Are You A Wine Waster?

by Stephanie Berenbaum – December 17th, 2012

Make Your Wine, Beer & Bubbly Last Longer

If you’re anything like me, you probably find yourself opening quite a few bottles of wine this time of year.  Or, let’s be honest – all throughout the year.

And though I hate to waste wine – and money – by throwing out excess, I am never sure how long it can keep once opened or how to prolong the life.  Yesterday, I went searching for answers… I stopped into my favorite wine store, Los Angeles’ Domaine LA, for tips from proprietor Jill Bernheimer and her staff!

The Big Chill

I know you are supposed to put white wine in the fridge, but I never thought that was an appropriate place to stash reds!  According to Jill, you should just stick the cork back in your reds (as well as whites) and stick them in the fridge to prolong the life.  Then just bring your red to room temp again before drinking.

I kept badgering Jill to give me a magic number of exactly how many days an open bottle of wine will last for, but alas – there is no hard and fast rule.  You do have to rely on your senses, because it really depends on the wine – and of course, how picky you are.  Personally, 2 days after opening is about the max in my experience…  any hint of a vinegar taste – and I cringe.

Cooking With Wine

Jill gave me totally Fab & Fru idea for using leftover wine -pour it into ice cube trays and freeze!  The next time you are cooking you will have ready to go wine to use for your sauces and marinades – why didn’t I think of this before?

Not only is it a great use of leftover wine, it prevents further waste from opening new bottles when your recipe just calls for a small amount of wine!

What About Bubbly?

What about Champagne?  I have to admit – once during a New Year’s induced hangover I did try putting the cork back in an opened bottle – and yes it did pop out and hit me in the head – stupid and dangerous!  A safer bet: Whitney Adams of Domaine LA told me that the old “spoon handle in the bottle trick” is definitely worth a shot!  Though many think it is just an urban myth, apparently if you put a metal spoon upside down in a bottle of bubbly (so the handle is down in the bottle) it has been known to prolong the fizz. I am not exactly clear on the science here, but I’ll try anything if it might help preserve tonight’s bottle of Prosecco for tomorrow morning’s mimosas.

Beer On Tap

Beer – granted, I wouldn’t want to be reusing random people’s leftover beer, but if it is your own or your hubby’s, don’t go throwing flat beer away.  Some of you may be too young to remember Beer On Tap shampoo, but yes – beer is a great hair conditioner! Just pour through your hair and rinse.  There is usually just the right amount leftover to use for your hair, but it ‘s not the kind thing you’ll want to open a new bottle for.


Almor Liquors here in LA brought me the good news that liquor preserves itself – basically indefinitely.  Our final and by far most important tip this season?  Whatever you choose to drink – drink responsibly!  

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