You just hosted a party, and there seem to be a few half-bottles of wine left over. Don’t worry! There are plenty of things you can do with leftover wine. From delicious recipes to house cleaning solutions, leftover wine is the unsung hero of life hacks!
So, instead of urging your guests to refill their glasses and knock out the last of that merlot, rest easy. Don’t pour that opened-but-unused wine down the drain, as many people do. If you’re planning on drinking the rest, cork your wine tightly and keep it out of the sun (and away from radiators or other sources of heat). It will be good for at least one more day. Sure, the taste will not be the same, but good enough!
If you’re looking for other ways to put that wine to work, read on! The multiple uses you get out of just one half-bottle will amaze you.
1. Make some delicious food.
My entire experience with using leftover wine for food comes from the time when I tasted extraordinary wine at AB Hotel. I tried the Mother of Pearl Sauvignon Blanc, and the moment it hit my lips, I realized what a wonderful taste it had. I wanted to use it in many recipes.
Note: don’t use a fancy, just-opened wine for cooking! That would be a waste. But your half-empty bottle of wine that’s been left open and abandoned for a couple of days is perfect for making some marinades and salad dressings. Pour in a bit of this accidental vinegar, and you will get a dish brimming with flavor and intensity. Wine is a versatile ingredient: you can add it to everything from sauces to stews and soups.
I often crave Mediterranean dishes, so my go-to wine recipe is Sangria Chicken. Slice a quarter of an orange and a lemon and remove the seeds. Use a large bowl to combine the orange and lemon slices with the leftover wine, salt, pepper, honey, garlic, thyme, olive oil, vinegar, olives, capers and caper pickling liquid. Just add the chicken pieces and make sure they are well-sunk into the marinade. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and store it overnight in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 180◦C and bake the chicken; then pour the marinade over the chicken and bake for another hour. Bon appétit! Another recipe I simply adore and is delicious: chocolate fudge brownies with red wine. I often prepare the two together, for special occasions, and everyone just loves it!
2. Clean your house properly.
There are a lot of things that can be fixed in your household with leftover wine (no, I’m not talking about your mood!). You can easily remove stubborn grease stains on kitchen and bathroom surfaces if you scrub them with white wine mixed with baking soda. The wine-soda mix will absorb the stains and the whole area will look completely new. Leave the paste for a couple of minutes before wiping it off and you’ll be good to go. Pro tip: white wine also eliminates red wine stains! Fight fire with fire.
3. Grow your garden.
Another thing you can do with wine is fertilize the plants in your home (by giving your compost fertilizer pile a boozy boost). Wine is earth-friendly, so just plop a couple of drops of your leftover red wine in the compost bin; it will stimulate the bacteria and help break down and enrich your compost fertilizer. Then, feed that fertilizer to your plants!
All this is to say — you thought wine consumption could not get better than enjoying a bottle with your friends. Psych! Leftover wine can help you get creative in the kitchen, feed your guests for days after a party, and help you scrub your house until it shines. Even your tee-totaler plants will perk up if you share the cabernet love! From baking sangria chicken to achieving hippie compost nirvana, abandoned wine will give your lifestyle a second wind at no extra cost.
Arron Hiddleston is a passionate researcher and writer. He specializes in writing articles on upcycling decorating ideas and home makeovers. Likes: winter vacations and all things spicy and barbecue-flavored. Doesn’t like: bad manners and narcissism.
Image via Unsplash