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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Wine For Cooking

    I don't drink alcohol by choice though I do use it in cooking. My problem is this buy a large bottle and I really have to dump more than half of it, buy the small bottles and it becomes very expensive. Is there a substitute I can use for red and white wine, something I can cork and go back to a week or a month later?

    From the nigella team:

    Fortunately there are several solutions for people who like to cook with wine but not necessarily drink it. The first is that you can freeze leftover red, white or sparkling wine and use it for cooking. Wine doesn't freeze solid, it remains slightly slushy, so you can freeze the whole lot in an airtight container and just scoop out what you need, or you can freeze it in containers in individual portions (we suggest by glassful). You can use the wine from frozen and melt it into the dish you are making, or thaw it for about an hour before using.

    The other alternative is to use a fortified wine which has a much longer shelf life, even after opening. For white wine we suggest dry white vermouth or you could use a medium-dry sherry. For red wine you can use port or red vermouth. Dry Madiera is also a good option to have in the storecupboard. It goes with both red and white meats, though will give a darker sauce than say a white wine or white vermouth.

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