10 Delicious Ways to Use Up Leftover Wine

updated Sep 11, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

For some people, leftover wine is a rare occurrence. But if you find yourself with a half-empty bottle that you forgot about or didn’t really like, here are some tasty ideas on how that wine can find renewed purpose in cooking or drinks!

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Think of wine as a cooking liquid: it has acidity, sometimes sweetness, and body, making it a great vehicle for enhancing whatever it comes into contact with. If you take the time to reduce the wine or let it cook slowly into the food, any harshness goes away, leaving behind more complex flavors.

Here are our favorite ways and techniques to integrate wine into the kitchen. (And remember, you can freeze wine to have on hand to throw into your next sauce!)


Cook delicate foods gently by poaching them in wine flavored with aromatics and spices. White wine is a great match for eggs and fish, and sweetened red wine is the perfect poaching liquid for fruit.

Braised Beef in Tomatoes & Red Wine (Image credit: Faith Durand)


Wine cuts through the richness of stews and large cuts of meat, and the long cooking time really lets it flavor the sauce. Braising vegetables in wine makes for a much more exciting, saucy side dish than a simple sauté.


A lot of classic French sauces start with wine for good reason: it adds acidity, brings out the flavor of aromatics like shallots and garlic, but doesn’t weigh the sauce down. (That’s what the butter is for!) Instead of cream, try wine as a lighter base for pasta sauce.


What better way to use up leftover alcohol than in cocktails? Infuse it with fruit or add a splash of your favorite liquor to give it new life.

What are your favorite ways to use up leftover wine?

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