Category Archives: gourmet food hacks

how long red wine last opened

How Long Does WINE Last After Opening? Red, White, & Box Wine

How long will opened and unopened wine last? One of the best things to come home to is that opened bottle of wine we forget we had waiting for us. We pour it in a big glass, swirl it around and breathe in the sweet aroma.

But when we take that first sip, sometimes it’s not that crisp and bubbly flavor that hit our tongues a couple of days ago. The taste is sour or vinegary, our lips twist and our eyes squint. The wine is spoiled – how on Earth could we let this delightful drink that’s always there for us, down?

It’s okay, wine accepts us for who we are (it does see us sing at the top of our lungs). But, the worst thing is watching our wine pour down the drain (sometimes while crying) – even if it was only a $9 Barefoot bottle. Here are some estimates for how long wine lasts, as well as wine storage advice that explains the Miles Davis photo.

how long wine lasts

How Long Does Wine Last / Stay Good?

The cheap wine, (under $20) most of us buy at the liquor store can last a couple of years if stored correctly. Virtually none of this “cheap” wine is suitable for “cellaring”, (storing for long period of time) but it still might last as long as your average canned good if stored properly. To figure out if your wine is still good, start with the year on the label. Generally better wine can last longer, so that ’06 Yellow Tail chardonnay isn’t fit for drinking anymore!

wine last once opened

Here’s some helpful info on how long wine stays fresh / drinkable:


How Long Does RED Wine Last?

  • Unopened: 2-3 years
  • Opened lasts: 1-2 weeks (in refrigerator)

Red wine varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, syrah, malbec, etc. Good for your heart and on the table of a candlelight dinner, all of the luscious varieties of red wine lasts about 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator after opening. Uncorked, red wine lasts about 2 to 3 years. This gives us plenty of time to choose between all of the subtle notes we’re in the mood for – from violets, blueberry, cherries and even coffee. Red wine is best enjoyed when it’s room temperature and after some time of breathing in some air to bring out the flavors. Sit it out as a decoration and try not to rush it’s beauty!


How Long Does WHITE Wine Last?

  • Unopened: 1-2 years
  • Once opened, it lasts: 1-3 days (in refrigerator)

White wine varieties include: Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, moscato, riesling, etc. The elegant and sparkly white wine is a lot more demanding (one of the only kind of demands I’ll be happy to follow). After opening, white wine only lasts about 1 to 3 days because white wine is a lot more sensitive to light and heat. White wine makes me think of a breezy summer day. Light and bubbly — with notes of citrus, melon, apple and much more. Without opening, white wine can last 1 to 2 years.


How Long Does BOX Wine Last?

  • Unopened box wine: 6-9 months
  • Opened box wine lasts: 6+ weeks

Are you training for the “Tour de Franzia?” Unlike bottled wine, box wine actually has an expiration date. Box wine should still taste fine a couple of months past its expiration date.


How Long Does Fine Wine Last?

Fine Wine can last decades in a wine cellar, but once opened is subject to the same laws of physics as cheap wine.

  • Fine Red Wine: Up to 10 years
  • Fine Red wine: up to 20+ years
  • Fortified wines: Up to 100+ years

*A fortified wine is one to which a distilled spirit, such as brandy, has been added. Varieties of fortified wine include: port wine, sherry, vermouth, madeira wine, and marsala wine

It’s weird to think that a bottle of wine that has been fermenting since the nineties can go bad within days of opening, but all good things must come to an end. The reason wine goes bad is from the same thing that makes red wine taste better: oxidation. As wine is exposed to oxygen (which we can’t cut off completely after opening), it spoils.


Make Wine Last Longer: Keep It COOL, DARK, & HORIZONTAL (Like Miles Davis on His Back!)

proper wine storage last longer

I just made that simile up, and it’s such a nice visual to remember! Anyway, in order to know how to care for your wine, you need to know how to start its life off right when you take it home. The proper place to store your bottle of wine is not going to be right by your side, but it’s okay, it will still be there when you wake up (unlike other things).

The wine that’s stacked beautifully by name on the liquor store shelves are meant to be enjoyed soon after purchasing and not stored for longer period of time. Wine cellars are the perfect, proper way to store good wine, so we want to try to replicate them. Cellars are cool, dark places with a temperature between 50-55°F (13°C).

If you have the habit of keeping your wine above the fridge, near the stove or next to the dishwasher — stop it! Every time you use one of those appliances, their heat will heat up your poor bottle of wine.

how long opened red wine lastFind a spot in your house where it’s cool and dark and where you can place your wine horizontally. Storing your wine bottle on its side keeps the cork moist, which will prevent the horror of air sneaking into the bottle and drying out the cork, causing it to crumble into your wine.

We’ve all had the experience of finally popping that cork only to find pieces of it floating in your glass (Although this doesn’t stop us from drinking it – I’ve been there).

*Takeaway: “If storing wine properly is cool, consider me Miles Davis!” The three easy steps to storing wine are keeping it cool, dark and horizontal. You can find some fun wine racks on sites like Etsy, or just create your own!

How to know if wine is still good: 4 Simple Ways to Detect Bad Wine

There is no such thing as bad wine, I refuse to believe it!

  • Smell: When your wine is sour, the aroma will most likely be sour as well. Instead of a fruity aroma, there will be a musty, moldy smell like wet cardboard.
  • Sight: We love the palette of color that wines can show, so I’m sure we can tell when something is off. If red wines have a brownish hue, it’s as good as dirt. If white wines are darker than usual, ditch them. Another thing you should be able to notice as you gaze at the stream of wine pouring into your class is cloudiness.
  • Taste: Just trust your instincts when you take a sip of wine and it doesn’t make you want to smile immediately.
  • Leaky Cork: The cork gets weird when the wine gets weird. If the cork is leaky or poking out of the bottle more than usual, the bottle has overheated.

wine corksHopefully this post has provided some helpful estimates of how long wine stays good for. (In fact, we’re full of good advice, and recently wrote a post about how to ripen avocados faster!) If all of the above is too wordy or confusing, just go by our ancestors’ rule of thumb: “if something tastes disgusting, you probably shouldn’t drink it!”

Also, you can get some great bottles of wine for under $20 at your local liquor store, so no need to go crazy and order expensive wine from Harry & David or wine.com, unless it’s a gift.

Photo of Miles Davis By Antonisse, Marcel / Anefo

how_make_pears_ripen_quickly

Are Your Pears RIPE? How to Tell + Make a Pear Ripen FASTER

Pears are seriously underrated. They’re pretty on the outside with colors of green and sometimes red, and they’re sweet, juicy and crisp on the inside, and really healthy. Thankfully, pears have been getting more attention (maybe because of Rick Ross’ shout out) and delectable pear recipes have been sprinkled all over the internet.

Pears can be eaten raw in salads, baked in sweet treats and even pureed into a sauce. If you are fantasizing about running to your local grocery store to pick up some pears to eat immediately, not so fast; they might not be ripe yet!

Know Your Pears: How Many Types Are There?

pears make ripen quicklyBefore learning about ripening your pears, you should know about the different types of pears (there are 10 types of these curvy beauties!) and find out which ones you want.

The fancy names for these fancy fruits are Anjous (red & green), Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle, Seckel and Starkrimson.

Each kind of pear has their own level of sweetness and texture (just like us; not all of us pear-eaters are sweet!). For instance, Bosc are sweet and best for baking.

The world-famous Royal Riviera pears from Harry & David (view coupons) are actually a type of Comice pear, grown only in Southern Oregon. The Comice is known as the sweetest and juiciest pear, and a favorite to send as a holiday gift.

Most of these pears don’t show a color change when ripening, except for the Barlett. When a Barlett pear (one of the most common pears we reach for) is ripe, the skin brightens to a yellow color – a happy color for a happy, ripe day!

How Long Do Pears Take to Ripen?

After pears are plucked off of the tree that gave them life, they aren’t ready to eat, and need some time for their sugars to develop, and then they begin to ripen.

So, how do we know when the rest of the pears are ripe? If you have your pears at room temperature on the kitchen counter, here’s how long they might take to ripen:

  • Bartlett pears: 4 to 5 days
  • Bosc and Comice (including Royal Riviera) pears: 5 to 7 days
  • Anjou pears: 7 to 10 days.

After you have a ripe pear, that’s when you can store them into your refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

Note that some varieties of pears will develop brown spots, but this is not bad or a sign of rotting. This is called russeting which is natural and does not take away from the delicious flavor.

Freshly cut pears will start to brown quickly. If you’re serving them and don’t want them to brown, just dip them in a mixture of half-water, half-lemon juice.

How to Tell If a Pear is Ripe? Check the Neck!

check pear neck ripeIt can be hard to tell when they are ripe because not all types of pears change in color.  If you bite into one, it might have an exciting crunching sound, but you won’t get that sweet, delicious taste.

TipCheck the neck: The USA Pear Bureau (is that who agent Ethan Hunt reports to?)  has an easy ripe test that can pass for all types of pears: check the neck! (I wonder if that phrase will catch on at Trump rallies? Check the neck! Check the neck!)

Simply press your thumb against the pear’s neck (the stem – don’t break its skinny neck!) If the unbroken neck yields to your pressure, then it’s a ready-to-eat pear! If it still feels very firm, try again tomorrow.

Tip: If your thumb gets buried deep in the pear, and juices run through your tightly-wrapped fingers, you are probably harboring a lot of anger. Remember, it’s a pear, not a stress-ball.

Not ripe yet? Check the neck every day until it’s pear-fectly ripe. This may take a couple days to a whole week. If you need your pears sooner, you can do some things to speed up the ripening.

How to Ripen Pears Quickly: The “Brown Paper Bag” Method

brown paper bagOne thing you can do to make a pear ripen faster is the same method known to ripen avocados faster! Pear your pear with a ripe apple or ripe banana and place them into a brown paper bag.

This traps the pear with more ethylene gas (the gas fruits give off during the ripening process) and triggers the ripening process to speed up.

You’ll want to check them a couple of times a day though, as this can double the speed at which they ripen.

Tip: Brown paper bags are preferred as, unlike colored or white bags, they don’t have dyes or inks in the paper which may leech into your fruit.

Ripen Pears Faster: The “Pear-Pressure” Method

bowl of pearsIf you’re in a hurry, another way to speed up the ripening process (once again because of the science of ethylene gas) is to “pear” a bunch of pears together in a basket. 

When one fruit ripens, the others think it’s cool and want to follow along and ripen too. You might even call it, “pear-pressure!” (are you getting the puns yet?)

*Hopefully the ripe pears won’t start cyber-bullying the unripe ones, but it happens.

How to Slow Down the Ripening Process

If you want to delay ripening, you can put pears in the refrigerator. Put them in a clear tupperware container and cover the top with Saran Wrap. This way you can keep an eye on them and not forget about them.

A pear is perfectly ripe for a short time. If you do forget about your pears for too long (How could this happen? Get your priorities straight, man!), don’t worry. Unlike most fruits, overripe pears can still be just as tasty.

Harry & David suggests that overripe pears are good texture agents in cooking and can still lend sweetness to smoothies, pies, cakes, and other purees. View recipes for Harry and David pears here.

Rick Ross’ shout out to pears:

“They give me fruit to eat… I eat pears and sh*t like that; shoutout to all the pears!”

Well, after Rick Ross’ viral pear-endorsement, all the cool kids are going to be going out and buying some, so get your pears from Harry and David while they last! (Hmmm… his body even has a pear-shape!)

how ripen avocados faster

How to Ripen Your Avocados Faster: Overnight, or 10 Minutes!

I love avocados, you love avocados – we all love avocados. We wait patiently for when they’re dark in color on the outside, and perfectly green and creamy on the inside. But one of the biggest disappointments is when we cut into our beloved avocado only to find out it deceived us.

Sometimes, the appearance and texture of an avocado can look like its ripe, yet the inside is bruised with brown spots or still hard.

When shopping, we should keep in mind that avocados are not going to be ripe at the grocery store.

So, patience is needed, as it usually takes a couple of days to ripen. But what about when we can’t help but crave fresh guacamole or simple avocado toast and we get stuck with a rock-hard avocado? Lucky for us avocado enthusiasts, there are some tips on how to buy them and methods to use to ripen your avocado faster!

avocados ripen faster

Ripen an Avocado FASTER: “Grab a Brown Paper Bag!”

This method is as simple as the one above, with a little more waiting time. Simply place your avocado with either an apple or a banana (which I’m assuming you have if you are a fruit-junkie) in a brown paper bag.

Leave it overnight and voila – you have a ripe avocado! Not ripe yet? Keep it in the bag and check every day for the next 1-3 days until it’s ripe. Apples and bananas also release that ethylene gas that I mentioned above. So, this method traps the avocado’s ethylene gas along with the other fruit’s to speed up the ripening process. You can also ripen pears this way.

(*Tip: If you are so excited at this point by your perfectly ripe avocado, you may also use the paper bag to control hyperventilation

Ripen an Avocado FASTEST: “The 10 Minute, Oven Method”

ovenRipening an avocado in ten minutes!? That’s right – sometimes, you don’t have to wait for the best things in life. For this avocado hack, you’re going to need an oven, a baking sheet, some tinfoil and your precious green baby.

First, preheat your oven for 200°F. After the temperature is set, wrap your whole avocado tightly in foil and pop it in for 10-15 minutes. Try to tame your excitement and hold back from peeking into the oven as if you can see it soften through the foil. Gluing your eyes to the oven will only make the 10 minutes seem longer!

Depending on how hard your avocado was to start with, 10 minutes may not be enough to soften it. If this is the case for your avocado, you can keep it in the oven for up to an hour. Just keep checking it regularly so it doesn’t overcook.

While you wait, ponder this: the reason why this method works is because of the ethylene gas that avocados produce. Usually, this gas is released slowly during the ripening process. Because your avocado is in foil, the gas is able to smother it and push the ripening process into hyperdrive!

After your avocado is done in the oven, it’s ready for you to cut open and scoop out! If it’s too hot and you have the self-control to wait even longer, place it in your fridge until it cools. avocado speed up ripening process

At the Grocery Store: Picking an Avocado

When our eyes meet those seemingly ripe avocados with the dark-green, purplish skin color, we pick them up with no hesitation. But, color is not the only deciding factor when looking for a ready-to-eat avocado. The most important factor is the feel and consistency of the avocado. Just like we’ve been taught to remember since we were young – looks aren’t everything.

You certainly can start picking out your ripe avocado by looking at its appearance. Make sure you look for any large indentations on the outer skin as this may mean that it’s bruised inside. And when judging by color, if the deep, purplish color is closer to a black hue, it’s most likely overripe. An overripe avocado will also be mushy to the touch (yuck).

Now, pick up the prized avocado that caught your eye. In the palm of your hand, gently squeeze your avocado without bruising it with your fingers (you don’t want to hurt it!).

Pretend your hand is a hug for your avocado.

You love it, don’t you? If the avocado yields to your pressure, then it’s ready for your belly! If not, then you will have to wait a couple of days for it to ripen.

(*Note: If you find yourself gritting your teeth and smashing the avocado until it runs like guacamole through your fingers, you are unfit for ANY relationship, and probably an unloveable person.)

avocado ripen fast

Ripe or Overripe? Take the Stem off

If you’re at home, you can take the stem off to tell if it’s ripe. If it comes off easily and there is green underneath, your avocado is ripe. If the removed stem reveals brown, it’s overripe, and you’ll probably find brown spots inside the fruit!

Recap: Green = Ripe, Brown = Overripe

Anyway, whatever way you decide to pick or ripen your avocado, these tips are the way to go. Now that you have your perfectly ripe avocado, find any recipe you’d like to use – new or a favorite. Cut it open, remove the pit, slice it, scoop out and enjoy!

Image credits: pixabay.com