Monday…the day no-one likes. Not most people anyway. You’ve spent the weekend relaxing, and uncorking bottle after bottle of delicious wine as you and your friends get together and celebrate amity and vacation from the stresses of work. When you get home tonight, you’re going to open your cabinet to be greeted by reminders of the weekend bliss. Bottles of partially consumed wines will stare at you urging you to finish them before they go bad.
Monday night, however, is not the time to relive your weekend experience, and so, your bottles of leftover wine are just going to remain in your cabinets until they get too acidic to truly enjoy as you swallow their tannic flavors.
But wine, my wine enthusiast, is just too precious to waste, so let me tempt you with some creative uses for leftover wine (as rare as that occasion of leftover wine may be).
Food Related Uses for Leftover Wine
1.) Boil your leftover wine down into a syrup.
Take your leftover bottle of wine and gracefully pour its remainders into a saucepan with about a cup of sugar. Bring it to a boil and add orange peels or cinnamon sticks then let it simmer for 35-45 minutes. It’ll boil down into a sweet, boozy syrup. Let it stand, then pop it into the fridge to thicken up. It adds a lovely boozy sweetness when added to pancakes or ice cream.
2.) Make a vinegar.
You buy red wine and white wine vinegar from the store all the time. Take your wine and actually make your own. You can speed up the process by adding a little bit of wine vinegar that you already have at home to your wine and letting it oxidize. If a weird little layer forms on top of the mixture, scoop it off and add it to another bottle of leftover wine. That’s the stuff that helps to turn the wine into vinegar!
3.) Deglaze a pan!
Some snobs might say that you shouldn’t use a wine to cook with that you wouldn’t drink, but realistically, wine loses a lot of its more subtle flavors when you cook it, so using leftover wine to deglaze a pan will add great flavor and won’t really miss anything flavor-wise that a fresh bottle would add.
4.) Marinate your meat.
Wine makes a fantastic marinade for meat. Not only does it tenderize the meat, however, but when you allow the meat to marinate for about 6 hours, it also helps to reduce the carcinogens that are created when cooking the meat. According to a popular preparation technique on allrecipes.com, whisking red wine together with soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, honey, and several other ingredients creates a superb dish. The recipe by Adel Blake is able to prepare 4 steaks to delicious marination and a wonderful meal with the family.
5.) Use your leftover wine as a cooking base.
Some recipes for cooking grains will call for water or tomato juice or broth. You can also use wine (especially white wine) as a cooking base for grains like rice, quinoa, or couscous to add a more complex flavor.
Bonus: Use your leftover white wine in your garage!
All those ugly grease stains in your garage can be improved drastically with white wine treatment. Add some baking soda to the white wine to give it some extra cleaning power. While certainly different than the other uses, this can be a valuable piece of knowledge to keep tucked away for a stain-ful day.
Wine is a treasured commodity in my household–mostly because I love to drink it! With all of these extra uses for wine, though, there are no longer any excuses for wasted wine. Put your leftover wine to good use making every drop count! To read more wine tips and fun information, visit Cellars Wine Club’s blog.