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Can I use 2-year old unopened TJ's wine?

I know the line "If you wouldn't drink it, don't use it," but I don't drink wine at all--just never developed the sophisticated taste buds for it. I'm going to be trying a CI recipe for braised turkey in white wine and while I went ahead and bought a white wine to use, I just remembered that I've had some 2-buck Chuck in the wine holder of my baker's rack for probably nigh on 2 years now. Should I keep it as a decorative element or go ahead and use one of the old ones up before using the one I just bought?

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  1. I'd say... open it up and check it out. It'll either be fine for cooking or the start of some nice vinegar?!? Think the line "if you wouldn't drink it..." often refers to stuff from supermarket labled "cooking" wine... nasty stuff.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kseiverd

      Would it smell vinegar-y if it's not good to use for cooking?

      1. re: Thanks4Food

        It might, but might not. Can you swig a little and spit it out? You can tell pretty easily.

    2. Sure, use it, but it will cost $3 bucks to replace it.

      1. Most wine is fine when stored unopened for years, and much of it requires just that. Less so for whites than reds, in general. Of course yours has not been stored in ideal conditions, but will probably be fine for cooking. Taste and sniff. If it's not objectionable, use it for your braise.

        I routinely cook with refrigerated opened wine. Sometimes it's there for more than a year. It's never turned to vinegar or spoiled in any way, just not good enough flavor for drinking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          I have to disagree. The cheaper the wine the less it lasts, certainly not for years. Buy some new cheap wine to prevent a ruined dish. I just reread the op, two years is probably okay, but the mind wanders, it could be more like 3 or 4 years. I've done this with stuff in the pantry, and when I look at the dates I realize I've had it a lot longer than I thought.

        2. that stuff has a stelvin closure, right? screwtop wine doesn't go off just sitting around. other than the fact it didn't taste very good when you bought it, it should be sound.

          1. Is your wine in a cool area of the kitchen? My friend spoiled several bottles because her wine rack was ontop of her fridge near the oven so it fot warm/cool/warm and turned vinegary.
            Otherwise no problem to use it for the recipe

            1. for cooking? go for it. for serving and sipping, ehh decant and let it breathe for an hour. should be fine.

              1. Recently opened a 17 year old bottle of late harvest , high sugar Riesling.
                Cork still tight - outstanding vinegar!

                1. Much light exposure or heat? Anyway, cannot hurt to try.

                  Reminds me: somehow I ended up as a 12-year-old in the 1970s with a little unopened bottle of airplane wine (a red) after a trip. You know, those 175ml or so bottles. I figured it would become valuable with aging. So I put it on a windowsill, for it to get maximum benefit from CA sunshine. Trying it a couple of years later put me off of wine for the next 10 years or so.... :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    I think sunshine is like the worst thing possible for wine heh. Your post made me lol

                    1. re: iheartcooking

                      It is funny. What I also wonder: I cannot recall any parental aspect to this story. It was no secret. I guess they thought it was cute, my aging project.

                      And it was the '70s...

                  2. It's probably just fine - as someone else suggested, taste a little first. The amount of heat or light it was subjected to in your baker's rack may have an effect on it.

                    My mother passed away about a year ago and in cleaning out the house to sell it, we discovered many many bottles of wine. I dumped out dozens of bottles of raisinade with lumps.

                    The 2 Buck Chuck actually held up better than many more expensive wines. I think we found a 12 year old bottle that was actually drinkable.

                    1. In conclusion: made the braised turkey today with the TJ's wine. I did open and sip--and it tasted rather weak, but not vinegary to me. But as I stated in my post about the braised turkey, the gravy didn't taste very good in my mind--and then I realized that my taste buds must have gone on vacation again. (I had a virus over a month ago and taste buds have been and on and off thing.) So now in retrospect that could be why the wine tasted weak.

                      This was all a trial run for Thanksgiving--but it occurs to me that if my taste buds are AWOL, perhaps I shouldn't be in charge of dinner.