Answering the age-old question…
What do I do with all this leftover wine?
We know, we know… What the heck is leftover wine?! But you see, shockingly there are people who do not finish the bottle (or bottles) of wine that are opened during get-togethers. It’s tragic, but there are ways around the waste. Our favorite solution is probably the simplest.
Put it in your dinner, not just in your glass.
The internet offers innumerable recipes that call for wine. We plan to begin sharing some of our favorites, as we run them through the test kitchen for… uh… quality control purposes. (We swear it’s not just so we can drink more wine!) But first, let’s look at the why’s and how’s of it all.
Wine adds acidity to any dish, and can often be interchanged with vinegar or lemon juice in recipes. It can tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat. And best of all, after the alcohol itself cooks out, you’re left with all the flavors from the wine.
But what kind of wine should you use?
A good rule of thumb is to use the type of wine IN the dish that you would normally serve WITH the dish. And whether red or white, look for bright fruity notes.
White wine is versatile, and works very well with chicken, pork and all types of seafood. It’s delicious in vegetables, mushrooms, or even risotto. Look for “crisp” whites with bright citrus and fruit notes like our Pinot Gris, Windswept White or Barcelona White.
Be careful of fuller bodied, oaky whites. The oak becomes bitter with cooking. But our Chardonnay will still taste beautiful served WITH your dish.
Try red wine in more hearty dishes. Beef, lamb and duck all match nicely with reds, as do simmering stews and tomato sauces. Look for berry and red-fruit notes, and a medium bodied flavor like our Relaxing Red, Tailgate Red, or try the Merlot.
Keep in mind that the fuller-bodied reds have more tannin, which can become too harsh when the wine is reduced. So like the Chardonnay, our Lemberger might be better served with your meal than in it.
Got leftover wine, but not ready to tie on your apron and channel your inner Julia Child just yet? FREEZE IT! You can pour that wine right into your ice cube trays. Because of the alcohol content it will not freeze as hard as regular ice cubes… but it will get hard enough to be transferred into freezer bags, and will keep until you’re feeling adventurous!
One last word of advice. (And we feel this is the most important.) Do not cook with wine you would not drink. Bad wine makes bad food. And on that same note, steer clear of “cooking wines”. They have added ingredients which can include salt and preservatives, and will simply not taste as good.
Do you cook with wine? Any recipes you’d like to share? Put them in the comments!