The Grape Escape: Wine for singles

Mar 16, 2011 at 5:00 am

Ah, romance! Dinner for two. You and your sweetie, lingering over a seductive meal. The lights are dim, soft music is playing, and of course, there’s wine on the table.

But hold on just a minute. Wine-for-two is a great concept, and the traditional “fifth” bottle is just enough for two, maybe with a glass left over for another day.

But how about singles? Whether you’re temporarily in solitary status or have embraced it as a way of life, chances are a full bottle of wine is more than you care to take on in one sitting. Particularly if you’re driving.

So, whether you’re dining alone or with a partner who doesn’t drink wine, what’s a solitary wine lover to do?

Here are a few suggestions:

• Look for wine in half-bottles (375ml). Although relatively few wines come in smaller bottles, this size seems to be gaining shelf space, and more and more wine shops — and quite a few restaurants — are offering at least a modest selection.

• Get over your prejudice against wine-in-the-box. Just about a year ago, I wrote about how good Bota Box and Black Box wines are, and they’ll keep for two months in the fridge. Have you tried them yet?

• Invest in one of the vacuum or inert-gas systems for preserving leftover wine. They don’t work well for more than a few days, but they will help keep your wine fresh for at least a night or two. To extend its useful life for a few more days, put the leftover wine in the refrigerator.

• Learn to cook with wine. Use it in your dinner (the alcohol will mostly cook off) and enjoy a glass or two of what’s left.

• Invite friends over to share.