Not many of us know how long wine actually lasts after being opened. So we tend to keep unfinished wine bottles in the fridge for weeks until they’re undrinkable. This happens more often around the holiday seasons, when family dinners and friendly gatherings result in uncorking, but not necessarily finishing quite a few wine bottles. This happens with me often, especially lately with my wine studies. And while I know opened wine bottles go bad after a week at most, I simply don’t have the heart to throw them away on the spot. So in the fridge they go. But if keeping them in the fridge won’t save them for long, then how can we rescue all our wine leftovers from being emptied into the sink?
Below, I’m giving you not one, not two, but ten amazing things you can do with your leftover wines. Before we dive into this, here’s one tip to keep in mind: you can mix different wines in order to get the quantity you need, but only mix the same types together – red with red, white with white, and so on. Also, make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for more awesome wine posts.
1. Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Who’d turn down a cup of hot chocolate? I mean, really, I could have it anytime, anywhere. Even on the hottest of August days, I could totally cuddle up with a cozy glass of hot cocoa. So the first way you can use your leftover red wine is by adding an adult twist to a childhood favorite. To prepare this decadently rich drink, follow this recipe. And remember, if hot drinks are just not your thing, you can always chill it and have it ice cold!
You probably saw this one coming! Sangria is the most obvious and flexible option to use leftover wine. You can make sangria from practically any wine type: red, white, rosé, or sparkling. The perfect sangria mix includes fresh fruits, fruit juice, fruity spirits, and wine. Also, a very important trick when making sparkling sangria: add the sparkling wine right before serving – so mix everything, refrigerate, and leave out the sparkling wine till the very end. Here’s a step-by-step recipe for the perfect sangria.
3. Mulled Wine
If you can make sangria with leftover wine, then you can definitely make mulled wine. Mulled wine is traditionally served in Christmas markets around Europe. So while you won’t be making this during the summer, you can save this tip for the colder months. Here’s the perfect recipe to follow for the best traditional mulled wine.
4. Ice Cubes
This is the best way to store your leftover wine for long term use. You can thaw your wine ice cubes and use them in future recipes, or toss them into your sangria to keep it cold. The best part is that, unlike regular ice, wine ice cubes won’t dilute it. To make your wine ice cubes, simply pour your leftover wine into an ice cube tray and freeze it overnight. The cubes won’t be rock-hard because of the alcohol, but they’ll be solid enough for you to move them into a tupperware and store them in the freezer for the future.
5. Drunken Pasta
I love pasta. In fact, my boyfriend would argue that I love Italian food as much as I love wine. So this is one of my favorite ways to make use of leftover red wine. Spaghetti All’Ubriaco, which literally translates to “drunken pasta”, is a classic Tuscan dish made from cooking the pasta in wine instead of water. Interesting, no? So here’s the recipe, get cooking, and don’t forget to top it off with a generous amount of parmesan.
If you have some white wine leftovers in your fridge, take them as the perfect excuse to treat yourself for a fancy homemade dinner: Mussels! With nothing but the dry white wine, shallots, garlic, and salt you can make a delicious base to make your steamed mussels. Here’s the full recipe.
7. Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Now that you’ve made your drinks and a couple of dinner options, you can move on to dessert. The best dessert there is, in fact. My Red Wine Chocolate Cake is my signature dessert that gets everyone who has tried it drooling and smiling from bliss. It’s also pretty easy to make! Check out the full recipe here and thank me later. Also, I’d love to see photos of your version, so make sure you send them to me through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
8. Drunken Berries
This is a mouthwatering quick dessert that you can prepare for your friends or just for yourself! Just grab a bag of frozen mixed berries on your next supermarket run and cook it in a mix of wine, spices, and sugar. To end off, heap on the vanilla ice cream or froyo. Here’s the full recipe.
9. Wine Syrup
Since the ball is rolling with the desserts, how about preparing some wine syrup to use with any dessert? Drizzle it on top of ice cream, brownies, cake, or fresh fruit instead of your chocolate syrup. Or even with it! I know you’re drooling, so here’s the recipe. Make it and let me know how it goes.
10. Wine Vinegar
Wine vinegar is one of the most delicious ingredients to use in salad dressings, sauces, and dips. You’ve probably bought some version of wine vinegar from the supermarket at one point: red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar. So if you’re feeling housewifey, you can make your own wine vinegar at home with the leftover wine that you have. All you need is the wine, some water, and some vinegar started. Here’s the recipe.
So here are 10 ways you can make use of your leftover wine when you feel bad about throwing it out. You can even throw a new party with a leftover wine themed menu!