Here’s a conundrum; you want a glass of wine with dinner, but only a glass. You open up a bottle with dinner and enjoy said glass. But then you’re left with a bottle of mostly full wine. The question; what to do with it? The obvious answer is to drink it. But what else can you do with it? It’s easy to just cap the bottle, leave it in the fridge or on the counter, and then drink throughout the week. But there is more that can be done with it. Here’s your answer.
Friday – You’re hosting a dinner party to kickoff the weekend. The wines range from lighter-bodied Pinot Noir to rich and powerful Syrah. First off, serve the wines from the lightest to heaviest in weight (think of how tannic or full the wine feels on your palate and the alcohol percentage of the bottle). Considering red wines, the order of weight would something like Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Syrah. But after the night amongst friends you find yourself with a nearly full body of red wine. Besides drinking it, you can do a few things with it over the next few days.
Saturday – The morning after has arrived and hopefully the hangover isn’t rearing its ugly head. For a next day option for what to do with that leftover wine, you could combine the ‘hair of the dog’ method of getting over a hangover along with adding some fresh fruit to your diet. Sangria is on deck. Sangria is a drink that combines wine with fruit, a sweetener, and maybe some herbs like mint or basil. Any type of wine could be used for sangria; red, rose, or white wine. Whatever you have on hand and make a batch. Here are some different recipes for sangria.
Sunday – We’re now into fall, which means braising season. Braising takes a tough cut of meat (i.e. pork shoulder, chuck roast, short ribs, etc) and let heat and time along with a braising liquid work its magic. This is where the leftover red wine can come in handy. There are a couple of classic red wine braising recipes, like Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon, and they use the red wine to add richness and fruity notes to the final dish. Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon is a classic.
Monday – We’re at the start of a new week and get over the Monday doldrums and aim to eat cleanly by going Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is a movement by many eaters to go a whole day of the week without eating meat. An easy way to do this would be to sear some mushrooms and deglaze the pan with a little bit of red wine and then slowly simmer everything until it’s done.
Tuesday – Hopefully by now you’ve used up all of your leftover wine. But if you have a little bit left, you can try making yourself a Kalimotxo. This cocktail is from the Basque country of Spain and it’s a drink that combines equal parts red wine with a cola-based soft drink of your liking. It’s sangria-esque, but just a little bit different with the soda component.
There you have it, a few ideas of what to do with leftover wine. By now, you might be getting tired of wine. But at least you know that there is more you can do with wine than just drink it.
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