What to do with leftover wine?

[ 24 ] Comments

spilled_wineLeftover wine? I am sure that many of you, like myself, have a difficult time grasping that concept. I have heard rumors, however, that such a thing actually exists. Should such an unfortunate situation ever occur, below are some suggestions on how to make sure that it does not go to waste.

Oxygen begins working on your wine as soon as you pull the cork. It does not actually make it go “bad,” but it will eventually make it not good. You will not get sick from drinking it, but after too long it will not taste very good. It begins to taste dull and flat after too long. Stronger reds and bottles that have quite a bit left in them will tend to last longer once opened, but eventually all opened wine will become a lot less fun to drink, so here are my suggestions.

  • Drink it! Most wine will still be drinkable for a day or two after opening, or so they tell me.
  • Cook with it.
  • Pour it into ice cube trays and save it it cook with at a later date.
  • White wine is sometimes useful for getting red wine stains out. It seems to be best for fresh spills. Put that leftover Pinot Gris  in a squirt bottle to prepare for the inevitable.
  • Red wine makes a great base for BBQ sauce. Reduce it and then start your favorite recipe from there.
  • Put it in a small saucepan with a few cloves, allspice berries, and a cinnamon stick and let it sit on the stove over low heat. Mulled wine may taste like shit, but it sure can make your house smell fantastic.
  • Make Sangria.
  • Marinate something.
  • Make sorbet.
  • Reduce it and save it in the fridge for a future  sauce.
  • Make salad dressing.
  • Poach fruit.

There you have it, the things that I imagine I would do if the unthinkable happened and we had some leftover wine in the house. If any you other winos have tips, feel free to add them. I’d love to hear how others deal with this tragedy.

Two final tips from me, if the wine is leftover because it tasted like cow manure, just pour it down the drain. Cooking will not improve its manure-iness. Also, old wine does not turn into vinegar, that is a myth, so if it gets too old, again, just dump it.

  • Leftover wine? What on earth is that? (That said, fabulous tips, all of these!)


    • Thanks, Jessie. I was confused the whole time I was typing that. :)

  • I don't much of a problem with left over wine either!

    • Funny how that works with some of us, isn't it?

  • I like the sorbet and poached fruit ideas! I'm wondering, at what temp do you recommend not corking the wine if there is some leftover? I've heard in hot summer, it should not be corked, true?

    • Personally, if it is hot outside, and I had some hypothetical wine left over, it would be corked and in the fridge. Heat and oxygen are both enemies of wine, so I would not leave wine uncorked or in the heat unless it was so tight that it needed a swift kick in the… ;)

  • Sarah

    Like you and the others I am aghast that anyone would have leftover wine…however, a friend told me the other day there was a segment on one of the talk show dailys about BATHING with red wine. No, you don't turn into a smurf nor does it stain the tub (both questions I had). Apparently it has amazing effects externally. It might be worth a shot if the unthinkable happens!

    • I have heard of that, but since I could find no scientific evidence that it was true, I left it off the list. If anyone would like to buy me 20 cases of Grand Cru Bordeaux to bathe in, I promise to provide all kinds of empirical evidence, I'll bet some 2000 would really make my skin glow. Anyone? ;)

  • Looks like you've covered everything I've heard of, but we have the same good problem: “or so they tell me”

    • I think the stuff evaporates.

  • ya. Leftover wine: good one! I came here thinking “is this a joke?”

    I am impressed that you were able to keep typing to finish!

    Once I stop snorting, I realize I do end up in a situation sometimes where someone will bring over white wine & there's some left to “deal with” (“I ain't gonna drink it, you drink it” “I ain't gonna drink it”). Or a red that just didn't work out (there was that South African one a few years back that tasted like burnt tires – seriously. They dealt with it & it doesn't taste like that any more, but there are others out there I'm sure). These are good tips.

    • I don't know that I would use any of my tips on one of those burnt tire South African wines, but the left over “Mikey” whites might be salvageable. Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • What is this left over wine you speak of?

    Great post, very funny and clever, had never thought of freezing it for cooking later. Agreed, cooking with Red is one of the best options, it makes a great base for a steak sauce.

    There's also a great piece of advice many could benefit from, if it tastes bad, tip it.

  • openair

    Well, you do have to eat and sometimes you need a great vinegar –
    None better than your own ho-made from the best red dregs. I turn out about 6 small bottles a year and they make great gifts. The wine comes from those
    last few drops you find the morning after — or from the “Bob's Bottle” – that someone brought with good intentions, but just wasn't up to the level of “you can't leave that in the bottle!” (oh yes you can!)

    and yes…Great tips!

  • You are so funny! LOL…Good post!

    I especially like the mulled wine comment! LOL…

    Kimberly :)

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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