I know, I know. Leftover wine? What's that? But if there is one time of year where you're likely to find yourself with a bottle or two of unfinished wine it is now, during the holiday hustle of parties and celebratory dinners. Beyond guzzling it on the couch in a post-holiday-shopping stupor — another perfectly legitimate use — we have six more ways to make the most of those half-finished bottles of wine on the counter.
1 Freeze it. Pour leftover wine into ice cube trays or muffin tins and freeze it to use in future recipes. Because of the alcohol content, the cubes won't be rock-hard, but they are solid enough to pop out to transfer to a freezer-safe container for storage. Perfect for recipes where you only need a tablespoon or two of wine!
2 Make wine syrup. Mix leftover wine with sugar and reduce it down to a rich syrup that can be poured over fruit, ice cream, and pancakes, or mixed into marinades and salad dressings.
3 Make wine jelly. Take your wine syrup one step further by adding pectin and turning it into wine jelly — just the thing to serve with cheese at your next party.
4 Turn it into vinegar. If you don't mind waiting a few months, your leftover wine or Champagne just needs a little time in a dark, cool place to transform into the best vinegar you've ever had.
5 Use it to flavor salt. Here's a tip from Claire, a reader who blogs at Livia Sweets. After reducing the leftover wine to a syrup, she uses it to flavor salt.
Simply reduce the wine down until it becomes a thick syrup and add in 1 1/2 cups of coarse salt for every tablespoon of wine. The result is a richly flavoured salt that makes a perfect seasoning for beef or duck and, when put in a jar with a sweet card, makes a gorgeous hostess gift!
On top of that, your house will smell amazing as it simmers away on the stove, while you curl up on the couch and nurse your hangover.
→ Get the recipe: Red Wine Salt at Livia Sweets
6 Cook dinner with it. A cup or two of leftover wine is all you need to turn out a comforting winter meal the day after the party.
Chicken and Artichokes in Wine Sauce
Dinner Recipes to Make with Leftover Wine
What do you do with leftover wine — if such a thing exists in your household?
(Image credits: Danielle Tsi; Faith Durand)