You've done an online tasting and just can't finish all the wine you opened? We have a few tips on how to keep wines fresh for up to a week but sometimes it's good to use it for something more creative : here are 5 ways to make good use of wine (besides drinking it!)
1 - Cook with it
Use wine to enhance the flavour of your dishes. The acidity in the wine brightens up sauces and lends a depth of flavour. Make sure you allow the wine to boil for a while so that most of the alcohol can evaporate.
When cooking with white wine, for instance in a cream sauce for poached fish, a little splash goes a long way – don’t overdo it if you’re going for a well-balanced sauce.
When a recipe calls for red wine, we wouldn't suggest throwing in any wines that are overly tannic wines, as they will result in a bitter after flavour. Fruit-forward, unoaked wines will be great in your favourite dish. Expensive wines won't do your dish any harm but the cooking will remove most of the interesting nuances found in fine wine so you might want to keep them fresh and use something else to cook with.
Our favourite recipes using red wine are a classic Boeuf Bourguignon (this recipe calls for an entire bottle, so much for leftovers!) or a Coq au vin, an Italian chicken cacciatore or pappardelle with a slow-cooked wild boar sauce. It doesn’t always need to take a lot of time: these onions caramelised in wine are simple and delicious!
2 - Freeze it
If preparing a slow-cooked meal the same day isn’t feasible, freeze your leftover wine for later use. Pour some into an ice cube tray, carefully place it in the freezer (you can cover it with cling wrap if you’re scared it will spill over). Every time a recipe calls for a splash of wine, you don’t need to hunt round for an opened bottle, simply toss in a few of your wine cubes.
3 - Make vinegar
It’s a bit of a project, but it’s cool to experience how wine transforms into vinegar. Making vinegar calls for a ‘mother’: acetic acid bacteria to help the process along. You can order vinegar mother online, get it from a vinegar-making friend, or use a good amount of unfiltered, raw vinegar. Here’s a recipe.
4 - Make wine jelly
Next time you prepare a cheese platter, impress your friends by serving a bit of sweet wine jam / jelly with it. Pectin will help it set. For leftover white wine, try this jelly recipe with peaches and peppers. Leftover red wine such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can be used in this recipe which will pair perfectly with aged cheeses .
5 - Use it to marinate fruit
In Germany, there’s this wonderfully, boozy concoction called Rumtopf. It’s the result of soaking fruits in rum, sugar (and often a splash of wine) in a special “rum pot” for a very long time. If that’s too boozy for your liking, marinate cut fruits with wine and spices, such as these plums, poached apples or dried figs.
Do you have a favourite wine recipe? Share it with us in the comments.