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What to Do with Leftover Wine 

Though it doesn’t happen all too often at my house, whenever there is any wine left unfinished, I am adamant that what’s left in the bottle gets put to good use. What can you do with this wine, you ask? It depends on the type and quality of the wine and how long it’s been left open, but in any case, it won’t go to waste!

Here are my favourite ways to use up leftover wine:

Drink it!

Yes! You can drink wine from the bottle the next day.. or even a couple of days later! It all depends on how you seal and store the wine and how long it’s been exposed to oxygen. Of course if your wine tastes off and smells like vinegar, it’s a lose cause, but if you follow our guide on how long wine stays good for and how to best keep it fresh, you can certainly enjoy your favourite bottles one glass at time.

If you ever have a dinner party and have bottles of wine unfinished, seal them straight away and refrigerate them so they are still drinkable for up to a few days

Cook with it

Cooking with leftover wine is an obvious one, but we can’t overlook it! The saying goes that if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it, and while I do adhere to this, I really only do so if the recipe calls for a decent amount of wine (half a bottle or more). If you just want to deglaze the pan with a bit of liquid, the not-drinkable but not-off wine is your best friend. When I have less than a glass left in the bottle, I seal it straight away and keep it on the bench top next to the stove – this way, you can add a splash here and a cup there to build flavour.

For recipes that call for a large quantity of wine, such as coq au vin, use a quality wine, whether freshly opened or leftover

Make Mulled Wine

Most wine drinkers balk at the thought of wine cocktails, and while I’m usually in the same boat, I do have a soft spot for mulled wine. If enjoyed in small doses and made well (with lots of fresh spices, not just tons of sugar), it can be such a lovely thing in the colder months. It’s a nice way to welcome guests to a winter feast, and makes the house smell amazing (bonus!). Do reserve mulled wine making for casual, everyday wines that you have hanging around, not the really nice stuff (even as leftovers – if these are drinkable, they should be enjoyed on their own!). Also remember, spices and sugar can only get you so far – if the wine is absolute garbage, it’s probably not something you want to serve people in any form.

In the wintertime, mulled wine is a great way to use up leftover wine

Check out our blog to see what other wines to serve at diner parties, and when and why wine sometimes needs to be exposed to oxygen.

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Jill Haapaniemi

Jill Haapaniemi

Jill is a lover of all things food and wine. As a food blogger and recipe developer, she is passionate about sharing meals with others, never without a bottle of something to enhance the experience. She spends her free time at her partner’s family winery just outside of Melbourne, and can usually be found drinking Oregon Pinot, wines from the Rhône Valley or Victorian Shiraz.
Jill Haapaniemi

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