How long/how can I keep an opened carton of red wine?
It's made by some brand called "Bandit" wines and I only bought it because I needed red wine for braising but don't have a bottle opener. But now I still have at least a bottle's worth left. I don't drink, so I'll only be using it for cooking. How should I store it (fridge or not?) and roughly how long would it be okay to use it in braises, deglazing, etc.?
Also, it's merlot, although I can't see how that would matter.
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since you're not going to be drinking it, it will be fine in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
I'd still taste it to make sure it hasn't gone to vinegar before cooking with it, but the bag-in-box were designed to keep wine away from light and oxygen for longer periods of time.
And in cooking, it's perfectly fine.
I was long a skeptic about using only wines you would drink/serve for cooking.
Then I made a beef stew that called for a cup of wine (as opposed to the 2-3 TBSP you might use for de-glazing). I used something that was not good enough to serve with the dish, even for wine-unpicky me.
BIG mistake-it truly was nasty. I would liken it to using "apple" drink from a powdered mix when a recipe called for apple cider--cheap, fake and nasty.
So though you may get away with the deglaze, I would NOT braise with your boxed merlot.
there have been many, many experiments done by many, many magazines and higher chefs, and many, many discussions here on Chow about this -- once braised, inexpensive (but drinkable) wine gives as good (and sometimes better) results as expensive stuff.
If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it...but if it's drinkable, it's fair game.
And there are some very respectable BIB wines out there.