From Cleaner to Vinegar: 10 Ways to Reduce Wine Waste

f you’re like me, you rarely have to worry about what to do once you open a bottle of wine. Once it’s open, it’s almost a guarantee it will all be gone. If you’re more of a one-glass-and-done kind of a person, though, you may need some creative suggestions on what to do with that half full bottle.

If you plan on drinking it again during the week, cork it back up and keep it in the fridge. Champagne will keeps for three days, although it will have less bubbles. Red and white will last three to five days if you cork it after opening.

WineFolly Madeline Puckette explains that wines with more acid will last longer while those with less acid are likely to spoil quicker. “Full-bodied white wines like oaked Chardonnay and Viognier tend to have much less acidity which will cause them to ruin more quickly,” she says.

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Also, if you do wind up with leftover wine a lot, consider buying boxed wine instead as it seals up after each pour resulting in a longer lasting product or invest in a vacuum wine saver that helps remove air from the bottle and acts as a temporary cork.

Did you end up with more than one bottle of leftover wine after a dinner party? Think outside the glass and get creative with these ways to use it up.

1. COOK WITH IT

If you’ve got dinner and wine leftovers, use both to create a new dish. Wine is a common ingredient in sauces, stews, marinades and more. A splash of red wine to your Sunday sauce is the perfect way to add complexity in flavor without any work and the ideal way to use up your vegetables from last night’s dinner.

Leftover white wine from a chicken dinner? Make a sauce with the wine and soup with the food. Steak dinner equals beef stew and red wine in the broth will only make it better.

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2. DEGLAZE THE PAN

Use wine to deglaze a pan when cooking to help add depth, and soak up the flavor of all those caramelized pieces of food stuck to the pan.

3. MAKE FERTILIZER

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If you have a backyard garden, your leftover wine is just the thing you need to help those greens grow.

Red wine can help activate the bacteria in compost to produce the ideal fertilizer for your plants.

4. MAKE DESSERT

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Red wine chocolate cake is a delicious take on a classic dessert. The wine adds just the right amount of flavor to taste boozy, but not intoxicating enough to cover the lush chocolate flavor.

Get the recipe here.

5. TAKE A BATH

Red wine is a known antioxidant, but you don’t have to drink it to receive the benefits.

Resveratrol found in red wine can help soften skin and repair damages. If you’re a bath lover, pour your leftover bottle into the tub and soak in the benefits.

6. MAKE AN ECO-CLEANER

We already know the household secrets of white wine vinegar. So it should be no shock that white wine has the same benefits. After all, it takes one to make one, so get your spray bottles ready.

The mix of alcohol and acidity make white wine a great disinfectant an especially effective to clean windows, counter tops and kitchen surfaces and cutting boards since alcohol in wine also disinfects and kills the common food bacterium, salmonella.

7. MAKE VINEGAR

Vinegar is made using wine. DIY-it by pouring your leftover wine in a glass jar with any of your leftover vinegar. Let it sit and after a few days, you will have homemade vinegar.

Continue to add your leftover wine to replenish. This is great for dressings, sauces, marinades and more. Want to flavor it? Add herbs and spices to your liking!

8. CLEAN PRODUCE

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It’s important to wash your fruit and veggies when you get them home or before using them, but sometimes water alone doesn’t do the trick. Instead of buying produce cleaner, create a mix of wine and water and put int in a spray bottle.

Spray your produce to kill any bacterial and clean away pesticide residue. Then rinse well and enjoy your squeaky clean fruits and vegetables.

9. FREEZE IT

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Pour any remaining wine into ice cube trays to make wine cubes perfect for adding to your next glass of sangria or wine.

They can also be used to add extra flavor to to those sauces, stews, glazes and more.

10. FRUIT FLY KILLER

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If you have unsavory fruit flies buzzing around the countertop, use that leftover wine to put an end to the strain. Simply add an inch or two to the bottom of a bowl or mason jar, and cover with plastic wrap.

Poke holes with a toothpick so the flies can enter without leaving. A piece of fruit in the bottom for good measure makes this elixir extra appealing to the buzzy little pests.

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