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Thread: Does an open bottle of wine go "bad"?

  1. #1
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    Does an open bottle of wine go "bad"?

    I do not like to drink wine, but usually have a bottle or two in the fridge that I use to cook with. How long can I keep an opened bottle of wine in the fridge? It is usually several months before I can finish a bottle. In the past, I have just dumped it down the drain if I wasn't sure if it was still good. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    It doesn't go bad in the sense that you'd get sick drinking it - it just turns to vinegar at some point!

    I have a Vacu-Vin - it's a rubber stopper with a manual vacuum pump to pull all the extra air (which is the biggest culprit in making wine "go bad") out of an opened bottle of wine. I find that it helps tremendously to keep my wine tasting fresh. I keep wine for months myself using the Vacu-vin with no problem.

  3. #3
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    I usually taste it to see if it's too bad to cook with. If it's too bad to drink straight, then it wont' be good in your food, either.

    My general rule of thumb is 1-3 days for red wine, and one week for white wine.

    If it takes you a really long time to go through a full bottle, you might want to look at the smaller size half-bottles for cooking.

  4. #4
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    I see that you received some great answers to your question, but I just had to chime in b/c when I read your title, the first thing I thought was, "Boy wine doesn't ever last long enough in our house that we would have to worry about this problem!"

  5. #5
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    I periodically buy one of those 4-packs of the mini bottles of wine to keep in the pantry for cooking - one pack of red and one of white. That way, you don't have as much left over that gets thrown away after you use 1/2 cup or whatever (personally, I just drink what's left over, but you said you don't like wine).

  6. #6
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    Another vote for the small bottles that come in 4 packs. I don't drink wine, either, so these are great for cooking. I've even stored leftovers from these small bottles for months in the fridge. If I'm only using them in a recipe, it's fine.

    DH does occasionally drink wine, so we bought a Vacu-Vin like Grace described. That way, he can open a bottle and store the leftovers without feeling obligated to polish off a whole bottle in one sitting.

  7. #7
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    I have also read that you can freeze wine. They suggested freezing it in an ice cube tray and I thought that was a great idea. But in my house, my DH takes care of any leftover wine.
    "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!" Dave Barry

  8. #8
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    I have a vacu vin and love it, but even before having that I saved wine for weeks in the fridge and used it for cooking. Just smell/taste it -- if it tastes like vinegar it's no good.

  9. #9
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    If you have a Food Saver, there are bottle stoppers available. You just put in the stopper, vac it, and the bottle is sealed I have the stoppers, they come in a back of 3. Check it out!
    Curleytop

  10. #10
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    I personally don't think the VacuVin's work all that well, but that's just me. You might get one more day out of the wine, but that's about it. I mean, if you're keeping wine for a few weeks, then it doesn't matter how much air is in the bottle at that point anyway.

  11. #11
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    Thanks! You all gave me some great ideas. I think I'll try looking for the small 4 packs first.

  12. #12
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    Decent-quality wines are now available as "box wines." The good ones are usually in smaller boxes than the cheap Franzia types. Because of the airtight seal, an open box wine will last months.
    Blogging about Barb horses at The Barb Wire and about the simple pleasures of less urban living at Nightlife. Saddle up and come along for the ride!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusanMac
    I usually taste it to see if it's too bad to cook with. If it's too bad to drink straight, then it wont' be good in your food, either.

    My general rule of thumb is 1-3 days for red wine, and one week for white wine.

    If it takes you a really long time to go through a full bottle, you might want to look at the smaller size half-bottles for cooking.
    I'd second this, except in the case of red sauce-- a little wine in red pasta sauce can even be a bit vinegary and still make a good-tasting sauce. It adds zing!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by tamawrite
    Decent-quality wines are now available as "box wines." The good ones are usually in smaller boxes than the cheap Franzia types. Because of the airtight seal, an open box wine will last months.
    Don't really know what you mean by "box wines"- are you talking about the little bottles in a 4 pack box that others above were talking about, or something else? Thinking you must be talking about something else, with your reference to "airtight seal."
    TIA!

  15. #15
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    It's actually an airtight bag of wine, stuck into a box. Used to be only cheap, nasty tasting wines came packaged like this. Apparently good ones are now being packaged like this. The airtightness of the bag allows them to keep for a much longer period of time. Here's a "cutaway" picture of what they look like (if you opened the box - in reality you leave the box closed and there's a spigot on the outside of the box).


  16. #16
    Grace, thanks for the info! I remember seeing these. Still not sure I get the freshness issue though (since I don't really know how this works)- once you hook up the bag to the spigot, and start using it, isn't it like any other bottle of wine that's been opened? Sorry if this is a dense question, haven't been sleeping well and feel like I only have a couple neurons operating.

  17. #17
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    The spigot is already attached. The way the wine is put into the bag and sealed, there's little to no air inside. It's a one way valve. So wine can come out, but no air goes inside. As the wine empties, the bag collapses on itself (think of those baby bottles with the little bags inside - I don't know the name - but the premise is there's no air in the little bag so the baby doesn't swallow air and therefore doesn't get stomach aches or spit up, etc.).

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