Leftover wine? The thought makes me shiver! But, it does happen from time to time. Some celebrations end before the wine is all gone. Or sometimes you open a bottle of wine that you just don’t like.
It does seem like an awful waste to dump leftover wine down the sink. However, once a bottle of wine has been uncorked, the oxygen in the air immediately starts to change it. The taste, smell, and color of leftover wine can begin to change rapidly and it may not be as good a few days later. In some cases, the taste may have changed so much that you may not want to drink it at all.
There are better things to do with leftover wine than dumping it down the drain though! If you can’t bear the thought of wasting that grapey goodness – or your money – try a few of these ideas.
1. Freeze It
I won’t pretend that leftover wine will stay tasty after you freeze it, but it can be a great way to store it until you decide what you want to do with it. Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays so you’ll be able to pull out just the right amount when you need it.
2. Make a Party Punch
Leftover wine can be a great excuse to have yourself a little party. Try your hand at mixing a fruity sangria by mixing leftover wine, chopped fruit, juice, and liquor. Make it a sparkling sangria with the addition of Sprite or ginger ale.
3. Mix Some Cocktails
If you didn’t like the taste of wine the first time around, try making some cocktails with it. Combining it with mixers and some liqueur can make even nasty wine taste a little better. There are tons of wine cocktails recipes online, or you can create your own.
4. Cook With It
One of the best ways to use leftover wine is by cooking with it. Wine adds a rich touch to dishes and gives them a deeper depth of flavor. Red wine goes best with beef dishes and tomato based sauces, while white wine goes well in chicken dishes and cream based sauces. No need to worry about the alcohol either. It will usually evaporate as the dish cooks.
5. Wash Produce
Did you know that you can use leftover wine to wash your fruits and veggies? Just wipe the surface with a paper towel soaked in wine and rinse under running water. The alcohol will kill any germs on the surface.
6. Make Vinegar
You can use leftover red or white wine to make your own homemade vinegar! All you need is some mother of vinegar culture to get started. I love this tutorial from Boulder Locavore.