5 Ways To Salvage Bad Wine
Have a bad bottle of wine? A bottle you just do not care for? A bottle that you would rather salvage than toss down the drain? We have all been there – paid money for wine that just doesn’t appeal to our palate; to dry, too sweet, not dry enough, not sweet enough. There are as many things about wine that appeal to us as individuals as there are wines in this world! What I may love, you may hate… different strokes for different folks.
One of my passions is wine. While I would prefer an inexpensive wine from a pocketbook perspective, let’s face it, when you pay under $15 for a bottle of wine, sometimes things don’t work out as well as you hoped. You roll the dice when you buy a cheap wine, and they aren’t all winners at $9.99. Believe me, I have opened my fair share of undrinkable cheap wine over the years, and I have always figured that is the price you pay for paying $10 or $15 for a bottle of wine, as opposed to a more expensive bottle – sometimes, that $15 bottle of wine isn’t even worth a dollar.
So what do you do when a wine tastes truly awful? Salvaging bad wine is a mission of mine and Hubby’s. Hubby hates to waste any food as a matter of principle, I hate to waste alcohol. In this case, our thinking is aligned. Since we hate to pour vino down the drain, here are some things we, and you, can do to salvage that undrinkable wine:
• Make a wine cooler! This is our first go-to when a wine just doesn’t cut it on its own. Sometimes adding sprite or 7-up to half a glass, then filling the glass with wine and ice makes the bad characteristics of the wine go away. If you enjoy a wine cooler or a wine spritzer, try making one yourself with a wine you aren’t that fond of.
• Cook with wine. Hubby does a lot of cooking with wine. He will usually ask me if we have a dry white or a red I do not particularly care for, and then add that wine to a recipe where he is reducing the liquid. Beef braising, drunken spaghetti, pot roast, chili and more. The unpalatable wine always seems to enhance the food.
• Wash your fruits and vegetables with wine. According to this study by Mark Daeschel of Oregon State University, using a chardonnay (white) or pinot noir (red) wine to E. coli contamination inactivated the E, coli in 60 minutes. Under similar conditions, Salmonella was inactivated within 10 to 30 minutes. Other experiments indicate that such wines also kill Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Read the study, it is fascinating.
• Freeze wine. While the wine won’t taste any better better when it thaws, freezing wine for cooking or wine coolers later can be useful.
Transfer your leftover wine to a clean, empty water bottle(s). Because the water in the wine will expand when frozen, leave an inch of head space in your wine-filled-water-bottle. The water in the wine will freeze when the temperature drops into the teens. Ever leave a bottle of wine to cool in the garage in the winter? Same thing. It will get nice and cold (excellent with a Riesling or late harvest wine), but start to freeze if your garage dips below 20°. A port wine will probably not freeze well in a 0° home freezer. That needs negative numbers to freeze.
To thaw a frozen wine, allow it to sit on your counter for a few hours, then treat the thawed wine as an open bottle.
What do you do to salvage a bad bottle of wine?
As always, drink responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.
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