7 Ways to Use Leftover Red Wine

Red wine doesn’t last long in an open bottle. Even if you’ve tried to vacuum out the air and cork or cap it tightly, no matter. After a couple of days, it just won’t be that tasty. Fortunately, there are at least 7 smart ways to use leftover wine so you won’t have to throw it away.

1) Make ice. Pour the wine into ice cube trays and freeze to use later to add a little depth to a stew or sauce.

2) Make sauce. Speaking of sauce, you can make a delicious red wine sauce for meat, chicken or grilled or braised vegetables. Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in a heavy pan like cast iron, so the mixture won’t burn. Add a cup or so of red wine and simmer until the wine boils down almost into a syrup. Add a little boullion or soup stock to get the consistency you want. Serve the sauce on the side, or drizzle over your entree before serving.

3) Add it to other sauces, gazpacho, ratatouille and stew. I’ve gotten into the habit of adding leftover red wine to almost anything I make that has a tomato base. From cold gazpacho to hot ratatouille and everything in between, I’ll add as much as a cup of wine if I have that much leftover and I think the recipe can handle it.

4) Make salad dressing. Whisk 1 tablespoon of leftover wine together with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add finely chopped shallot, a dollop of Dijon style mustard, and 6-9 tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Whisk vigorously (or shake in a jar with a lid) until well blended.

5) Poach fruit. Put 3 cups of wine in a stock pot and add 1/2-2/3 cup sugar, plus additional spices for flavors you love: a cinnamon stick, star anise, fresh ginger, all spice, whole cloves. Boil the concoction and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add 4-5 cups of peeled fruit – choose something firm like apples or pears, or give peaches a try if you don’t mind that they’ll get pretty soft when they’re poached. Simmer until the fruit is tender, but not falling apart. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Serve with fresh lemon or orange wedges you can squirt for a little zing before eating.

6) Deglaze a pan. If you’ve sauteed meat, chicken or vegetables in a pan, remove those ingredients and then add a cup of leftover wine. Simmer as you stir the bits leftover in the pan into the wine. The wine will reduce to a thick syrup infused with the delicious drippings from the pan that you can serve over the vegetables and meat you just cooked.

7) Flavor salt. I haven’t made this yet, but it sounds delicious. Pour leftover wine into heavy-bottomed pot and simmer 30 minutes or so until the wine becomes a thick syrup. For every tablespoon of liquid, add 1 1/2 cups of salt. Make sure to use rock salt, not finely grained table salt. Stir well, then spread on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Let dry overnight, then store in jars with lids.

What do you do with leftover red wine? Please share!


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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Or drink it again, if not much time has passed by... Thanks for the tips!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

Not much leftover wine here - - my hubby drinks it all up (LOL)!!

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper3 years ago

Agree with James M

"Ha, ha, ha - as noted, rarely have
"leftover" wine, but will certainly
consider some of these.
I have opened a bottle of wine to
add to a stew and then had the
rest with the stew...."

Jayasri Amma
Jayasri Amma4 years ago

Thank you!

Barb Hansen
Ba H4 years ago

if you can't drink it, don't open it

Fhretscya Y.
Fay Y4 years ago

I always have leftover wine as one glass is my limit these days. So I use the leftover wine in my black beans. It make a delicious thick sauce with a addictive flavor.

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey4 years ago

Like most people posting here I don't often have leftover wine.

But once when I did, I tried freezing it. It doesn't work in a domestic freezer as it doesn't get cold enough!! Ended up with a sort-of wine slush puppy!

Susan T.
Susan T4 years ago

LOL, agreed no leftover wine here.... ;)

Karen K.
Karen K4 years ago

Ok, I'm one of the people who has leftover wine! I like it but 1 glass is my limit. I do love cooking with leftover wine though. Red wines deepen a tomato-based sauce. White is great with anything that has onions and garlic! A chef said the best wine for cooking is the cheap not fancy ones anyways. Big jug of Gallo white is great for cooking, as is red Two Buck Chuck!