Waste not, want not. It’s a good motto, even when it comes to wine. Many of my customers like to partake in just one glass of wine a night, and I often get asked about the best ways to keep wine tasting its best for the longest amount of time. Moreover, once the wine has lost some of its flavor, what are the best ways to repurpose it? Here are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years:
Some handy tools include a Vacu Vin, flip-top stopper, and an argon gas wine preserver. If you don’t have any of these, start by recorking the wine and sticking it in the fridge. This works for both red and white, but you want to let the red come back to room temperature before drinking it. Just like with food, the cold slows the oxidation of the wine. Oxidation from air is what makes wine lose its flavor, so vacuuming it out with the Vacu Vin or replacing it with an inert gas, like argon, is key. Argon is tasteless, odorless and harmless to wine, and since it is chemically heavier than air, once sprayed in, it creates a barrier between the wine and the air.
Fancy decorative stoppers are nice gifts, but a sturdy flip-top stopper is much more practical. With one of these, you can often lay down your bottle for easier storage since it creates a tight seal in the bottle. This, in combination with the argon gas, is the most effective way to keep wine tasting its freshest.
However, what if it’s been a while, and despite your best efforts, the wine has lost much of its flavor? Then what? Before you toss it down the drain, consider cooking with it! Now, I leave the recipes to Chef Pete, but buttered onions simmered in red wine are an excellent accompaniment to a steak. Chicken, wrapped in tinfoil with lemon, white wine, onions and garlic, is also easy and delicious! My best tip is to make wine ice cubes. Simply fill a clean ice cube tray with leftover wine and freeze. You can use the wine cubes in sauces, stews, and soups, but my favorite is to use them in wine-based cocktails, so your drinks don’t get watered down. Sauvignon Blanc ice cubes in your next Greyhound, perhaps?
I hope you use my tips in the New Year! What are some of your favorite ways to use wine? Tweet me at @NinosWineExpert and let me know!