More often than not, we’ve opened a bottle of red to make a lush wine sauce but have instead found ourselves getting sauced on the wine. It happens. Red wine is an excellent dinner companion to many of our favorite dishes, like this veal ragu, and makes dark chocolate taste even better (is that possible?). But the red stuff is good for more than simply drinking. We’ve compiled a list of the many ways to consume red wine without having to drink it down. You could…
1. Turn Wine Into Vinegar: Might not be as useful as turning water into wine, but still good to know. Unless you go to a bougie fine foods store, the chances of you coming across an excellent red wine vinegar is slim to none. Luckily, you can turn the leftover wine from a bottle you like (on the rare occasion that there is any leftover) or an entire bottle that you love into a complex, mellow, and delicious vinegar to drizzle on salads etc. Instructions here.
2. Make Red Wine Ice Cubes: On that rare occasion where you can’t finish the last bit of wine in the bottle, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Then keep them on hand for whenever you’re feeling fancy and want to make a red wine pan sauce. We’d probably get extra thrifty and freeze some left over chopped herbs in the wine cubes for a frozen sauce ready to go. Here is a play by play. These boozy ice cubes are also perfect for plopping into your summertime sangria.
3. Shake It Like A Red Wine Salt Shaker: Salt is no longer just pepper’s counterpart. There is currently a serious revolution going on in the food world when it comes to good ol’ salt. There’s Maldon sea salt, truffle salt, pink Himalayan salt and so on and so forth. So why not make your own red wine salt and be the fanciest of pants. Plus it looks really pretty- especially on a hunk of Camembert. Recipe for Red Wine Sea Salt.
4. Boil Pasta In It: Seriously. This is a thing. You also end up with the most beautiful color of pasta in existence- but it does require quite a bit of wine. This process works best with spaghetti or similar noodles. Apparently it was introduced to the food scene by Italian chef Alessandro Giuntoli when he was at Osteria del Circo, in New York City. Thanks, Alessandro. Try this: Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli.
5. Use It To Poach Fruit: Fruit poached in red wine makes for an extremely classy yet oddly simple dessert. Peaches, apples, and pears are perfect for this dish because they are firm… and delicious. You can also use white wine with this recipe, but it just won’t look as good. One of our favorite versions.
6. Make It Into Butter: Butter tends to make everything better. Butter mixed with red wine tends to make everything awesome. Just reduce the wine, mix it in with some butter, shape that into a log and refrigerate. Simple as that. This compound butter is easy to make and it will make your steamy steak look sexy. Try this one with porcini mushrooms.
7. Enjoy It In Lollipop Form: Heather, the genius behind the blog Sprinkle Bakes, managed to create a recipe for red wine lollipops. That’s right, red wine in candy form. Finally, lollipops that are acceptable to be consumed by housewives everywhere.
8. Bake Up A Batch Of Red Wine Cupcakes: Literally two of our favorite things combined into one. Red wine has always gone well with chocolate, so red wine with chocolate cupcakes shouldn’t be too far of a stretch. If you’re a total wino – whip some red wine into the frosting. Boozy baking for the win. Make these ASAP.
9. Enjoy It In Gelato: Perfect for the summer when you want something cold and creamy, but also crave red wine. Make a batch for every kind of red you like. Who needs a wine cellar when you could have an entire freezer filled with red wine gelato? Give us a pint of this stuff and we declare it a very happy hour indeed.
10. Get Ready For This Jelly: No need to relegate the PB & J to your childhood lunch box. Red wine jelly is amazing because a.) you get transform the PB & J into an appropriate adult snack b.) because now you have a perfectly acceptable form of consuming red wine at lunch time. We personally think it would taste best when spread on some crusty French bread, topped with a layer of Brie, and grilled to perfection. Recipe here.