Tips for Using Leftover Wine

Perhaps you opened one bottle too many at a dinner party, or there’s a bit left at the bottom of the bottle, but not enough for a full glass. Leftover wine isn’t a term found in everyone’s vocabulary, but for those looking to put their leftover wine to good use, we’re sharing our tips and tricks. 

If you’re taking on Dry January, or simply just trying to be more conscious of your wine intake, we have a solve for those not quite empty bottles sitting on your kitchen counter. 

Whether your bottle is 3/4 full or close to empty, here are 7 ways to use your leftover wine.

1. Freeze small portions

It seems counterintuitive to freeze alcohol, but wine will freeze enough to keep its shape. Pour your leftover wine into an ice cube tray or muffin tin. Once frozen, pop them out and store them in a sealable plastic bag in the freezer. 

These smaller portions are easy to cook with, so you don’t have to pour straight from your precious open bottle. You can also use these wine cubes in wine cocktails like sangria to deepen the flavor and avoid watering your drink down.

 

2. Cook with it 

Wine can be used for sauces, glazes, marinades, reductions – the sky’s the limit. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to make with leftover wine: 

White Wine-Braised Chicken

The Ultimate Bolognese 

Red Wine-Braised Brisket 

 

3. Make candy 

Who said you have to drink your wine? These mulled wine jelly candies are easy to prepare and only require one cup of red.


4. Make a wine cocktail

If you have some extra wine sitting out and don’t feel inclined to open a new bottle, incorporate the leftover wine into a wine cocktail. If it’s red, try a mulled wine recipe, red wine hot chocolate, or a red sangria. If it’s white or sparkling, try a spritzer, sparkler, or white sangria

 

5. Make your own wine vinegar 

You’ll have to acquire a “mother” to get the process going. The mother is responsible for the transformation of wine into vinegar. Put the mother in a canning jar, add your red wine, and cover with cheesecloth or paper towel. Let sit for a couple of weeks, and then begin using in your recipes, on salads, as a dipping sauce with olive oil, etc. Make sure to add more wine as you use the vinegar to keep the jug level consistent. 


6. Compost 

If you have a compost pile, add a small amount of leftover red wine to jumpstart bacteria growth.


7. Moisturize 

It sounds kind of whacky, but red wine contains a polyphenol called resveratrol that is rich in antioxidants and can actually help protect the skin. 

 

Adding a cup of red wine to your bath may actually have beneficial effects. If anything, it’s good to know a few sloshes in the tub from your wine glass could actually be good for you. 

 

IN VINO FINITO

How do you use your leftover wine? Share your tips and tricks with us at news@brightcellars.com

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Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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