What to do With Leftover Wine

As wine lovers, we rarely have leftover wine. But when we do, it’s important to have a plan for what we will do with the leftover wine, either drinking it later/another day, or using it in another way.

We asked Weekly Tasting’s Master Sommelier Laura Maniec for advice:


Laura: I usually give leftover wine to my neighbors. I always have bottles of wine that I open to taste and write about. It would be impossible for me to consume them all.

For many people, the answer to extra wine is to reseal it and enjoy it later or give it to someone else to enjoy. Normally, a resealed bottle of wine is good for 1 to 2 days after it is first opened.

Below are some other ways to use leftover wine.

Using Wine in Cooking

Wine is delicious, and when we add it to food there is an extra layer of flavor to savor. Wine is fantastic as:

  • A marinade with salt, herbs, and spices for meats
  • A liquid to deglaze pans and braise foods in
  • Your very own wine vinegar
    • Leave 1 cup or more of wine in a jar, covered with cheesecloth, in a room temperature, dark space and let it transform in a 3 – 4 months into vinegar. You’ll know it’s done if it doesn’t smell rancid and has a vinegary, tart taste to it.
  • A flavor booster in sauces/soups
    •  Reduce your wine by half and freeze into tasty ice cubes until needed.
  • A sweet and complex syrup
    •  In a saucepot, reduce 2 parts wine with 1 part sugar until the mixture is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. The syrup will be a thicker when cooled. Once cooled, you can use it on pancakes, ice cream, ham, duck, or even in a mixed drink.
  • Speaking of beverages, leftover wine can be frozen in cubes and kept in a double layer of freezer bags to be later used in other wine based drinks.Wine Cubes are great for chilling sangria, which can be made with leftover wine. Wine cubes are also fantastic as a way to hold wine until you want to make Mulled wine in the bitter cold of winter.
  • Sweet, cold, and refreshing dessert
    • Freeze your leftover white wine with basil and mint, wine syrup/simple syrup, and blended fruit (berries work best) in a tray and scrape every 15 minutes with a fork until you have a fluffy and delicious Granita!

Using Wine Outside of the Kitchen

WINE CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR COPPER COOKWARE, ESPECIALLY THE OUTSIDE, CLEAN. Okay, so maybe it’s still in the kitchen- but it’s not for eating! Take wine vinegar, some leftover wine/old wine, dish soap, and some warm water and make a soak for your pans. Leave your pans in for about 45 minutes to an hour and the acidity and alcohol will help remove grease and tarnish from your copper cookware.

THE NEXT FASHION TREND: Wine colored clothes! Red wine stains white cotton readily, so if you’re looking to add a lovely hue of wine to a white cotton item, leftover red wine is your friend. Just place the item in simmering wine, let it soak for 30 minutes, rinse with cold fresh water, and throw it into a dryer. The heat will set the color and you’ll have a pop of color!

FRUIT FLIES BEWARE! Fruit flies can be infuriatingly annoying, and wine can help you fix that problem! Take a small container and put some old wine in it. Add a single drop of dish soap and cover it taut with plastic wrap. Take a toothpick and poke some holes in the plastic. Flies will go into the container through the holes and sink in the wine.

If you have some extra wine around the house after the holidays, try one of these tricks! Whether you’re enhancing a delicious dish or dying your favorite t-shirt, your bound to get some great use out of what’s left in the bottle.

When it’s time to re-fill the wine fridge again, head over to WTSO and stock up on your favorites!

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