Opened Wine

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by gregac1984, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. gregac1984

    gregac1984

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    This isn't an issue that I have often, but sometimes I have left over wine that has been opened and not enjoyed within 3-5 days.  What happens to the wine?  I know that it oxidizes, but I don't really understand what that means.  Young red wines improve with a few hours of oxidation right?   When does this process switch from being a beneficial process to one that ruins the flavor?

    What I am really wondering about is if I can cook with say a half bottle of red that has been opened for about 2 weeks?  I should clarify that I almost always use a vacuum pump (or at least re-cork) and do not refrigerate the left overs.  I have tasted wine like this and it does not taste very good, almost sour. 

    When I cook with wine I generally follow the 'if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it' rule.  But I know that cooking wine drastically changes its qualities.  I am wondering if the changes that occur during cooking counteract or at least mute the changes that happened from being opened too long.

    I might just have to do some experiments, but if anyone has any knowledge in this area it might save me some money and spare the world a wasted bottle of wine.  Thank you.
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    The short answer is....go ahead and use that wine to cook with.

    When you open a bottle of wine you allow a small amount of the outside air to get in, that's why really good wines are decanted to allow more air to mix with the wine so its' full flavor can come out. 

    In a home situation leaving the wine in the bottle does little in allowing the wine to "breathe."

    Now that being said, there is a "window" in which the optimum flavors of the wine come out, and then start to  degrade after that.

    So....as an example a 1974 Chateau Lynch Baggs once opened and decanted will be good to drink for about 2 hours.

    Re-corking it and vacuuming out the air will help preserve it for a small amount of time....and refrigerating the bottles of wine help as well. I deal with this weekly with several bottles of leftover wine. Some I use to cook with, while others, depending on how they taste, can be used for cocktail hour. I believe this is something that is totally dependent on the product you have.

    At work I deal with French wines which are created to age while also having California Reds that have very little if any aging needed. Some whites age well too and I did not know this and am learning about this myself.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    I keep opened bottles of wine to cook with for very long time: 

    - white wine on the counter. 

    - red wine in the fridge. 

    Yesterday I made a pot roast with a bottle of red wine I must have opened months ago (maybe something like 2 to 5 months) and that I had kept in the fridge. Before the wine went into the pot I tasted it (always taste first to know what you're adding to your dish) and it was just fine, it tasted like the cheap wine it originally was. The dish ended up tasting amazing. 
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I keep opened bottles of wine in the fridge and cook with them for the next couple of weeks. 

    I've never done this myself but I heard that some people make their wine into ice cubes and use those to cook with.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  5. michaelga

    michaelga

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    For the longest 'freshest' taste freeze the wine. (it also makes portioning for recipes very easy if you can make 1oz cubes)
     
  6. gregac1984

    gregac1984

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    Thank you all for the quick answers.  I think I will try a test: buy two bottles of the same wine, open one, then a month later make a basic sauce with the month old and the unopened and see if there is any noticeable difference .
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    Great idea. Please do share your results!
     
  8. iceman

    iceman

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    LOL. OMG.       Don't open "... a 1974 Chateau Lynch Bag[e]s" if you don't intend to drink it all.   For your "test", I sincerely suggest using a sample of something +/- $8-$12.   You don't need to have a negative result/finding with a serious $$ sample.   At the same time, your results don't need to be inherently pre-screwed by using something that highly manipulated to cost much less.   $2-Chuck is only good as an additive to mulch bins or mosquito abatement. 

    '10 Pascual Toso Malbec, '11 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, '10 Casamatta, '09 d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvèdre, '09 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel, '09 Foxglove Zinfandel, '09 Qupé Syrah, '10 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, '10 Indaba Chenin Blanc and/or Sauvignon Blanc. 

    As for winemakers ... anything from the following are almost always on: Casillero del Diablo, Bogle, Marqués de Casa Concha, Casa Lapostolle, Bodega Norton, Marqués de Cáceres. 

    [font=Georgia, serif][font=arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif]LOL @ ME. I could go on ... but for the sake of being polite I wont. [/font][/font]
     
  9. michaelga

    michaelga

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    FWIW - the kind of test you are describing has been done before on a larger scale by many others.

    - America's Test Kitchen

    - Shopping Bags

    - Chow (can't recall the name of the person)

    - Alton Brown

    probably a few others also - they all did their own tests and most included the CO2 sprays, vacuum pumps, wine savers etc. etc.

    They all came down to Freezing is the best way.  Second was the fridge and gadgets, then just corked and the fridge, then gadgets at room temp, then corked at room temp in last place.

    Can you use all of them... yes, will they be good...not really.  (a few even froze the wine then thawed it and tried it - surprisingly good)

    Alternatively you can just turn the wine into something else even as tasty... wine vinegar (very easy), wine syrup, blended wine reductions, wine soaked fruits / cheese / nuts, wine soaked smoke chips etc. etc. 

    You have many many options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  10. mikelm

    mikelm

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    All this seems like much ado about nothing; it's a problem we never have.

    When we open a bottle of wine, we drink a bottle of wine.

    Mike  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
     
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, my doctor let's me cook with alcohol but not drink it. So yeah, it's a real problem some of us do have.
     
  12. iceman

    iceman

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    Maybe you should look for a better doctor?!?

    I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
     
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Wouldn't matter, it's a universal recommendation in dealing with Meniere's.
     
  14. iceman

    iceman

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    OK  ... Maybe you should look for a better disorder?!?

    I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
     
  15. mike9

    mike9

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    What is this "left over wine" of which you speak?   Just kidding -   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
     
  16. winekelly

    winekelly

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    i didn't read thru all the replies, but i never cook with a wine i wouldn't drink.

    (it's probably more like vinegar at this stage)

    i love the old saying...

    i LOVE to cook with wine.

    sometimes i even put it in the food!

    (that being said, there is usually never any leftovers)
     
  17. gregac1984

    gregac1984

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    Alright I bought two bottles of this wine; it is a meritage that is real tasty.  I opened one ,had a glass, and re-corked the bottle, the other bottle remains unopened.  In a month I will make two sauces with each of the bottles and we will see how it goes.