Even though wine is delicious, it isn’t always possible to drink the whole bottle. Unfortunately, if one isn’t drunk right away, the flavors start to decline, even if you cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do with wine that don’t involve drinking it! Here are some of our favorite ideas.
Make Salad Dressing
If you love red wine vinaigrette, you’ll love this salad dressing! By using both wine and red wine vinegar, you create a salad dressing that has a distinctly rich flavor. Add ½ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons red wine, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Pulse for about ten seconds or so, or until all the ingredients are combined. Transfer to a cruet or Mason jar and store away from heat and light. Shake well before using. If you’re not able to use this dressing within a week, store it in the refrigerator. You’ll want to leave it on the counter for about an hour before serving, though, so that the olive oil can melt (it solidifies in the refrigerator).
Freeze Your Wine
Did you know that you can freeze wine? You can easily turn leftover wine into “ice cubes” and store them in airtight freezer bags until you’re ready to use them again. Just pour wine into ice cube trays and once the cubes are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe storage bag. Once you want to drink the wine again, remove them from the freezer and transfer them directly into a cruet. You can also add these “wine cubes” to sparkling water or lemon-lime soda to make an instant spritzer cocktail. You can also use them in recipes that call for wine – just throw them in the pan directly from the freezer!
Make a Quick Sauce
Wine is a classic ingredient in many recipes. For instance, you can easily make a quick pan sauce when searing meat. After pan searing the meat, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Add about 1 cup of leftover wine to the pan and set the heat to medium. Scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate any of the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom – this is where a lot of the flavor is! Let the wine reduce slightly, and then add 2 tablespoons of butter and let it melt over low heat. Add ¼ cup of freshly chopped herbs (your choice) and turn off the heat. Let the sauce rest over the burner while you cut the meat. Pour the sauce over the meat onto the serving platter once the meat is sliced. You can also add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms right after adding the wine and before adding the butter to make a quick mushroom sauce.
As you can see, leftover wine doesn’t need to go to waste. These quick recipes will help you use the wine before it spoils!