Can You Cook with Old Opened Wine?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can You Cook with Old Opened Wine?” and will discuss how long opened wine can be used in cooking.

Can You Cook with Old Opened Wine?

Yes, you can cook with old opened wine. Even though some people believe you shouldn’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink, it’s OK to use open wine in the kitchen. Up to two months of storage in the refrigerator. It’s also OK to combine several shades of red or white. However, the closer it gets to vinegar the longer it sits after opening. As a result, consider acidity while making adjustments.

For cooking, how long can you store an opened bottle of wine?

Wine’s main foe is oxygen. Even with sophisticated vacuum-sealing rubber corks, after you’ve cracked open a bottle, you’ll probably want to consume the wine within a few days. The wine will get more acidic after 3 days or so after opening. On the other hand, it will have a new sharpness or acidity to it. Wine ages differently depending on the variety.

Of course, I’m referring to everyday red and white wines that you’d serve to guests. Fortified drinks include port, sherry, and Madeira wine, to name a few. They contain considerably more alcohol and sugar than regular sodas. Sugar and alcohol work together as natural preservatives to extend the shelf life of wines. Refrigerate them for an additional two weeks to extend their shelf life.

However, when it comes to everyday cooking wines, how long after they’ve been opened is too long? If you’re going to cook with wine, don’t use a wine you wouldn’t drink, according to my wine-snob buddy. However, in the real world, I doubt that many of us would spend $20 on a bottle of wine simply to cook with.

When it comes to cooking with old opened wine, the professionals at Bon Appétit, for example, all agree that you CAN do so if you meet the following conditions:

  • Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • After opening, you have up to two months to make use of it.
  • In your cooking wine bottles, it’s OK to combine various brands/bottles of the same kind (red/white).

How long may red or white wine be kept in the refrigerator before using it in the kitchen?

When I break open a bottle of wine, I notice that red wine “turns” quicker than white wine. Red wines, on the other hand, require to “breathe” for a minute after being opened before drinking, while I don’t find this to be the case with white wines as much.

My knowledge of wine comes from buying and drinking a lot of it over the years, not just cooking with it, but also spending two decades at Whole Foods among a lot of wine enthusiasts. I’m not a wine expert.

Different kinds of grapes are fermented to produce wine. Winemakers utilize the same kinds of grapes for both red and white wines, but red wine gets its unique color because they leave the grape skins in the batch.

Wine’s shelf life is determined by a variety of variables, including:

  • When was it made? 
  • What kind of grapes were used?
  • How it was created 
  • Methods of storage

And there’s yet more. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long red wine lasts once it has been opened, even if you limit yourself to only red or white wines.

What are the signs that a bottle of wine has gone bad?

There are many ways that wine may become “bad,” so let’s take a look at the most common:

Corked Wine

This usually occurs when the cork used in the bottle is defective in some manner. As a result, screw caps, which were formerly reserved for “cheap wines,” are increasingly being utilized on higher-end bottles.

If you have a bottle of corked wine, you have a bottle of wine that has been tainted by cork taint. TCA (2,4,6 – trichloroanisole) is a chemical compound that occurs when bleach or other sanitizing agents are employed in a vineyard.

The reason for this is that “genuine” corks naturally contain fungus, but cleaning detergents, which include chlorides, exacerbate the problem. Most wineries now avoid cleaning with bleach or other similar chemicals since cork taint may spread like germs and contaminate other corks or even the whole winery.

Opened a bottle of wine and instantly felt it tasted “wrong, it was a corked bottle. Fortunately, corked wine isn’t toxic, but it’s unpleasant to drink. It will taste bland, lifeless, and musty, like a pile of damp cardboard that has been left to sit for a long time. Wine bottles with screw-top lids may have an error rate of up to 8%, although this does not apply to corked ones.

Oxidized Wine

Winemakers may purposefully expose grape juice to air to improve a certain taste property. The word oxidative is frequently used in this context. However, if you have an opened bottle of wine on your kitchen counter, it has already begun to oxidize. Vinegar would be created if you did nothing and simply left it to sit there.

Wine oxidation occurs to such a great extent when exposed to the air for an extended period that the acetaldehyde contained in the wine transforms into acetic acid, which is why this occurs. In the end, you have your homemade vinegar.

Corked wine was previously discussed; nevertheless, a cork may not be tainted with cork rot if it just fails. When the cork fails, oxygen may get into the wine, spoiling it before it’s even opened. Red and white rusted wines both lose color and flavor as a result of oxidation, and the longer it goes on, the tarter the wine becomes.

Cooked wine

Cooked wine is just regular wine that’s been exposed to a high temperature for an extended period and suffered heat damage as a result. On hot days, if you’ve ever gone to the vineyard and purchased a bottle of wine, then drove about with it, wondering why it didn’t taste as nice when you got it home, it’s probably been cooked.

Wine may be harmed even at 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a result, throughout the summer, most wineries will not ship to specific locations. Another red flag is if it’s difficult to remove the cork from the bottle. Wine bottle corks expand when heated, just as you learned in high school science class. If you accidentally heated your wine bottle, the cork may have swelled, making it almost impossible to remove.

The flavor of a cooked wine will be similar to that of a cooked or stewed dish. The tastes will be more subdued and less vivid as a result. As time passes, the hue becomes more subdued. Some people say it tastes like sugar that’s been burned a little bit.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can You Cook with Old Opened Wine?” and discussed how long opened wine can be used in cooking.


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