By Anna Stockwell. Photo by: Chelsea Kyle.
It’s Grocery Month at Epicurious, and we’re thinking about super-fast checkout lines, alternative mylks (not a typo), and the cheapest bottles of olive oil (and wine). Check out the complete series here.
I'm a big believer in sauce. I make some kind of sauce for almost every dinner I cook. I especially like to make a good pan sauce, which is always better with wine in it, no matter what you're putting it on.
But the thing is, unless I'm entertaining, I don't go through wine very quickly in my kitchen. So opening up a fresh bottle to splash into a pan sauce (and serve myself one glass to go with dinner) means that I have to either drink the rest of that bottle of wine or think of another way to use it within a few days before it becomes less than desirable. Pouring wine down the drain is sad. But there's any easy way to avoid it: keep some boxed wine in your kitchen.
By boxed wine, I actually mean bag-in-a-box wine. Inside the box packaging, the vacuum-sealed bag of wine deflates as the wine is poured out, so no oxygen—the number one enemy of keeping wine fresh—comes in contact with the wine as it's poured out of the box. Wine that's packaged this way stays fresh for about a month after opening—more than triple the amount of time as your standard bottle. So no one has to feel bad about cracking open a box of red for a sweet-tart pan sauce for pork tenderloin, or a box of white to make risotto, because the wine will stay fresh for many more meals to come.
Boxed wine has long surpassed any negative associations with college frat parties it may once have had. Yes, it's still cheaper than buying wine in the bottle, but that doesn't mean all of it is inferior! Plus it's better for the environment. Not sure which ones to try? We've got a few suggestions of boxes to look out for here. I'm a fan of the boxed natural wines by From The Tank if you can find them. If you can't, Bota Box is a reliable choice that's available at many local wine stores or supermarkets.
With a box of wine on hand, you'll never have to worry about whether or not to crack open that nice bottle you got as a host gift to make a quick sauce (or stew, or ragù, or a braise...) is going to make you a better cook. And I'll cheers to that.
This story originally appeared on Epicurious.
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