What to do with leftover wine

If only one or two of you are drinking wine at home, it’s easy to be left with some in the bottle. Emily Gussin is here to rescue those last drops from being poured down the sink…

What to do with leftover wine

Quick syrup

Measure the wine you need to use up in grams, then put it in a small pan with one fifth of the weight in golden caster sugar. Bring to a simmer and bubble until thickened and syrupy. Drizzle your wine sauce over fruit, ice cream or a chocolate dessert for an indulgent treat.

Freezer cubes

Pour leftover wine into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer the ice to a freezer-safe container or bag. Add a cube or two to any dish – sauce, ragù or gravy – that requires a splash of wine . The ice will melt down, then reduce as usual, so no need to open another bottle – for cooking, that is.

A splash of wine is always welcome in a slow braise


Marinade magic

The acidity in wine can tenderise meat, so it’s great in a marinade. Mix with oil and aromatics such as garlic, rosemary and peppercorns, then submerge the meat in the marinade in a container in the fridge. Cuts of meat like steak or chicken breasts should marinate for around 6 hours; larger joints can sit for up to 24 hours.

Feeling jammy? 

In posh food shops I bet you’ve seen jams that pair rosé with strawberries, red wine with blackberries and champagne with apricots, but have you thought about making them yourself? It’s easy and will make you feel a touch regal. Just add the leftover wine when you mix the ingredients of your usual recipe – or try one of our jam recipes.

Add a dash of wine when making jam


DIY vinegar

In a sterilised jar, combine three parts leftover wine with one part wine vinegar (ideally of the same colour). Cover the top of the jar with muslin and secure with a rubber band. Leave in a cool, dry place (a cupboard away from the oven) for about a month and you’ll have a vinegar for dressings or marinades.

We’ve got loads of clever ideas for using up leftovers, fresh produce and open packets. Find them all in our sustainability hub.

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