Wondering what to do with leftover wine? It’s a common question, especially this time of year. Now that Christmas is over, your tree is back in the attic, the lights have been taken down, and the inflatable snowman is tucked neatly in its box—but those half-empty bottles of wine from your most recent holiday party are probably still in your refrigerator. What are you supposed to do with all that leftover red and white wine before it goes bad?
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to use leftover wine. You can repurpose it by making a hearty stew, canning jam, or freezing it into heart-shaped cubes for Valentine’s Day. Cooking with wine is a great way to use up the last of your wine and have fun creating something new. If you need help deciding what to do with old wine, check out the guide below.
Store Leftover Wine Properly
Wine starts to oxidize as soon as you remove the cork. Once the oxidation process is initiated, you only have a few days to enjoy what’s inside before it goes bad. Getting the most out of your wine bottles starts with storing them properly after they’ve been opened.
Store opened bottles in the refrigerator, and recork the wine with the original cork or a reusable one. This is the best way to make your wine last as long as possible.
Freeze Leftover Wine
If you don’t plan on using the rest of an opened bottle of wine in the next few days, you can freeze it for later use. You can freeze red, white, or non-sparkling rosé wine to make cocktails, sauces, jams, and more. The only wine that doesn’t freeze well is sparkling wine, so save your Prosecco for something else.
Freezing wine is easy. All you have to do is pour the leftover wine into the individual cubes of an ice tray and place the tray in the freezer. Be careful not to fill the cubes to the brim. Leave a little room at the top for the wine to expand as it freezes. Once the cubes are frozen, you can store them in a plastic bag or container until you’re ready to use them.
Make Cocktails with Leftover Wine
If you enjoy sipping on fruity sangria, refreshing wine coolers, or spiced mulled wine, you’re in luck. You can use leftover red, white, rosé, or sparkling wine as the base for your favorite cocktail. Whether you need a fun drink for a birthday party or a night in with the girls, this method is a crowd-pleaser.
Make Wine Vinegar
Vinegar is a cabinet staple. If you have a glass jar or bottle, apple cider vinegar, cheesecloth, a rubber band, and leftover wine on hand, you can make your own at home. You can use it to make your signature vinaigrette or tie a bow on top and gift it to a friend.
We recommend using a full-bodied, dry red wine. Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, combine three parts wine with one part apple cider vinegar in your glass container. After about two weeks, strain the mixture to remove any unwanted particles. Drape the cheesecloth over the rim, secure the lid, and store the container in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to use it.
Cook with Leftover Wine
Add to Soups & Stews
Try cooking with wine to add a new twist to staple recipes. Making your go-to winter soup or stew with leftover wine adds a delicious depth of flavor. You can either use wine you’ve stored in the refrigerator or grab 10 to 12 wine ice cubes from the freezer (we told you these would come in handy). Whether you use a full-bodied red wine like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon to make venison stew or a dry white to make a creamy chicken stew, you’ll be going back for seconds.
Use For Poaching
You’ve heard of poached eggs, but what about poached fruit and seafood? Poaching pears in red wine mixed with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon makes a great companion for ice cream drizzled with a chocolate glaze. If you’re craving something savory, poach a pan of scallops in Sauvignon Blanc to serve alongside mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus.
Make a Pan Sauce
A wine sauce is the perfect pairing for sweet and savory dishes. If you’re making chicken breasts, go with a white wine pan sauce mixed with crème fraîche and spring herbs. If you’re preparing lamb chops, opt for a bold red wine like Bordeaux or Rioja to make a red wine pan sauce containing cumin and chiles. The options are endless.
Make Wine Jelly or Jam
If you like having jelly or jam on hand to spread on your cream cheese bagel or serve as a dipping option on your charcuterie board, all you need is 3 ½ cups of leftover wine and a few other supplies. Grab some glass jars, a canning rack, a jar lifter, and a large pot.
All you have to do is cook down the ingredients, pour the mixture into the jars, boil them for several minutes, and let them cool. After a few hours, you’ll have a delicious jelly or jam to spread on bacon and brie sandwiches, drizzle over ricotta toast, and gift to family members.
Use Leftover Red Wine to Fertilize Plants
Got a green thumb? Use your leftover wine to fertilize your plants. Simply drop the last little bit from the bottle into your compost bin, and let the bacteria activate. Your plants will thank you for it.
Use Leftover White Wine to Remove Stains
Did you know you can use white wine to remove grease stains and, ironically enough, red wine stains? Rub the affected area with white wine, then apply baking soda. This combination will absorb the grease or red wine, leaving your garment or furniture stain-free after sitting for just a few minutes.
Restock Your Wine Cabinet With the Wine Cellar Group
Once you use the last of your leftover wine from the holidays, you’ll need to restock your wine cabinet for upcoming movie nights and dinner parties. The Wine Cellar Group has every red, white, rosé, and sparkling wine you need to relax and unwind all year long. Browse our Cellar Collection to find your perfect match.