Okay, so you’re probably laughing your head off at the phrase “leftover wine”. So did my aunt, who firmly believes that cooking with wine is cooking while sipping a glass of wine. Be that as it may, one cannot deny that when the festival season of eating, drinking and being merry comes to a close, most of you are probably gazing nostalgically at the bottles of wine in various stages of half full - half empty, as you mull over the memories of first carrying them home, safe, in your trusty VinGardeValise®, and then enjoying them with your loved ones.
But as that train of thought gently brings you back home, you’re left wondering: what to do with all that leftover wine? Sure, you could drink it, like my aunt, but that’s not entirely wise. The truth is, wine doesn’t last forever and it definitely does not deserve to go waste.
Now is a good time as any to add a little magic to your cooking with that leftover wine. We’ve curated twenty of the most delicious recipes for you to enjoy that use wine as an ingredient. Before you dig into them...
Here are some points to note about wine:
- After you open the wine, it starts to oxidize, reducing its color, flavour and luster. The shelf life of your wine depends on various factors such as whether the wine is red, white or sparkling, whether it is dry or sweet.
- Red wines last longer than white and the older the wine, the longer it lasts.
- Remember that once opened, young wines are good for 3-4 days and older wines last about a week. The silver lining is that dessert wines and port can be good up to a year after you’ve opened them.
- Of course, you could buy smaller bottles that are easier to finish off, or at least store the leftover wine right away in a smaller bottle to minimize the oxidation. Another option is boxed wine, whose shelf life is almost a couple of months more than the bottled variety.
- How you store the wine is important, too. Wine stays best when away from heat and light, which accounts for the wine coolers and wine cellars.
- Use small amounts of leftover wine in your cooking but If you have a half bottle, transfer it to a clean and dry half bottle and cork it before you store it in your fridge to keep it for a month.
Some quick tips on cooking with leftover wine.
For red meat and dishes with red meat use young, full bodied red wine
For red sauces use young full bodied robust red wine
For soups using root vegetables and beef stock use earthy red, full bodied red wine
For fish - seafood, poultry, pork and veal use dry white wine or dry fortified wine
For light cream sauces use dry white wine, dry fortified wine
For seafood soups and bouillabaisse use crisp dry white wine
For consomme, poultry, vegetable soups use dry fortified wine such as sherry
For sweet desserts use sweet white wine or sweet fortified wine
And? If you don’t enjoy drinking it, don’t cook with it.
You can marinade, cook or flavor with wine. The idea of cooking with wine is to enhance the flavor and aroma of your food. Use the right amount, as adding too much can be overpowering and too little makes no difference. When wine simmers with your food, its flavor is extracted into the food.
Let’s check out those recipes now, which we’ve conveniently categorized into white wine recipes and red wine recipes.
WHITE WINE Recipes for Leftover Wine
- Comfort Stewed Chicken with a White Wine Gravy
With only a fifteen minute prep time, this savory chicken stew with a white wine gravy is an easy way to get rid of the sniffles while using that 1/2 cup of leftover white wine.
- Drunken Cheesy Bread
Prepped and cooked in under forty-five minutes, and using only seven ingredients, including 3/4 cup of white wine, Drunken Cheesy Bread is great as a comfort food.
- 30-Minute Roasted Pacific Cod With Olives and Lemon
Ten minutes prep time, 3/4 cup of leftover white wine, and twenty minutes later, you'll have a delicious roasted cod fish for dinner.
- Scallops with White Wine Beurre Blanc & Lemon Orzo
With half a cup of leftover dry white wine, make four to six-servings of this great salad with scallops.
- Spinach & Chicken Crepes with White Wine Cream Sauce
If you've got some extra time to invest in dinner, this is a great way to finally use that leftover 1/4 cup of white wine in a delicious chicken and spinach dish.
- Pasta in Paprika White Wine Sauce
With just 1 cup of leftover dry white wine, and ten easily gathered ingredients, you can make a delicious, and healthy, pasta dish in less than an hour.
- Baked Salmon with White Wine Dill Sauce
In under half an hour, you can create a great four-serving dinner of baked salmon with dill sauce while finishing off the leftover 1/4 cup of white wine.
- Lobster Linguine with White Wine Sauce
This great two-serving pasta, made with lobster, is the perfect way to finish off the last 1/2 cup of dry white wine before it goes bad.
- Shrimp Scampi
In just fifteen minutes, this pleasant Shrimp Scampi is easy to make and only uses 1/2 a cup of leftover white wine.
- Tomato Pasta with White Wine and Spinach
Another fantastic pasta recipe that's not only healthy but also finishes off the last of the 1/3 cup of white wine left over.
RED WINE Recipes for Leftover Wine
- Easy Tomato Sauce with Red Wine
Perfect over any pastas, this tomato sauce uses only 1/8 cup of your leftover red wine and can be made in under an hour with just a few simple steps.
- Quick Eggplant & Tofu Ratatouille with Thai Basil
This easy eggplant ratatouille with tofu and basil can be made in under 30 minutes of cook time and uses up that last 1/4 cup of red wine leftover from last night's dinner.
- Red Wine and Garlic Mushrooms
Using 1/4 cup of your leftover red wine, and half an hour of your day, make a great dinner for four with very few ingredients.
- Perfect Prime Rib Recipe with Red Wine Jus
With a thirty minute hands-on prep and two to three hour cook time, but only 1 cup of red wine necessary, this is the type of dinner you'd prepare early in the day for a great dinner party of ten to twelve.
- Mushroom and Red Wine Meatloaf
Use up that last 3/4 cup of leftover dry, red wine to make this rich mushroom meatloaf of four to six servings in two hours.
- Red Wine Risotto
Make this Risotto with 3/4 cup of leftover red wine in less than half an hour for a quick, tasty dinner.
- Black Beans and Rice
Make a great black beans and rice with the last 1/4 cup of leftover red wine in twenty minutes for a delicious, six-serving dinner.
- Lentils with Wine-Glazed Winter Vegetables
A lovely, vegetarian, winter dinner that can be made in an hour or so, this recipe uses only 2/3 cups of red wine and fresh vegetables.
- Red Wine Roast Chicken
A wonderful roast chicken in red wine sauce is the perfect dinner for warm nights and uses only 2/3 a cup of red wine.
- Pan Seared Flank Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
In under forty minutes, make a great four to six- serving dinner with one and a half pounds of flank steak and 1/2 a cup of leftover red wine.
So get that apron on, pick your favorite recipe, gather your ingredients and your leftover wine and dazzle as a chef! Don’t be surprised if, the next time you travel, you actually look forward to bringing back some wines in your VinGardeValise® just to whip up those gourmet dishes!
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