What To Do With Leftover Wine

Lately we’ve been talking about ways to use up leftover wine.  There are different methods of preserving wine, all of which have their benefits and pitfalls, but inevitably, if you’re anything like us, you end up with a glass or two of over-the-hill wine knocking around in your refrigerator.

The easiest answer is to cook with it.  If you happen to be making a sauce that cries out for a slug of red, and you happen to have some, then, problem solved!

If life hasn’t lined up perfectly (and when does that ever happen?) freeze your wine!  Pour it into ice cube trays, and when they’re frozen solid, pop them into plastic baggies.  Keep one bag for red and one for white. Especially if you regularly cook for one or two people, these wine cubes are perfect for a quick pan sauce. Just defrost them in the microwave.  You can even toss them in the pan still frozen if you’re really short on time.

Spritzers are a good way to enjoy wine that is a bit over the hill.  They may be dated, but that doesn’t make them any less delicious!  On a warm afternoon or as a cocktail, they’re a refreshing, low-alcohol little beverage.  My current favorite is rosé with a dash of fresh grapefruit juice topped up with seltzer water. I’ve also experimented with some of those all-natural sodas (Izze, GuS Soda, etc). Flavors like berry and pomegranate are fun if you have a bit of lighter-bodied red that’s on its last legs (think Beaujolais or a lighter Cotes du Rhone).

Sangria is another way to enjoy wine that has lost some of its initial verve.  Most recipes make large batches, but you can improvise with scaling down for smaller amounts, or combine a few ends of bottles in a similar style.  Un- or lightly oaked, aromatic whites work best for white sangria, while reds are a bit more forgiving in terms of style.

You can also make your own vinegar.  None of us have tried this yet, but it’s a tempting fall DIY project, no?  All you need is a cool, dark space and a big container that has a sturdy spout.  You can buy vinegar starter here, and once your vinegar has started fermenting, you add about a cup per week of wine.

Have you all come up with creative ways to use up leftover wine?  Have you ever made your own vinegar?  Let us know!

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