes. I found this one online.


                2 Replies
                1. re: foodieX2

                  A port-sour cherry sauce is delicious over duck breast, too.

                  1. re: bear

                    indeed! A classic combination. Unfortunately my life is such that I am more likely to make a nice pork roast than I am duckā€¦.

                2. reduce it with balsamic vinegar, pour over strawberries. add vanilla ice cream if you REALLY need to...

                  1. make bacon jam!
                    rough proportions:
                    1 lb bacon, chopped
                    2 red onions, chopped
                    1/2 cup maple syrup
                    splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar
                    1 cup ruby port

                    Over medium low heat, cook the bacon until most of the fat has rendered, and the bacon has lost its pink color but is not crisp. pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat and reserve for another use. add the onions and cook until softened and tender, 15 min. add about 2 tablespoons vinegar, and simmer 5 min to cook off strong vinegar aroma. add the maple syrup and simmer 5 minutes. add port and simmer 20-25 minutes until it is the consistency of jam. add another tablespoon of sherry vinegar and maybe a grind of black pepper and simmer 1 minute.
                    Great as a condiment with a cheese plate, in a grilled cheese sandwich, as a relish for burgers or steak, or with roasted vegetables.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chez cherie

                      Love this idea! I had bacon jam over pimento cheese at Empire State South (Hugh Acheson's restaurant) back in October and haven't stopped fanticizing about it! I was starting to consider what snacks to make for a playdate/casual party on New Years Eve at our house and this might be perfect for adults and kids alike!

                    2. Do not listen to those who are trying to fill you with FUD. Your port is fine and will remain so until long after you are dead. Ports, especially rubies, are highly fortified (high in alcohol) and will behave more like spirits than wine once bottled. If your port changes at all it will veer more towards a tawny or even Madeira than anything else -- the term for what happens even if it begins to oxidize is "madeirized." You have nothing to worry about. It'll still be fine more than a year from now and you may even like it more.

                      And that old saw about not cooking with a wine you can't drink is a perversion of the rule that you're not supposed to use cooking wine, but even that is incorrectly expressed above. "Cooking Wine" is heavily salted so it can be sold in grocery stores, because it can't be drunk and therefore kids can buy it but can't drink it, and it's not recommended for use, not because it's low-quality wine, even though it is, but because if you've properly seasoned your dish, the extra salt in the wine will throw your seasoning all off. Any subtleties in any wine are completely obliterated by the high temps and other ingredients in any dish, so whether you use good wine or crappy wine is largely irrelevant. Obviously you can't use wine that has turned to vinegar, but these same people who screech that the wine has been ruined if it's stored at 56 degrees instead of 55 are now claiming they can tell a good wine from bad after it's been baked in a cake or boiled in a Bourguignon? Please.

                      Don't worry about your Port, and cook with it and any wine, whether you love how it tastes raw or not, freely now and in the future.

                      1. NO it does not stay good forever.

                        1. Guys - meant to post a question on same topic but found this. I just re-opened my bottle of port wine after 3 years and the taste hasn't changed much. I think these portos last forever. I had my wife taste it as well and she too says that although it tastes a little different, it's not lost any of its flavor and we are both have been enjoying it

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: eateat22

                            If you go to Bern's in Tampa....they have Ports from the late 1700's available....so your assumption is correct if handles properly.