After the Party: 6 Ways to Use Leftover Wine

published Dec 13, 2013
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(Image credit: Danielle Tsi)

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.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Dinner Recipes to Make with Leftover Wine

What do you do with leftover wine — if such a thing exists in your household?