Hahahahahaha. I find this title hilarious. I never have any leftover wine.
And that’s the end of the blog.
Ok, sorry, let’s get serious here. Yes, there is such a thing as leftover wine, you’ve cracked a bottle and for whatever reason you aren’t able to finish it. This often happens after a big party (hello NYE), there are bottles being opened all over the place and you simply lose track of what’s going on. When you manage to get out of bed the following morning it’s a wine crime scene, poor little fellas have been left half drunk all over the place. While it may not happen to me very often it does happen. But wine is so very, very precious we need to make sure we aren’t wasting a single drop. Here are some things you can do with an open bottle instead of pouring it down the sink.
Use it in cooking
No brainer. Just remember if its not fit for drinkin’, its not fit for cookin’. As a general rule of thumb red wines last longer open than whites, and aged wines last longer than young ones. Do not put shit wine that has been open for seven months in your cooking (and yes, I am talking specifically to you, Mum), Young wines may last 3-4 days open, while an older wine may last a week. But give them all a good sniff before you use, there’s nothing worse than ruining a meal by using off wine.
This is basically a subset of the above, in that you plan to cook with it eventually but you don’t think you will cook with it in the next few days. Pour the leftover wine into ice cube containers and chuck in the freezer. If you need your ice cube trays back, once the wine is frozen transfer the cubes to a ziplock bag and put back in the freezer – just grab a couple out as you need them.
Another option with the frozen wine cubes is to chuck them into cocktails during the summer to add colour, flavour, and of course, coldness.
Ok, I’m totally cheating, cos this is really a subset of cook with it also – but you guys don’t care, right? The acidity in the wine helps to break down the fibres in the meat making your meat more succulent and tender. Add some wine to a marinade recipe you fancy, or just chuck the meat in straight wine and shake the excess off before you cook it.
Turn it into vinegar
I will do basically anything Jamie Oliver says to do, and he says use your leftover wine to make vinegar. Lovely Jubbly! The recipe I use is from the Save with Jamie book but if you don’t have it, this is a nice take on making vinegar: http://blahblahmagazine.com.au/how-to-make-vinegar/
It is fucking easy. Give it a go.
Clean up red wine with white wine
I learnt this one the hard way. My friend was house sitting for her boss, I went round for a wine and cheese night, might have had a couple too many, told a HILARIOUS story and started gesticulating VERY VERY widely and ultimately emptied an entire extremely full glass of red wine (I don’t like to get up once I’ve made myself comfortable) all over their plush white rug and couch (and myself). It looked like a murder scene. It was the hardest thing in the world to waste more wine by pouring a bottle of white all over the red in the carpet and couch but it did remove the stain.
This is how you do it: Pour the white wine generously over the red wine stain, let it soak in for 10 mins then sponge off as best you can with water. Get on to it as soon as possible so the stain has minimal time to set – do not waste time trying to lick the red wine out of the carpet.
Your house will stink like a winery for weeks but there are many, many worse smells to have.
Use it in compost
Dump any leftover wine in your compost bin. This will activate the bacteria in your compost (they fucking love wine too), helping to break down the carbon based material in your compost. Put your compost on your garden and it’s almost like wine is powering you and your flowers.
Share it on your local Buy Nothing Facebook page
I was idly browsing through Facebook the other day, and I saw that someone had posted a half drunk bottle of wine on my local Buy Nothing page. They apparently weren’t able to finish it off and thought the best thing to do would be to regift it.
I admire the intent here, but I’m still uncertain as to whether I’m ok with this (I’m pretty sure it breaches many health and safety regulations). Regardless, if this is your jam, have at it.
Any other thoughts on what to do with leftover wine? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Instagram.