Time for Wine!
Sometimes you just want to have a single glass of vino with dinner, or maybe it's a pre-dinner sip in lieu of cocktail. But, once you open that bottle, how long will it last and what's the best way to store it? We asked our favourite wine expert, Emma Clough of Through the Grapevine to give us the lowdown.
Once you open a bottle of wine, what’s the best way to store it? Do you store whites & reds differently?
For whites return the cork and place in the fridge; for reds return the cork or if you’ve decanted cover your decanter. I use a stopper for mine, but a tea towel, cling film or tin foil will work.
Refrigerating helps keep wine fresh longer—even reds—because storing at cooler temperatures slows the oxidation process that occurs when wine is exposed to oxygen. And be sure to store your bottle upright to reduce the surface area exposed to oxygen.
Does one style of wine last a little longer once it’s opened?
You can store both reds and whites for up-to five days, although I do not recommend more than three. Sparkling wines, such as Prosecco or Champagne, can stay fresh and will keep some fizz for a similar amount of time, but need to be properly sealed—ideally with a specific Champagne bottle stopper. If you don’t have one insert a tea spoon (handle into the bottle) and consume the next day.
What’s the best type of wine too open if you just want a single glass at dinner?
For white Pinot Grigio as this retains freshness well. If you fancy red, I’d suggest a good Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz packed with flavour always hits the spot.
When my kids were little we joked about “homework wine.” Do you have any recommendations for an easy drinking, not too expensive bottle that one can sip in single glasses throughout the week?
Again I'd recommend Pinot Grigio as it's lovely on-its own, but also great as a spritzer so you can add soda to a couple of glasses and make the bottle go further!
I read somewhere that Nigella Lawson takes her leftover wine and freezes it in ice cube trays. Then pops the cubes into stocks and sauces. Have you ever tried that?
No but that is a very good idea and I think I will try it. I wouldn’t suggest defrosting and drinking wine, but it sounds perfect for sauces.
Do you have a good recipes for using up half drunk bottles?
Yes these are both fabulous. There is a Delia Smith Chicken Sauce that is so quick and easy, I double the sauce but reduce the soy sauce a little.
And for using up red wine you can’t beat this Beef Ragu recipe.