Make cakes, make jam, etc.


At the end of a dinner, a date or an evening with friends, you might find yourself with an unfinished bottle or two of wine. At this point, you have two options: try to finish drinking it before it spins, or find a way to reuse it. Route A works great, but if you’re not ready to drink more, we have options.

A leftover bottle of wine is something brimming with possibilities, giving you an exciting chance to get creative in the kitchen. The last sips of rosé can be used in homemade jam, and the extra red wine can play into everything from a chocolate cake to a dream sauce for lamb chops.

We’ve included these and other of our favorite tips for cooking with leftover wine below, whether you’re craving dessert, poached seafood, or still want to drink your wine, but in a different format. Read on for the 10 tips, grab your bottle and get cooking.

Here’s how you can use your leftover wine

DIY your own red wine vinegar

leftover wine
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Author of cookbooks and Gastronomy and wine cooks Contributor Andrea Slonecker shared a DIY red wine vinegar recipe. All you need is some full-bodied dry red wine — or even a mix of several leftover reds — raw apple cider vinegar, a glass jar, cheesecloth, and a rubber band. After about eight weeks you will have vinegar. Remember to filter it before storing and using it.

Turn leftover wine into vinaigrette and turn it into a salad

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Your homemade red wine vinegar can be used in Chef Hugh Acheson’s recipe for a basic vinaigrette, which also calls for a clove of garlic, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, pepper and olive oil. extra virgin olive. It offers several variants; play with the ingredients to make miso vinaigrette, french vinaigrette or even dill pickle vinaigrette. If you don’t have red wine vinegar, use your leftover red wine directly in Patricia Wells’ Red Wine Vinaigrette. It takes half a cup of remaining red wine, combined with fine sea salt and extra virgin olive oil for an easy dressing. No red wine? Swap out white, rosé or a combination of wines as well.

Mix it in another drink

leftover wine
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If you didn’t like the wine alone, use it as a base for another cocktail. You can make yourself a glass of Kalimotxo, a Spanish cocktail that combines cola and red wine, or a warming cup of mulled wine on a chilly day (we even have a version that uses Pinot Grigio!). Extra amontillado sherry can add a sweet note to the frozen cocktail – Skip the Hourglass cocktail, and if you have extra dry rosé, save it for that lovely sangria. Whether you have red or white, sparkling or not, lots of wine or just a little, the choice is yours.

Prepare jam

make jam
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Jam all alone? Delicious. Jam with wine in it? Even more delicious. A cup of rosé can be turned into a summer-ready peach-rosé jam, and blueberry-Beaujolais jam uses a whole bottle of Beaujolais, if you have one left unopened. Once your wine jam is done, use it as a garnish on a dish like ricotta toast, spread it on a sandwich, or serve it with a cheese and charcuterie board.

Bake a cake…

leftover wine
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Wine and cake can go together wonderfully, so it’s a natural progression to take wine and use it in your cake as well. At-Large Culinary Director Justin Chapple’s recipe for a chocolate and red wine cake, which is enhanced by the fruity notes of a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon. Or writer Nicole A. Taylor’s gorgeous Moscato Pound Cake with Raisin Frosting, featuring Moscato d’Asti, which appears in both the cake itself as well as the frosting. A whole bottle of Prosecco is used to make the Aperol spritz cake with poached rhubarb in Prosecco – in the batter itself and to poach the rhubarb placed on top.

…Or treat yourself to wine candies

leftover wine
Image Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Accessories Styling by Christine Keely

Dry Riesling is one of the star ingredients in Kumquat-Riesling Gummies, which glow a deep orange color and have a tart note thanks to a coating of citric acid. You will only need 3/4 cup or six ounces of Riesling to make one batch. Dry Riesling can also be combined with dried apricots, sugar and unflavored gelatin to make Riesling Pâte de Fruit. And if you had champagne? While not strictly gummy per se, these champagne jellies are a fun way to turn two bottles of rosé champagne into an elegant, party-worthy dessert.

Poach pears, seafood, etc.

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Wine can also be used to poach ingredients, as in the striking dessert of poached pears in red wine (you can also poach pears in Muscat) and poached scallops in Sancerre with sweet oatmeal – substitute the sauvignon blanc in this last recipe if you don’t have Sancerre. Ruby Port also plays a role in the superb Goat Cheesecake with Wine Poached Cranberries, acting as the base of the poaching liquid for the cranberries. This poaching liquid is transformed into a jelly that tops the cream-colored cake, creating a beautiful contrast, and wine-poached cranberries decorate the perimeter of the jelly-covered cake.

Use it in stew

leftover wine
Image Credit: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Accessories Styling by Claire Spollen

Wine adds depth of flavor to stews, as our Executive Editor Ray Isle’s Red Wine Venison Stew recipe shows. You only need a cup and a half of a robust, full-bodied red wine to make this, such as a Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. (In this case, we also recommend pairing the finished stew with a Petite Sirah.) Leftover white wine can also find a place in the stew – use a cup of dry white to make this creamy chicken stew, which only takes 45 minutes from indemnity.

Make pan sauce, y’all

leftover wine
Image Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Accessories Styling by Audrey Davis

An incredibly easy way to reuse leftover wine is to make pan sauce. You can do this a number of ways: by using dry white wine to make a white wine pan sauce with fresh cream and spring herbs, which goes wonderfully with chicken breasts; turn a bold red wine (like a Bordeaux or Rioja) into a red wine sauce with cumin and chilies for lamb chops; or take a dry sherry like oloroso and make a pan sauce to serve with pork chops. Steak and Skillet Sauce is also a perfect pairing, so you’ll definitely want to add Steak Au Poivre with Red Wine Sauce to your meal rotation.

Freeze it for later


If you want to cook with your wine but don’t have time in the near future, there is a solution for that too. Margaret Eby explains, you absolutely can freeze leftover wine. This doesn’t work for sparkling wine, but for red, white, or other wines you might have on hand, you can freeze and thaw them as needed. Simply grab an ice cube tray (or deli containers for larger portions) and pour in your wine. “Leave about an inch at the top to allow the wine to expand in the freezer,” notes Eby. Be sure to cover the tray or container so the wine doesn’t pick up flavors from the other ingredients. If you’re making wine ice cubes, you can also put them in a plastic bag à la Nigella Lawson, whose method Eby says she learned.

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(Main and feature image credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Props Styling by Audrey Davis)

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