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Decent White Wine in Splits or Small Boxes?

Jim Leff Aug 11, 2013 09:18 AM

I love to use a little white wine when cooking certain dishes, but it's always the same thing: I open a bottle, use about 1/4 cup, and the bottle sits in the refrigerator until I have to throw it out (I don't drink white wine at home). I just don't use enough quantity to make it a viable ingredient.

So what I'm wondering is whether there's any quality white wine (acidic, not too oaky or buttery) available in splits or small boxes? It's got to be reasonably good stuff though; I'd rather use no wine at all than crummy wine....

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  1. MissBubbles Aug 11, 2013 09:28 AM

    The chard and sav blanc at target come in little boxes. Stays good and perfectly good for cooking and even a little drinking.

    1. Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2013 09:46 AM

      Higher-acid whites keep for a long time in the fridge. I currently use Sauvignon Republic from Trader Joe's.

      1. c
        collioure Aug 11, 2013 01:04 PM

        Oh, buy something simple (no more than 1€/L here) and add those half glasses left in the bottle on the table after 2-3 nights from time to time.

        If you drink wine daily, this isn't a problem.

        Come to think of it, my cooking wine is probably infinitely better than the Italian Muscat I started with. <g>

        1. penthouse pup Aug 11, 2013 01:27 PM

          I suggest getting a good bottle of white Vermouth (I use Boissiere)--it's more versatile and adds a deeper dimension than ordinary whites. They also remain fresh for quite a while in the fridge, especially if you use a vacu-vin.

          1. Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2013 05:01 PM

            You could get a PlatyPreserve bag, in the fridge that should keep wine good for cooking for months.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Midlife Aug 14, 2013 12:02 PM

              Zip-lock bags for wine?? The Coravin guy had $2million in start-up capital. This idea cost very little, in comparison, and probably would work for a lot of people. But......... really?????

              1. re: Midlife
                Robert Lauriston Aug 14, 2013 12:42 PM

                Not a zip bag, it's a soft canteen with a screwtop, basically a plastic bota. I've been using one for years when hiking. You can put on a dish soap-style squirt top instead, which would make sense for cooking.

            2. maria lorraine Aug 11, 2013 05:39 PM

              I'm a big fan of transferring leftover wine into a smaller container with a tight lid. This can be a smaller wine bottle, but what's easier -- is any jelly jar or small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

              The trick: no ullage.

              Fill the jar with wine as close to the rim of the glass as possible, and then cap it very tightly. The wine -- whatever kind it is -- will keep for a long time. I've even used a bunch of empty glass spice bottles -- each tiny bottle has enough to deglaze a pan, etc.

              If you like, you can buy the lab jars mentioned in post from Amazon in various sizes:

              I stay from all-metal lids, like those used with canning jars, though. The jelly jar lids have a plastic liner. I suppose even a baby food jars would work.

              Tips: I fill the wine to the very tippy-top and have the lid handy in my hand to cap it. And when I open the jar, I open it over whatever I'm adding it to (the pot of pasta sauce for example) because some wine will spill since the jar is so full.

              Hope this helps.

              1 Reply
              1. re: maria lorraine
                PolarBear Aug 15, 2013 08:14 AM

                I like the "swing top" bottles with the ceramic top and rubber gasket (think Grolsch beer bottles). Here's an 8 oz example:


                I find 250, 400, and 500 ml ones from specialty type kitchen stores work perfectly to keep a single glass, or two glasses of wine in the fridge just fine up to a week or even more occasionally.

                Favorites are 250s that look like little gallon jugs.

              2. ChefJune Aug 13, 2013 12:23 PM

                Jim: That's exactly the reason Julia Child recommended using Vermouth instead of white wine. Vermouth keeps quite a long while after the bottle has been open. As well, it has herbs that add flavor to your dish.

                I'm using Dolin Dry Vermouth (not "Blanc" - that's quite a bit sweeter) these days.

                5 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune
                  Robert Lauriston Aug 13, 2013 01:19 PM

                  I have several kinds of vermouth on hand but would not randomly substitute one for white wine when cooking, precisely because of all the extra flavors. Same goes for sherry.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    ChefJune Aug 13, 2013 01:22 PM

                    I don't agree with you Robert. Julia made awfully good food!

                    1. re: ChefJune
                      penthouse pup Aug 13, 2013 01:47 PM

                      White vermouth adds complexity but not to the extent that it overwhelms a dish--it's certainly better than many astringent whites that need bolstering to counter their effects. And as noted, vermouth stay fresh for quite a while. These days there are "designer" vermouths and certainly, there's a good reason not to use ones with strong flavor profiles. But the basic types work very well. And as for sherry, I don't use them much but there are times when a splash of fino helps a soup.

                      1. re: ChefJune
                        Robert Lauriston Aug 13, 2013 02:00 PM

                        I believe Julia Child published more recipes that called for white wine than called for vermouth. She knew which was better in which dish, even though she encouraged her readers to make practical substitutions rather than run to the store.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          ChefJune Aug 14, 2013 10:56 AM

                          Julia was a friend of mine. No matter what she wrote, I know what she used. Vermouth most of the time, unless she happened to have a bottle of already opened white wine on hand. Very practical woman.

                  2. Robert Lauriston Aug 13, 2013 06:07 PM

                    Go to the comments at the end of this article for several suggestions, including the PlatyPreserve I mentioned and raising the fill level of the bottle by dropping in marbles:


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      maria lorraine Aug 13, 2013 07:21 PM

                      FWIW, I don't agree with those results. I don't think PP is a good product. It affects the flavor of the gassed wine negatively.

                      1. re: maria lorraine
                        Robert Lauriston Aug 14, 2013 12:43 PM

                        Second on that, but glass marbles are a clever idea I hadn't heard before.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          wally Aug 14, 2013 01:20 PM


                    2. Midlife Aug 14, 2013 12:05 PM

                      +1 for....................any decent white from TJ's (even Charles Shaw for cooking..... Yes, I said it) and transfer to smaller bottles, per marialorraine's preferred methodology.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Midlife
                        BigWoodenSpoon Aug 15, 2013 01:50 AM

                        OK, now you've gone and said the name of my nemesis at work.
                        Please reconsider and try the Vinas Chilenas series at $2.99 (NCA) or the Villa Cerina at $3.99 instead. Many of my customers have happily made the switch. Thanks for the tip about using jelly jars. I hadn't heard of that one before.

                        1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                          Midlife Aug 15, 2013 08:41 AM

                          OH.............If you're referring to Two-Buck-Chuck (or whatever it costs now)........not to worry! I don't drink the stuff. I was only suggesting it for cooking..

                          1. re: Midlife
                            Robert Lauriston Aug 15, 2013 09:21 AM

                            Most Two-and-a-Half-Buck Chuck wines I've tasted weren't so bad that cooking with them would make the food taste worse, but they don't have much to contribute, either.

                            Usually when I cook with white wine I want it to contribute acid and fruitiness.

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