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7 Surprising Uses for Your Leftover Red Wine

In a separate blog post, we cover several ways of preserving an unfinished bottle of wine so that it remains enjoyable for a few days or so. But if you know you won’t get back to that bottle, you have a few other options besides drinking it as is. Keep in mind that for most of these, you don’t want to wait too long. A common misconception is that if a wine goes bad, you can just use it for cooking, but we disagree. (You never want to add bad flavors to your food.) We have divided the following methods into 3 categories: food, drink, and miscellaneous.

What to Do With Your Leftover Red Wine


  • Sauces – Flip through the menu of any serious steak house, and you’re bound to see the phrase “red wine reduction” at least once. That’s because including red wine in a sauce does two terrific things. It adds flavor, and it provides yet another bridge between the food and the wine you’re enjoying with it.
  • Marinades – Wine makes a great addition to marinades because its natural acidity helps to tenderize meat and keep it moist.
  • Glazes – Adding red wine to a fruit-based glaze is another terrific way to kick up the flavor. This also builds a great pairing bridge between red wine and any of the more substantial types of fish.
  • Butter – Flavored butters are amazing, and adding red wine provides an additional richness of flavor that works well with steaks.
  • Vinegar — Combine 3 parts red wine to 1 part vinegar and let it age in a container for 3 or 4 weeks. Use the wine vinegar for salads or marinades.
  • Chocolate Ganache – Add red wine to semi-sweet chocolate melted with cream, butter, and cocoa powder for a decadent dessert topping.


  • Sangria – Regardless of your preferred recipe for this festive concoction, leftover wine is a great way to go. Make sure you use a wine that has plenty of ripe, youthful fruit and is not too earthy.
  • Spritzes – Similarly, you may combine that wine with some club soda and a fruit garnish to make a refreshing spritzer.
  • Mulled wine – A winter classic, mulled wine is served warm, with spices, and often with brandy for an added kick.
  • Ice cubes – This is a great way to make the leftovers last significantly longer. Adding wine ice cubes to your sangria not only looks cool, it will ramp up the depth of flavor too. In addition, you can add them to the pan when making sauces and glazes.


  • Moisturizer – Resveratrol is one of red wine’s healthiest components, and not only if it’s consumed internally. Add a cup of leftover red to your bath to help nourish, exfoliate, and protect your skin.
  • Cleaning produce – Wine also has impressive antimicrobial capacity. Include it in your produce rinse to help kill surface bacteria.
  • Fruit fly trap – These small bugs can be quite annoying, especially in summer. Leave out a glass of wine with a couple of drops of dish soap in it; the wine attracts them, and the soap traps them once they touch the surface of the liquid.

Hopefully, you find these suggestions as useful as we do. We give a huge thank you to the website Eat This Not That, which inspired us with these great ideas for what to do with leftover red wine.

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