Pouring wine out or letting it go rancid is a major drinker’s faux pas. For whatever reason (we can’t think of too many) if you weren’t able to finish a bottle of wine, we have a couple creative ideas to help you reuse and reinvent your wine and its bottle. Here are our ideas of what to do with leftover wine!
1. Savor it with the sweetness of sangria.
A freshly opened bottle of wine isn't the only way to drink it. Sangria is a popular wine cocktail from Spain and wine drinker or not, it’s always a hit. Sangria is made from fresh fruit, sugar, sometimes other alcohols, and fruit juice. Whatever recipe you choose to follow, the sweetness and fruit flavors will help the wine be revived and utilized to its best ability. The best red wine to use for sangria is Merlot, however if white wine is more your thing than Pino Grigio or a nice sparkling wine will work perfectly as well. It is best to make the sangria 3-4 hours before you intend to drink or serve it so that the fruit flavors can mesh with the wine. Note, that once the sangria is made your wine will need to be finished this time around. Find the perfect recipie for sangria here.
2. Preserve it to perfection with a tightly-fit cork.
Saving wine for a long period of time is not the best idea. If you weren’t able to get through a bottle and want to use the leftover wine on another occasion in the same form you have to preserve it properly. The best way to slow down the oxidation process is to cork it as tightly as possible either with the originally cork, or a well fastened bottle stopper. If you are saving an opened bottle of sparkling wine it is especially important to cork the top as tight as possible and only wait a couple days to finish off the rest. Due to the carbonation, sparkling wines will go flat and lose most of their appeal in a few days, similar to a bottle of opened soda. Whether your bottle is sparkling, white, or red, placing it in the fridge as soon as possible will also help in the slowing of the oxidation process.
3. Make it saucy with a wine-reduction recipe.
Wine has been used in Italian cooking for ages and adds a dynamic flavor that cannot be mimicked. Whether it’s Cabernet or Chardonnay that couldn't be finished, you can use that leftover wine in a great sauce recipe. To accompany pasta, pour over meat, or even toss in a salad, wine can be reduced and used in a multitude of recipes.
4. Use it as a fruit fly trap.
This is not something we recommend for the best, most expensive aged wine, but perhaps a bottle you picked up for a more casual drink and couldn't quite find the bottom of it. If you have fruit flies in your kitchen, leave the excess wine open on your counter for 2-3 days to get rid of the flies. The flies are attracted to the wine smell, will go into the bottle and then die. An even more efficient want to do this is to pour your wine into a glass, cover the glass with plastic wrap, then poke small holes into the plastic wrap. The flies with go in through the holes and get trapped inside the glass, and say their last goodbyes in a drunken slumber.
5. Convert it into a personalized decoration.
This isn’t so much about what’s on the inside, but rather what to do with the leftover wine bottle itself. Using wine bottles as decorations, flower vases, etc is a great Do It Yourself (DIY...or D-I-Wine) project and oftentimes the bottle is so decorative or personalized that you want to display long after the last drop is enjoyed. Wine bottle Christmas tree, wine bottle outdoor torch, wine bottle lamp, flower vase, candle holder etc, are all fairly simple ideas to transform your wine bottle into a handcrafted home decoration. This is especially helpful when you have a personalized wine bottle that you don’t want to throw away, but also want to be displayed and functional.