What To Do With Leftover Red Wine

When it comes to wine, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoy every last drop. But, there are times when I find myself with a partially consumed bottle of red wine that I just can’t …

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When it comes to wine, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoy every last drop. But, there are times when I find myself with a partially consumed bottle of red wine that I just can’t finish in one sitting. Rather than letting it sit on the counter and go to waste, I’ve discovered some fantastic ways to repurpose leftover red wine. So, if you’re like me and hate to see good wine go to waste, keep reading for some creative ideas.

1. Make a Red Wine Sauce

One of my favorite uses for leftover red wine is to use it as a base for a delicious sauce. Whether I’m preparing a juicy steak or a roasted chicken, a red wine sauce adds incredible depth and flavor to any dish. Simply sauté some shallots and garlic in a pan, then deglaze the pan with your leftover red wine. Let it simmer and reduce until it thickens, then add some butter or cream for an extra touch of richness. Pour it over your protein of choice, and you’ve got a restaurant-worthy meal.

2. Freeze it for Cooking

If you don’t have an immediate use for your leftover red wine, freezing it is a great option. I like to pour the wine into ice cube trays and freeze it until solid. Once frozen, transfer the wine cubes to a zip-top bag and keep them in the freezer for future use. These wine cubes are perfect for adding a splash of flavor to sauces, stews, or even sangria. Just pop one or two cubes into your dish while cooking, and you’ll have a subtle hint of wine that elevates the flavors.

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3. Make Red Wine Vinegar

Why buy expensive red wine vinegar when you can make your own? Leftover red wine is an excellent starting point for making homemade vinegar. Simply pour the wine into a glass container and cover it with a cloth or paper towel, securing it with a rubber band. Leave it in a cool, dark place for a few weeks, occasionally stirring or shaking. Over time, the wine will naturally ferment and turn into vinegar. Once it reaches your desired acidity, strain out any solids and bottle the homemade red wine vinegar. It’s a fun and rewarding project that results in a flavorful pantry staple.

4. Create Infused Red Wine Cocktails

If you’re a fan of cocktails, why not experiment with using your leftover red wine as an ingredient? I love creating infused wine cocktails by combining the wine with other spirits, fruits, and herbs. For instance, you can mix the wine with gin, fresh berries, and a hint of thyme to create a refreshing summer cocktail. Or, you can even use the red wine as a base for a homemade sangria, adding sliced citrus fruits and a touch of brandy. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different flavor combinations.

5. Share it with Friends

Lastly, if you find yourself with more leftover red wine than you can handle, why not share the love with your friends? Organize a wine tasting party and invite your friends over to sample the remaining wine. Not only will you get to enjoy the wine together, but you’ll also have the opportunity to discuss its flavors and characteristics. It’s a fantastic way to socialize and appreciate the complexities of different wines.

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In conclusion, there are numerous creative ways to repurpose leftover red wine, from making a flavorful sauce to creating infused cocktails. So, the next time you have some wine left in the bottle, don’t let it go to waste. Get creative and explore the wonderful possibilities that leftover wine has to offer.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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