What to do with Wine That’s Past its Prime
Ok ok, we know it’s the beginning of a new year and everyone has probably made some sort of effort to change certain habits they’ve developed over the holidays...like drinking all the wine all the time. But what ever shall we do with all those leftover bottles of wine? What am I to do if I only drink one glass of wine each night and by the end of the week have a sad, sour, cup of homely wine to deal with? I couldn’t just throw it away, that’s not how you treat the things you love! Here’s a few ideas as to how to put that soured, oxidized or just not your cup of tea wine to good use.
Thank heavens we just recently posted an entire blog dedicated to wine cocktails! You can find that here:
What better way to keep your wine around for good use than to freeze it! Plus adding a little extra booze and some fruit puree will help mask the musty taste that overdue wine has developed. This is a great, simple recipe that even helps you use any bruised or sad fruit, too. I’d just add a few shots of brandy or orange liquor and you’re set for life. And you’ll be dreaming of warmer days sitting poolside with your popsicle before you know it.
If there is anything I like to do with wine almost (key word being almost) as much as I like to drink it, it’s cook with it. A little white wine butter sauce with my seafood, a rich red wine reduced down with mushrooms...makes me feel like I should leave some wine leftover more often! LOL probably not. What’s great about cooking with wine is that wine in and of itself already has so much depth to it that even if it isn’t quite as good as when you first opened the bottle, it will still bring a multitude of layers to the dish. And not mention most of the recipes you’ll find that involve wine are super simple and delicious. Here’s two of my faves:
Red Wine Mushrooms
Garlic White Wine Shrimp
Wine, by nature, is an acidic liquid. Adding wine to your meat marinade will help to tenderize the meat by breaking down the cut’s muscles fibers giving it that soft, juicy texture we all enjoy. This is also true for humans, that’s why I’m so much nicer when I have a glass of wine, it helps to tenderize my own tough, rigid personality.
Bake a Cake
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, why not use this recipe as an excuse to celebrate You, have your wine and eat your cake, too. This is a super clever recipe that will use your leftover wine and produce a kickass cake. Chocolate and wine are a natural pair so clearly you and this cake will be, too. You really can’t go wrong with cake...or wine for that matter.
Enhance Your Compost
Who would have thought that wine could actually be useful in your gardening endeavours? I don’t mean drinking and gardening (though that could be fun!) I mean actually improving the quality of your soil. Adding leftover wine, though not enough to actually make the pile too wet, will help speed up the decomposition of your compost thanks to the high levels of nitrogen and yeast. So drink up and pour some out for your homies!
Bathe in it
Yes, you read that right. Bathe in your wine. Is this not one of the greatest ideas you’ve heard? Sounds quite appealing to me. Now not too long ago ‘Vinotherapy’ became a huge trend in spa treatments and for a pretty penny you could sit in copious amounts of a wine byproduct called marc (the post-winemaking grapes) and red vine leaf extract which are chock full of polyphenols. These are the antioxidants that are supposedly the secret to feeling and looking youthful. Our at home version isn’t quite as fancy, but adding one cup of wine to your own bath could potentially help you absorb the antioxidant resveratrol that is found in red wine helping to soften, moisturize and firm your skin. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t need any more convincing.
Probably not the best solution if the wine is already oxidized, but if you just, plain don’t like the wine, have it hang out in a large container with a mother and in 2-3 months you’ll have your own red wine or white wine vinegar. Just in time for all those summer salads you’ll be making. And add in your wine popsicles? You’ll be the queen of summer soirees!