“What a waste!”
That’s the only thought that flashes through your head as you pour your old Italian wine down the sink. As much as you loved the wine, it’s been open just a little too long and it simply isn’t drinkable anymore.
It’s such a shame.
But here’s the good news…
That waste isn’t necessary.
Sure, you can’t drink the wine anymore. However, there are still plenty of ways you can use it so that you no longer have to pour wine (or money) down the drain.
How can you use your old wine?
That’s the question we aim to answer in this article as we explain some of the clever ways you can continue using Italian wine that isn’t drinkable anymore.
Idea #1 – A Marinade
We all know that wine is an essential ingredient for many stunning dishes. But what you may not realise is that even old wine can be used in cooking, assuming you use it correctly.
Now, you’re unlikely to use old wine when you need to create a sauce, for example. However, the vinegary taste that old wine takes on can make it perfect for certain types of marinades. Use your wine to coat your meat before grilling and you get an infusion of interesting flavours that can turn basic meats into marvellous masterpieces.
Of course, you still need to combine the correct wines with the appropriate meats.
As a general rule, red wine works best for red meats, with white being the choice for chicken and other poultry.
Idea #2 – Create Some Wine Vinegar
It’s the obvious use for old Italian wine.
After all, old wine takes on a vinegar-like taste. That means you can use it to create a powerful vinegar that offers some different flavours to standard vinegars.
All you need are a glass jar, some regular vinegar, some “mother of vinegar”, and your wine.
Take the regular vinegar and pour it into your jar. Then, add your leftover wine. Ideally, this will be just one wine as combining several wines into the same vinegar can lead to some confusing flavours. Of course, you also need to add your mother of vinegar.
Now, grab a paper towel and use it to cover the jar, securing it in place with a rubber band. Store the jar at room temperature, stirring it once per day. Taste test every day until the vinegar achieves a sourness that works well for you.
As a side note, keep an eye out for the formation of any new mothers. While a new mother is a good sign, as it means the vinegar is forming well, it still needs to be removed. Use a pair of tongs to pull it out once it has hardened. You can store it ready for the next time you want o make some Italian wine vinegar.
This is just one of the ways to make Italian wine vinegar. We’ve covered several more in our post about creating this tasty treat.
Idea #3 – Mulled Wine
With a little bit of heat, your leftover wine can be transformed into a traditional festive drink.
Combine the wine with fruit, brandy, and a few spices before leaving it to simmer for a while. Once it’s appropriately heated, the combination of unique flavours will mask an older wine while still providing a tasty drinking experience.
Idea #4 – Fabric Dye
We all know how difficult it is to get spilled Italian red wine out of your clothing or carpet. If you’re especially unlucky, you’ll end up with a stain that simply doesn’t go away.
Thankfully, you can use these powerful staining abilities to your advantage.
All you need is a large part, enough leftover wine, and a fabric that you want to give a new reddish-purple colour to. Soak the fabric in the wine, heat it up to get it to set, and then leave it to dry. You can repeat this process several times to get the exact colour that you’re looking for.
Make sure to wash the fabric by hand to eliminate the vinegary smell.
This technique is ideal for transforming tablecloths, doilies, and similar items.
Idea #5 – Freeze the Wine
A little disclaimer before we get started on this one:
Only use this idea if you have leftover wine that is about a day old. If the wine has gone off, freezing it won’t make any difference.
However, if the wine is still good, freezing it allows you to preserve its best qualities for all sorts of uses. For example, you could melt the frozen wine back down if you want to use it for cooking. Or, you could chop a little bit off to use as ice cubes in a refreshing beverage. The ice will add some additional flavour and can be kept for several months.
Idea #6 – Trapping Fruit Flies
There are few things more frustrating than getting a fruit fly infestation. The good news is that flies are drawn to the sweet smell of wine, even when the wine has started to go off.
Grab a spare glass and pour your leftover wine into it. Then, cover the glass with plastic wrap and poke a few fly-sized holes into it. Leave the wine in an open space and allow its aromas to draw the flies in. They’ll crawl through the holes, attempt to drink the wine, and end up never being able to get back out again.
Idea #7 – A Cleaner
You may already know that many people use vinegar as a cleaning agent. Its acidic nature allows it to break down many bacteria because of its ability to destroy cells.
White wine can do the same thing.
Make sure to dilute the wine first to ensure it doesn’t stain your surfaces.
The Final Word
And with that, you have seven new uses for leftover Italian wine that can help you to get more out of your drinks.
Of course, there are many solutions that enable you to preserve wine for longer, such as placing it in the fridge or using a vacuum stopper.
And if your wine simply isn’t usable anymore, you can always find more in the Xtrawine collection.
I’m a passionate about good wine and good cooking.
I like to keep me updated and share with my online friends my gastronomic knowledge.