Does Cooking Wine Go Bad? (All You Need To Know)

Does Cooking Wine Go Bad?

Cooking recipes are one of the many things that make cooking exciting. While a lot of recipes make cooking exciting, some make cooking special, not just the process of cooking, but also the flavor and outcome.

In short: Yes, they do. Cooking wine can go bad. All types of wine do have expiry dates, which are usually about 1 year; your wine can become bad after this date or at a later time. 

One of such recipes that has made cooking, not just fun or exciting but adds to the flavor of cooking is a cooking wine. The idea of using cooking wine as an ingredient for the preparation of food is not anywhere near new; cooking with wine can be traced as far back as the times of ancient Rome.

Trying out new recipes requires asking lots of questions and getting as much information as possible. Does cooking wine go bad? This has become one of the most asked questions on the use of cooking wine; questions on how to preserve the cooking wine and its longevity have also been flying around.

This guide helps you understand all you need to know about cooking wine.

Does Wine Go Bad

What Is Cooking Wine? 

While there are a ton of people who are familiar with the use of cooking wine and its uses, there are also people who are not familiar with cooking wine or what it is used for.

Cooking wine is a breed of wine that is specially formulated to be used for cooking. Cooking wine has in it, salt and some other preservatives which are not in normal drinking wine. The preservatives in it make it more suitable for cooking than the regular cooking wine; it also makes the cooking wine have a longer shelf life than the regular wine.

Cooking wine has a somewhat high alcohol by volume (ABV). This is because most of the alcohol will be burned off during the cooking process.   

Cooking wine comes in either white or red wines, they also come in different flavors, hence you get to purchase a bottle of wine in accordance to whatever flavor you want to be added to your food.

Although cooking wine is not made for drinking, you can drink it as it is still wine, however, it may not taste as regular wine would, due to the level of alcohol and sugar. The level of alcohol in white cooking wine is lesser than that in red cooking wine; you must read the label on the cooking wine you want to purchase before you do so. 

Can Cooking Wine Go Bad? 

Yes, Cooking wine can go bad. It will go bad after a long time, regardless of if it is opened or not. Typically, cooking wine tends to have an expiry date, which is about one year.

An unopened wine may have a longer shelf life than an opened cooking wine; however, if left for a very long time, it can go bad. Depending on what type of wine you purchase, you might find an unopened wine that will be good for as long as three years or less.

Does Cooking Wine Go Bad?
Image: @DashaPetrenko via Twenty20

However, we recommend that your wine be changed after 1 year as it is still an alcoholic beverage and they also go bad. Ensure to check the wine label to identify when your wine will expire; also, ensure that your wine is stored according to the recommended wine storage. 

How Do You Know If Cooking Wine Is Bad? 

Cooking wines can go bad whether they are opened or unopened. The following are ways to identify if your wine has gone bad, opened or unopened;  

  • Discolored corks 
  • Unpleasant odor on the cork 
  • The cork smells like corkboard or wet dog
  • Cloudy or discolored look 
  • Bubbles in the wine 
  • Unpleasant odor or vinegar-like odor.

Can I Use Expired White Cooking Wine?

Yes! You can still make use of your white cooking wine for cooking, even if it’s past its expiry date. However, this is only recommended if the wine is unopened. As long as it is kept in a cool, dry place and is unopened, you can still cook with it. 

Does Cooking Wine Need To Be Refrigerated After Opening?

No! Cooking wine comes with salt and other preservatives to help it stay longer than regular wine. Cooking wine also has high alcohol content which will further enable its use, even after its expiry date. It is best to not refrigerate your cooking wine.

What Happens If You Cook With Bad Wine?

Cooking with bad wine will change the flavor, taste, and maybe the looks of your food. Hence we can say that cooking with bad wine will result in bad food.

Final Thoughts 

Cooking with wine is one way to make your food special and more delicious.

Whether opened or unopened, wines go bad as a result of exposure to too many UV rays, air, and microbes or bacteria, which might have been during production or not.

It is best to properly store your wine, according to the label’s recommended storage temperature, this way your wine gets to stay good for as long as it should.

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