Q&A: Wine in the Kitchen

During our Twitter Q&A with Reader’s Digest, our buyers Beth Willard and Davy Zyw wanted to answer some of the questions in more depth than 140 characters would allow them to. One of the topics was how to use wine in cooking and how to keep it.

Q: I love to make Italian dishes using red wine, can you recommend a good red for cooking meals like meatballs & stuffed steak?

A: As a general rule, if you can enjoy a glassful while cooking, then it is good enough. Don’t go too cheap. Our ‘House’ Sangiovese at £5.49 is a cheerful red that will go well with most Italian dishes.


Red wine brings colour, clarity and dry characteristics which are ideal for flavouring red sauces. Remember it is only the alcohol which is removed during cooking.

Hazel Davies asked:

Q: I live on my own, so how can I make the opened bottle last longer, and how long would I be able to keep it and use in cooking?

A: Corking it up and keeping it in the fridge (even reds!) will keep it fresher for longer. Most wines last well for 2 days, and up to a week if you are going to cook with it.

Keeping the wine in the fridge slows down the chemical reactions in the wine, including oxidation which in time will make the wine undrinkable. Placing all wines in the fridge will prolong their freshness so they can be enjoyed again.

kitchenJacqui Scarff wanted to know:

Q: We rarely finish a bottle of wine – how long should it keep if firmly recapped and should it be kept in the fridge please?

A: Once a wine is opened it begins to oxidise. Keeping it refrigerated helps but I’d recommend drinking wine within 48 hours.

Keeping the wine cool slows down oxidation but doesn’t prevent it, here are a couple more handy hints which should help:

  • Store the wine upright to minimise surface area exposed to the oxygen in the air.
  • Do not store on a window or in direct sunlight.
  • Prevent dramatic temperature changes

I hope there are handy tips to help you when you’re in the kitchen, and if there are any other questions then you can contact us via customerservice@laithwaites.co.uk and we will try our best to answer them.

About Tony Laithwaite

Tony Laithwaite, founder of Laithwaite's, whose passion for wine is still going strong!

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