Ingenious Ways to Use Up Leftover Wine
You’ve thrown the party of the year (or even the month), and you showed off your best bottles of crisp whites, perfectly aged pinot noirs and of course, the sultry merlots. Only problem is that now you have a fridge or wine cellar full of opened wines – and we all know how long those will last. Partially consumed wines quickly tick-tock on quality and considering the price of a great wine, you can’t just pour it down the drain.
Luckily there are plenty of ways to use up that leftover wine – some are even quite fun.
First Things First: How Long Does Open Wine Last Anyway?
There’s not a straightforward answer here, because it depends on a few factors. But, once opened, all wines will immediately start to oxidize – which fades the color and flavor. The overall shelf life once it’s opened will depend on the type of wine, how long it was originally aged and where you store it. Younger wines can last anywhere from three to four days after opening, while older, finer wines can push up to a week. Dessert wines and ports, however, can last up to a year in the fridge.
So, What Can You Do With Leftover Wine?
There are quite a few things actually! Just a few things you might want to try include:
Yes, you heard that right. You can enjoy a popsicle made from leftover wine. It has antioxidants and it is made from fruit – so you could even go as far as to say it’s healthy. All you need is a cup and a half of leftover wine, simple syrup and some fruit. My personal favorite recipes are those that mimic the best cocktails, such as strawberries and champagne or peaches and prosecco.
Make a Steak Sauce – or Chicken
Cooking the next night? If wine is good enough to drink, it’s definitely great for cooking. Fry up a steak and create a pan sauce with a rich red leftover wine. It will soak up the drippings and make for one sultry, rich sauce.
My personal favorite is with chicken. Pan fry chicken breasts in butter (yes, butter). Then add onions and cook until translucent. Add about a cup of white wine to deglaze the pan – scraping the bits of chicken and onion on the bottom. Then add chicken stock, lemon juice, salt and pepper and a pinch of cornstarch to thicken. Cook until it reduces and becomes a luxurious, silky sauce. Top your chicken and you are good to go!
Remove Grease Stains
If you have leftover white wine, you can clean up grease stains around the house. Just scrub off the grease (such as those sticking to the concrete in the garage) with some white wine and baking soda.
Fertilize Your Plants
Wines are great for compost bins. Pour your last few drops of red wine and watch it give your compost a boost of hearty, healthy bacteria. Look at that – you’re a green thumb and an eco-friendly consumer.
There’s plenty of ways to use up leftover wines, but to use them, you need them. Our favorite way to stock up on wines is through wine of the month clubs – especially those that can send you up to a case every month, bi-monthly or quarterly. That way your wine fridge is always stocked for gatherings – or just to top off a long day.