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No Waste: Creative Ways To Use Leftover Wine In Recipes

Food & Recipes, Blog

You still have leftover wine? Sometimes we can’t finish the entire bottle, even though we know this seems impossible. Sure, we put a cork in it and store it in the fridge, but if you still have a half-glass of Syrah hanging around a week later, you can repurpose it. Cooking with wine is perfectly fine months after it stops being suitable for drinking. You can make sure you get every last drop from that bottle by following these ideas.

Get a Dump-It Bucket Started

When old wine reaches a certain point, all it tastes like is skunked vinegar. It doesn’t mean that you should pour it down the drain. Adding a little heat and some other choice ingredients will give it new life. 

Store semi-finished bottles of wine in your fridge or freezer in two jars: one for whites, and one for reds. When you need it, you’ll have a stash ready without having to open a new bottle every time you need 1/4 cups (thus perpetuating the cycle). A word of advice: Do not store it next to still-good bottles of wine on the counter. Be careful not to accidentally take a sip. If you are looking for best white wine for cooking, we have some recommendations for you.

Making a Pan Sauce

You’ll need a wooden spoon to scrape up the little browned bits from the pan in order to make a successful quick sauce. You can easily remove them with a splash of liquid, so wine is your new best friend: Why use water when you can add flavor with wine? If you’re worried that the sauce will be overly boozy, remember that most of the alcohol will cook out when it’s heated.

Get Your Braise On

You must sear sinewy meat until it is golden brown before braising. Liquid should be half-submerged. Cover. Cook at a low temperature for hours. It’s a simple technique, made better by big, bold flavors. You ask, what kinds of flavors are there? Garlic, onions, rich stock, and, yeah, plenty of wine.

You Can Marinate Dry Fruit

There is just nothing better than figs, prunes, and raisins with your old wine. For this purpose, reds tend to work better than whites. Add a few sprigs of thyme and a handful of dried fruit to a jar, then cover with wine. Allow to sit for a few days or up to a couple weeks before eating. The herbs should be removed after a week if you intend to keep them for longer. You can serve the boozy fruit over ice cream or pound cake.

It’s Wine Granita Time!

Wine does not freeze solid because of its alcohol content. Use this to your advantage and add some sweetener (like simple syrup, agave, or maple), some puréed or mashed fruit, and pour it into a shallow baking dish. Put it in the freezer and let it chill for an hour. You can break it up every half hour with a fork, forming granules that are similar to slush or ice cream desserts.

DIY Vinegar

Get rid of the habit of buying wine vinegar from the store. Making vinegar at home is easier than you think. All you need is a “mother” (bacterial starter), a jar, a piece of cheesecloth, and a little patience. It’s not so subtle in flavor that you need to stick with one specific type of wine–you can use any kind. Add to your dump-it bucket, and as soon as you have enough for a batch, dump it. Fermenting vinegar needs to be “fed” weekly with more wine, which is an excellent reason to open a second (or third) bottle…

Try Making a Spritzer

If there is enough left in the glass to fill up the whole glass but not a whole lot, this is the perfect solution. Add white wine to fresh, ripe berries (muddle them first), soda water, and liqueur, such as Aperol or Campari. Pour over ice, and enjoy. Cocktails with wine: You meant to do that.

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