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Five creative cooking tips for leftover wine

Five creative cooking tips for leftover wine

In the highly unlikely event that you have some wine left over from your party, there are plenty of clever things that you can do with it. Perhaps you opened just one too many bottles or broke into a wine box only to find that your guests were just leaving? The good news (or bad news) is that you don’t have to drink it - at least not straight away!

Once you open a bottle of wine it starts to react with the air and oxidise. Over the course of a few days, it will start to lose both its colour and flavour. Whilst red wines will last longer than white wines, you need to do something with them both within 3 or 4 days, even if they are corked and in the fridge.

The dilemma of what to do with leftover wine

No-one wants to throw good wine down the drain but you may not feel like drinking it all within a few days. The easiest solution is to freeze it. Invest in some ice-cube trays and pop it into the freezer. It will last for months and you will have the perfect ingredient on-hand to jazz up your casseroles and sauces.

If you’ve already left your bottle of white wine for a few days, and it is past its best already, do not despair. You can use it as a totally natural cleaner and disinfectant around the kitchen. Add it to a spray bottle to clean fruit and vegetables (the alcohol will kill many bacteria) or use it as a detergent on surfaces. You need to be careful with this because some surfaces, such as granite, will stain. Want to know the best way to clean wine glasses? It’s white wine!

Red wine, on the other hand, is packed with antioxidants which are great for your skin. You can use it as gentle toner or drop some in your bath water for super soft skin. The dilemma of leftover wine could top up your cleaning cupboard and your toiletries.

Five creative cooking tips for leftover wine

If you feel like getting creative in the kitchen, here are five great ways to use up left-over wine:

  1. Poaching is not just for eggs. Red wine that is a couple of days old is perfect for poaching fruit such as pears. Simply simmer the fruit and the alcohol over a low heat until soft and you have a healthy, low-fat Serve with a dollop of crème Fraiche and a sprinkle of chocolate for extra luxury.
  2. Bring your bolognese to life. We can all get a little bored with regular supper time spaghetti bolognese but drop in a splash of red wine, and the flavours soar. A basic mid-week supper becomes an Italian masterpiece.
  3. Make a marinade. Marinating meat prior to cooking, this vastly improves both the flavour and texture. Make up a simple marinade with left-over wine, oils and herbs and add to pork or chicken to inject loads of flavour. Store the meat in a covered dish in a refrigerator overnight or whilst you are at work then roast, grill or fry.
  4. Splash over a rice dish. If you are making a risotto or paella, white wine will perk up the flavour. Pour a couple of tablespoons of white wine in with the stock and the rice will soak it up giving a rich, authentic flavour.
  5. Create your own salad dressing. If the wine has already become a little vinegary, make the most of it! Make a salad dressing by combining the wine with olive oil and then add some salt and pepper for a simple dressing. You can always throw in some French mustard for an extra kick. This will last in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Getting stuck with some leftover wine after your party or get together does not have to be a problem. If all else fails, you can use red wine as a unique (and very effective) fabric dye. After all, we know how impossible it is to get that stain off a white T-shirt.

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