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Freezing wine?


Dianabanana
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For medical reasons, I am no longer able to drink wine, but I like to cook with it. This results in my buying a whole bottle of wine, using half a cup of it, then spending the next couple of days casting about for other things I can make to use up the rest of the bottle.

It occurred to me today that maybe I could freeze it in cooking-size portions. What do you think? Would it alter the flavor?

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I'd try it with some cheapish wine. My guess is that would effect the flavor for drinking, but not for cooking with it (cooking radically transforms the flavor of any wine).

Your idea of freezing in individual portions is key. If you tried to do a whole bottle worth, it would tend to separate, so parts of it would be too high in water or alcohol or solids.

If your freezer is in the right temp range, the wine should freeze into easily managed slush.

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"Martha" says to freeze it in an icecube tray....

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I remember watching an episode of Nigella a few years back, and she was scavenging the remnants from her dinner parties, putting the contents in ice cube trays, and freezing them for cooking use.

Edited by Peter Green (log)
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I agree with the others about the ice cube trays. I also use them for pesto, demi-glace, and tonic (for David Rosengarten's The Frosty Plymouth Gin & Tonic.)

I'm curious -- is it the alcohol in wine that makes it verboten? If so, are you aware that not all the alcohol evaporates during cooking? The percentage depends on the cooking method. Here's a table from a study by the US Dep't of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory. The wider the pan and the longer the simmer (uncovered, of course), the more alcohol will evaporate.

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Since you're going to be reducing it anyway, reduce the wine by 2 - 3x and then freeze to save on freezer space.

I wonder if this would make it easier to freeze too. I've frozen wine in cubes and you can never quite freeze it all the way so it's a bit messy. If you cook the wine off, this might not happen. Next time...

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I agree with the others about the ice cube trays. I also use them for pesto, demi-glace, and tonic (for David Rosengarten's The Frosty Plymouth Gin & Tonic.)

I'm curious -- is it the alcohol in wine that makes it verboten? If so, are you aware that not all the alcohol evaporates during cooking? The percentage depends on the cooking method. Here's a table from a study by the US Dep't of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory. The wider the pan and the longer the simmer (uncovered, of course), the more alcohol will evaporate.

I know--it's not that it's strictly verboten, it's that drinking a whole glass of it exacerbates my existing symptoms. I don't think it's the alcohol, because beer and spirits aren't nearly as bad. When used in cooking, the quantity of wine consumed is small enough that it's not a problem. But thank you, I appreciate the tip.

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I freeze wine for cooking a lot. At first I did cringe at the idea, but a chef who was teaching a class pointed out that although you don't want to buy rotgut stuff, you also don't want to cook with really good wine, since any nuances it has will be overpowered by other flavors in dishes... and the same thinking applies to freezing wine. It's always worked well for me.

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Since you're going to be reducing it anyway, reduce the wine by 2 - 3x and then freeze to save on freezer space.

I don't believe this would be a good idea. Yes, the alcohol and some of the water evaporates as you cook with it but during that time some of the liquid is also absorbed or the time as required to deglace the pan. If you start with an already reduced liquid it may become too concentrated or not serve the intended function. The only possible exception would be if you're going to use it solely if for making a sauce. You're not talking that much freezer space to make a difference.

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Since you're going to be reducing it anyway, reduce the wine by 2 - 3x and then freeze to save on freezer space.

I don't believe this would be a good idea. Yes, the alcohol and some of the water evaporates as you cook with it but during that time some of the liquid is also absorbed or the time as required to deglace the pan. If you start with an already reduced liquid it may become too concentrated or not serve the intended function. The only possible exception would be if you're going to use it solely if for making a sauce. You're not talking that much freezer space to make a difference.

I don't think that's true. Because it's frozen, you're going to have to use some other liquid to deglaze the pan anyway so you are already bringing it back up to some proportion of the unreduced wine.

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Freezing wine was discussed a couple of years ago here [click]. Might be some additional info in there for y'all...

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In fact, frozen wine can actually be quite drinkable once thawed, in addition to being cooking-worthy. Certainly it tastes better than wine that's been opened and then stuck in the fridge for two or three days.

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Certainly it tastes better than wine that's been opened and then stuck in the fridge for two or three days.

I'm always amazed by how quickly people think wine goes off. re-corked and refrigerated wine will easily keep a week and more likely two if you're using it for cooking. We did the experiment on a wine tasting course I did (two identical bottles, one opened on the night, one the week before - net result: very little difference).

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with freezing wine for cooking but you may be able to get away with longer than you think in the fridge.

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Certainly it tastes better than wine that's been opened and then stuck in the fridge for two or three days.

I'm always amazed by how quickly people think wine goes off. re-corked and refrigerated wine will easily keep a week and more likely two if you're using it for cooking. We did the experiment on a wine tasting course I did (two identical bottles, one opened on the night, one the week before - net result: very little difference).

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with freezing wine for cooking but you may be able to get away with longer than you think in the fridge.

I promise you, I have vast experience in judging how long re-corked wine will last. :wink:

Not saying that the stuff is undrinkable, just saying you can taste the difference.

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you could also get something like the private preserver wine preserver, a bottle with some inert gas in it that you use to replace the regular air in an open bottle. We are just now experimenting with it, but it seems to work very well. If there's no oxygen in the bottle, there's nothing there to oxidate the wine and it should be fine for a long time.

While freezing might work, I'd stay away from it. For one because it just "seems wrong", but also - and more importantly - because the freezer section of my fridge is already full to the rim and there's no room for wine cubes. Oh, and I'd most likely forget about them in there anyways....

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