We’ve all been there before. We’ve cracked open a bottle of wine for dinner or a movie night, but we don’t finish the whole thing. By the next morning, that half-glass of red left on the table, or the leftover red wine in the bottle doesn’t appeal to us, so we pour it out. There’s nothing else to do, right? Well, turns out there’s actually a whole heap you can do, so read on to learn all about it!
You don’t need to finish that bottle
A glass of red with dinner is a great way to elevate the flavours of your cooking, but if you feel obliged to finish the bottle you may up drinking more than you wanted to. A standard bottle of wine holds about 10 units, which can be hard to gauge with the fishbowl-sized glasses we sip our wine from these days.
By knowing how to properly store and repurpose wine, the less likely you are to feel like you have to finish the bottle in a night.
Why does leftover wine go off?
Wine is famously long-lasting, but once that cork is popped, the clock is ticking. So why does wine go off? Well, it all comes down to oxidisation, which is a series of chemical processes wine undergoes in meeting with oxygen. It’s not dangerous to drink oxidized wine, but it doesn’t taste as good as it used to, which is especially sad if it’s a fancy bottle of grapes.
Know when wine is off
Does wine sour overnight, or over the course of a few days? Does it sour when we turn our backs? Not all wine sours on the same schedule, so knowing how to detect off wine is essential. Generally, younger wines last for up to four days on the counter, while older wines last about a week. But in the end all that matters is the taste, because you don’t want to throw out perfectly fine wine, nor do you want to serve oxidised wine to your guests.
So how does oxidised wine look and taste like? Oxidised red wine has lost its flair and spark. It’s faded in colour, and a lot less flavourful. Imagine the red wine has had a really tough day. It missed all its PT connections, it was raining, and all it wants to do now is nap – that’s what it’s like. If your wine tastes like grapey bathwater, chances are it is oxidised, and you’ll need a new bottle.
Bottling and storing opened wine
First, make sure you store leftover red wine correctly in the first place. Opened wine may last much longer than you realise when given the chance. Heat and oxygen are the killers of opened wine, so by eliminating one or both, you’re giving your wine a fighting chance. If possible, pour your leftover red wine into a smaller bottle to reduce the air cruising around. Then, make sure you cork it with a plug that’s as airtight as possible before chucking it in the fridge.
Use your leftover wine for cooking
If you don’t finish a bottle, feel free to leave it on the counter for a few days. Whether you’re making soups, sauces, or stews, a splash of red wine offers depth of flavour and richness of colour, so add liberally to taste! The alcohol boils away while cooking, so don’t worry about making a boozy pasta sauce.
Not all recipes invite red wine, so if you find that the opened bottle is just oxidising on your counter we suggest freezing the leftovers for later.
How? In your ice cube tray, of course!
So simple, yet such a game-changer. When frozen, simply pop them in a container or ziplock bag in the freezer. You can chuck them in recipes later, whether it’s for cooking, sangria (they’ll chill your drink without diluting it), or something else. This works for white wine as well as red wine!
Turn your wine into vinegar
It’s not quite like Jesus’ magic, but who doesn’t like the flavours of red wine vinegar? Well, you can make your very own. All you need is a big jar, your leftovers, some water, and a vinegar ‘mother’.
Now that you know the ways wine leftovers can be given new life and purpose, you may feel bad about all the glasses you’ve poured down the sink.
Don’t worry. You’ll know better in the future!
Find your favourite wine
Are you looking for a great bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal tonight, or something to bring to a party? Good thing Tipple delivers! We’ve got an unrivalled selection of incredible red wines and white wines to ensure you’ll be spoilt for choice. Visit our store and order now!