Does Marsala Wine Need to be Refrigerated?

Both light and high temperatures can wreak havoc on wines. If you use Marsala wine for sipping and cooking, too, it’s a definite must that you store a bottle of it the right way to keep it in excellent condition for the longest time possible. Because of this, you may be wondering if you should keep it in the refrigerator for longevity.

In most instances, it’s enough to store a bottle of Marsala wine, whether opened or unopened, in a cool and dry place in order to keep it from going bad. An unopened Marsala wine, provided that it’s stored properly, can last indefinitely. An opened Marsala wine, meanwhile, can last for 4 to 6 months.

Considering that bottle of Marsala wine a prized possession for its versatility? Keep reading.

Whether you like Marsala as an alcoholic beverage or a versatile cooking ingredient, proper storage is essential in order to get the best possible experience with it each and every single time. And this article is all about storing Marsala wine correctly so that you can keep it in tip-top shape longer.

How Long Does an Unopened Bottle of Marsala Wine Last

Keeping a bottle of Marsala wine unopened can help make it last indefinitely, although it may begin to lose some of its characteristics in 2 to 6 years, depending on the overall quality. However, in order to achieve this feat, the Sicilian wine should be stored in a cool and dry place, away from light and sources of heat.

Wine experts agree that an unopened bottle of Marsala wine should be stored in a place with a constant temperature of between 53°F and 57°F (11.7°C and 13.9°C).

It’s also a good idea to store it flat or horizontally where the humidity is anywhere from 60% to 70%.

However, casual wine drinkers or cooks who love cooking with wine every now and again should not be too technical when it comes to properly storing Marsala wine.

For as long as you keep its unopened bottle as far away as possible from light and heat, too, you can rest assured that it will stay good for years and years.

Marsala wine
Marsala wine

How Long Does Marsala Wine Last Once It’s Opened

Storing an opened bottle of Marsala wine is just like storing an unopened bottle of it. Like other wines, the fortified wine should be kept where it’s dark, cool and dry. When stored correctly, an opened bottle of Marsala wine can last for 4 to 6 months. It may be refrigerated, too, for a longer shelf life.

Unlike an unopened bottle of Marsala wine whose contents are untouched by the elements, an opened bottle of Marsala wine will not and cannot last for an indefinite amount of time.

It can be enjoyed as a drink or a cooking ingredient for Italian or Italian-American dishes for 4 to 6 months only.

But in order to keep an opened bottle of Sicilian wine in good condition for up to half a year, it’s important that you stash it in a cool and dry place.

The darker and lower the temperature of the storage area, the better. And that is why it’s also very much possible to store Marsala in the fridge after it’s been opened.

Refrigerating Marsala wine can slow down the process of quality loss, which tends to start as soon as the bottle is opened. In the fridge, it may last a few weeks or months longer than when stored outside.

Marsala wines

How To Store a Bottle of Marsala Cooking Wine

Because Marsala cooking wine has added preservatives and more alcohol content than actual Marsala wine, the product tends to last much longer. This is true even after opening the bottle.

When always stored in a cool and dry place, an opened bottle of Marsala cooking wine can last for a little over a year.

An unopened bottle of Marsala cooking wine (or any other cooking wine for that matter) can stay in excellent quality before the best-by or use-before date printed on its packaging.

Generally speaking, cooking wines have a shelf life of about 1 year from the manufacturing date.

Some unopened bottles may still be usable past 1 year. As a matter of fact, some may still be usable after 3 to 5 years.

However, the quality may no longer be the best, which can negatively impact your cooking. To get the most out of a bottle of Marsala cooking wine, use everything before the best-by or use-before date.

An opened bottle of Marsala cooking wine can keep for up to a year. But make sure that you store it in a cool and dry place. Placing the product in the refrigerator is fine, too, where it’s safer from the elements.

Does Marsala Wine Go Bad?

Marsala wine, like other wines, goes bad after some time. This is especially true after a bottle of it has been opened and the contents have been exposed to the elements. Bad Marsala wine tastes like rotten grapes and smells like vinegar.

Some may experience a mild stomach ache after consuming expired Marsala wine.

It’s true that Marsala wine is fortified and has a higher alcohol content than most other wines, which makes it last longer — 4 to 6 months when opened and for up to 6 years when unopened.

Still, exposure to light and high temperatures can make it go bad faster than usual.

If Marsala wine develops an off flavor, odor and/or appearance, it’s a much better idea to dispose of it than drink it for the sake of keeping money from going down the drain. You will not die of drinking expired Marsala wine. However, you might experience a stomach ache. Also, the overall experience of sipping it will no longer be a delightful one.

Wondering if you can cook with expired Marsala wine or Marsala cooking wine? The short answer is yes, you can. But your dish will taste so much better if you cook with Marsala that’s well before its expiration date.

Bad Marsala, whether the real deal or the cooking wine version, has an unpleasant taste and smell, which it can lend to whatever dish you add it to — the effect will depend on how much of expired Marsala is used.

So, in other words, that delicious online Italian or Italian-American dish you would like to give a try might end up a complete disaster.

Just Before You Store a Bottle of Marsala Wine

One of the nicest things about Marsala is that it can last for a relatively long time. Making this possible is the fact that it’s fortified and has a high alcohol by volume (ABV) of 15% to 20%, which serves as a preservative.

And that is why there was a time when it was a highly popular shipping wine — it didn’t go bad easily on long voyages.

However, it doesn’t mean that the well-loved Sicilian gem is impervious to those wine-damaging elements.

Now that you know how to store a bottle of Marsala wine properly, whether opened or unopened, you can enjoy absolute peace of mind that there’s something you can count on when it’s time for you to sip or cook something.

Related Questions

Can you store Marsala wine in the freezer?

Storing Marsala wine in the freezer can make the fortified wine from Sicily last indefinitely. However, it’s going to gradually lose some of its best qualities in around 4 to 5 months, so it’s a good idea to consume it by then. In order to thaw frozen Marsala wine, transfer it to the refrigerator the night before.

How long does Marsala wine sauce last?

Marsala wine sauce incorporated into chicken Marsala or another meat dish should be refrigerated within 2 hours after cooking. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, Marsala wine sauce can last anywhere from 5 to 7 days. In the freezer, Marsala wine sauce can last for up to 6 months long or even longer.

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