What to do with leftover red wine
It’s very unusual to have leftover red wine in the Saucy Dressings’ household – in much the same way that leftover chocolate is fairly non-existent – but it does happen!
If the wine is lucky enough still to be in the bottle you can save it for drinking by using a Vacu vin wine saver. Effectively, this is a pump which extracts the air from the bottle, and reseals the bottle with a rubber cork. By taking out the air you slow down the oxidation process. For best results you will have to force yourself to drink the wine within a couple of days, max. Quite hard.
If the wine has already found its way into glasses the thing to do is to find a glass vessel just big enough for it (a large wine glass is often what I use) and cover with clingfilm. Some people say that putting it in the fridge will slow down the oxidation process, but by the time it’s reached the glass it’s past hope really, from a drinking point of view and reducing the temperature or keeping it away from light isn’t going to make a great deal of difference….but it might help.
The only solution is to use it for cooking.
Here are some ideas. You can:
- substitute it for red wine vinegar in vinaigrettes
- substitute it for red wine vinegar in marinades
- throw it into gravies
- use it to substitute for some of the stock in stews and in risottos (especially Mushroom Risotto)
- use it to poach pears
- use it to macerate strawberries
- put it into various chicken stews, for example:
- Marbella chicken (add a little soft brown sugar)
- Sangria chicken
- Braised with raisins and cinnamon
- With pheasant, as in Pheasant in Red Wine – of course you can use chicken instead of pheasant
- With beef, as in Entente Cordial – French beef bourguignon with English dumplings
- Use instead of the red vermouth in Method 1 of Chilli Con Carne
- With boar – as in Birthday Boar, a Rugged Ragú
- With sausage and dates – as in Middle-eastern Nearly Devils on Horseback with Juniper and Gin – just slosh in a wine glass full of red as it cooks
- Even with fish – for example, replace the rosé vermouth in Sea Bass Fillets On a Bed of Chorizo and Giant Butter Beans, with red wine – the chorizo is robust enough to support the fish against the red wine
- With red cabbage – as in Christmasy, Starry Red Cabbage – again, add a little soft brown sugar
- Add to a carrot, or a tomato soup
- Add to a tomato sauce, or a romesco sauce, or a Bolognaise ragú
- A suggestion of Linela Kiourkou, bar manager at the Aqua Shard, “reduce leftover red wine in a pan with sugar to create a syrup to complement an Old Fashioned”
Additionally, almost anything which includes red or rosé vermouth, or a sweet wine – port, madeira, or mulled – can use leftover red wine plus a little soft brown sugar as a substitute.
What does not work with red wine, although many say it does: eggs – poaching or frying. They look limp and dirty, wholly unappetising.