Can you cook with old wine?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook with old wine” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook with old wine. Moreover, we are going to discuss the factors affecting the quality of the wine once it gets opened and the proper way to store wine.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you cook with old wine?

Yes, you can cook with old wine provided that it was stored properly and there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.

It is worth mentioning that owing to the high alcoholic content of the wine, it is almost impossible for the bacteria or other microbes to grow in it. Thus the wine does not go bad in a conventional way therefore you won’t get sick even after cooking with the old wine.

What happens is that the wine loses its potency with time, thus, after drinking a properly stored old wine, you won’t get sick but at the same time, you won’t be able to taste the same flavor as that of fresh wine. So yes, you can cook with old wine providing that it was stored properly.

What type of wines can be used for cooking?

Generally, dry red and white wines are recommended for savory dishes. Whether cooking with red or white wine, avoid oaky wines (like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay), as these become bitter when cooked. Save sweet wines, such as Sauternes, Moscato, or sweet Riesling, for dessert recipes such as poached pears.

How long does wine last?

Unopened white wine lasts for about 1-2 years if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. While the unopened sparkling wine lasts for about 3 years if stored unopened in a cool, dry, and dark place. 

Unopened red wine lasts for about 2-3 years if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. Unopened fine wine lasts for about 10-20 years if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

It is worth mentioning that once wine gets opened, there are a few days in which you can enjoy its best flavor. For instance, open sparkling wine lasts for about a day or two if it is properly stored in the fridge while open rich white wine lasts for about 3-5 days if it is properly stored in the fridge.

Open light white and rose wine lasts for about 4-5 days if it is properly stored in the fridge. Open red wine lasts for about 3-6 days if it is properly stored in the fridge. Open dessert wine lasts for about 3-7 days if it is properly stored in the fridge while the open port wine lasts for about 3-7 days if it is properly stored in the fridge.

Factors affecting the quality of wine once it gets opened

Once you open your bottle of wine, you will notice that its flavor starts to fade slowly with time. The two factors that are responsible for this gradual change are oxygen and the volatility of alcohol.

There are many volatile compounds present in the formulation of wine and each time you open your wine bottle, they evaporate a bit.

Moreover, each time you open your wine bottle air (oxygen) enters your wine that can initiate oxidation reactions in it, thereby decreasing the quality of the wine. So the more oxygen that finds its way to your wine bottle, the more will be the change in flavor that you will notice.

Moreover light and heat also degrade the quality of the wine. It is worth mentioning that the lighter wines have a shorter shelf life than the darker wines. 

You can read the difference between cooking wine and regular wine here.

How to properly store wine?

  1. The wine starts to lose its characteristic flavor when it comes in contact with the air and sunlight owing to the oxidation reactions. Therefore to seal the freshness of wine for quite a long time we recommend you always close the lid/cap of the wine bottle as soon as you are done pouring the wine that you need.
  1. Moreover, it is recommended to refrigerate the wine once it gets opened because the cool temperature of the fridge decreases the rate at which wine deteriorates.
  1. On the other hand, an unopened bottle of wine can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
  1. Temperature fluctuations can degrade the quality of the wine so you should take care of this.
  1. You should store your wine bottle in a stand-up position rather than lying down.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook with old wine” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook with old wine. Moreover, we discussed the factors affecting the quality of the wine once it gets opened and the proper way to store wine.

Citations

https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/use-up-a-bottle-of-wine#:~:text=Wine%20is%20perfectly%20good%20for,stops%20being%20fit%20for%20sipping.&text=Once%20it%20reaches%20a%20certain,will%20give%20it%20new%20life.
https://chefsvisionknives.com/blogs/chefs-vision-blog/can-you-use-old-wine-for-cooking-heres-the-truth

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.