If you’ve ever cleaned out your home bar or bar back and realized you have a bottle of opened wine that has now gone bad, you’re not alone.
We’ve heard it all before that wine gets better with age. However, most inexpensive wines should be drunk within two years of bottling. Other factors can speed up this process, like light and heat. Whenever storing wine, it’s best to keep it in a cool and dry environment to prevent any quality change.
But what happens if you have an opened bottle, but the wine inside has spoiled? There are many ways to repurpose leftover wine. We have rounded up five ways to reuse wine so you can eliminate waste.
Consuming wine that has gone bad isn’t dangerous or harmful, but the taste will be off. Typically, with most wines, it’s recommended to be consumed within a week of opening. The more oxygen that gets to the product, the faster it will age. The taste can range when it’s expired, but if the wine has a strong vinegar or nutty flavor, chances are it has been opened for too long.
Here are five of our favorite ways to reuse wine that’s been leftover.
Make Wine Vinegar
This process is a simple and easy way to reuse leftover wine. Add vinegar and wine to a glass jar. Cover the opening with a paper towel and then add the top back onto the jar. Stir the mixture once every day and after a week, give it a taste. Continue to add leftover wine until the desired flavor is achieved. Using vinegar in cocktail making might seem taboo, but the wine vinegar will add depth and bright acidity to a drink.
If you know that the opened bottle of wine isn’t getting consumed, freeze it. Add your wine to ice cube containers and store it in the freezer until needed. These ice cubes are convenient for making Frosé or any wine slushies on the bar menu. There are so many frozen wine cocktails that can be made from freezing your leftover wine.
Turning leftover wine into a jelly? It’s not as crazy as it seems. Jelly can add depth to cocktails. During the fall and winter months, this will be a hit. Jelly or marmalades give a nice mouthfeel to cocktails. They also provide a sweet taste to the drink, and because they often have citrus, they offer an acid component.
As bars begin to make more strides to be sustainable, they have started to compost their vegetable and food scraps. An easy way to reuse leftover wine is by adding it to your compost pile. This doesn’t need to be a large amount, but adding a little leftover wine can delay bacteria growth.
This classic summertime beverage is a delicious way to use leftover wine. The nice thing about sangria is there are tons of ways to make it. It can be either red or white, with the addition of fruits, herbs, and other liquors. Here is one of our favorite sangria recipes that you can make with that leftover bottle.