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8 Clever Ways To Use Leftover Wine

As the foreign as the phrase “leftover wine” might be to many of us, what you might not realize is that uncorked wine has a very definitive shelf life. As soon as it’s opened, wine begins to oxidize, the name for the process where its chemical structure begins to break down, fading the color, sapping the flavor, and essentially turn the wine to vinegar. Ideally you should finish the bottle during the window when the wine is at its freshest — three or four days for young wines and about a week for older wines.

But if you don’t make it under the deadline, don’t worry, and don’t waste! We’ve collected eight clever methods for getting the most out of your leftover wine without you having to pour a single drop down the sink.

To Boost Flavor In A Recipe
Steam Clams in WineIt’s hard to think of a dish that isn’t benefited by the addition of a splash of wine. We particularly recommend a crisp Champagne to add brightness to a salad dressing, a dry red to give some depth to a beef stew, or a few cups of fragrant white with a handful of aromatic herbs to steam a pot of mussels. (Image: Bon Appetit)

Fertilize Plants
The sugar content in wine is just the boost that your compost pile needs to activate the bacteria within and start breaking down into a nutrient-rich mixture that any gardener would be delighted to get their hands on.

Clean Produce
If you open a bottle of red wine that’s so corked you don’t even want to drink or cook with it, consider putting it in a spray bottle to wash off produce. The microbial properties of wine are so great that in addition to washing away basic impurities, it can also protect against food-borne bacterias like E.coli and salmonella, and even in some cases prevent food poisoning.

Freeze It
Freezing WineEven if you don’t have a recipe right away that calls for leftover wine, you can pop it in the freezer for later use! Wine holds up surprisingly well to being frozen, and you can pop the cubes into sauces and soups later to add that irreplaceable layer of richness and flavor. (Image: Scratchy Mama)

Poach Some Beautiful Fruit
Pears in Wine Think of it as the sweet version of a quick pickle — poaching a fruit like peaches or pears in some red wine is an easy way to transform a simple ingredient into an impressive dessert. (Image: From The Grapevine)

Remove Stains
It’s long been said that applying white wine to a red wine spill will neutralize the spill and keep it from spreading further so that you can dab it away, but white wine is also effective in removing grease buildup. Mix it with a bit of baking soda and scrub away at the affected area; the white wine will absorb the stain and leave your garage floor or grill sparkling like new!

Pour It In Your Bath
Some celebrities swear by the skin restorative properties of red wine, and there are some indications that wine helps with circulation and maybe even cellulite-reduction, so pour two cups’ worth in your next hot bath and see for yourself!

Make A Do-It-Yourself Fly Trap
How to Get Rid Od Fruit Flies If fruit flies are starting to be a problem in your kitchen as the weather heats up, nip it in the bud with your own homemade trap. Just leave the tiniest bit of wine at the bottom of the bottle and leave it out uncorked; flies will be drawn to the liquid and unable to pester you any longer. (Image: Headline)

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