5 Ways To Salvage Bad Wine

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5 Ways To Salvage Bad Wine. Have an undrinkable wine? Here are 5 Ways To Salvage Bad Wine so the money you paid is not a loss.

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.

Make vinegar with wine. I was going to list how, but this wine vinegar recipe is as easy as pie! All you need is wine, and a wine- vinegar starter.

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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  1. Thanks for linking to my wine vinegar recipe! It is a very simple process and my favorite way to use up the ends of bottles!

    Great list!

  2. I rarely buy a wine that I dont like.. Im not super adventurous in that dept.. but when I do.. I tend to toss it.. I wont use a wine I wont drink in food I’ll eat.. Yuck!
    I havent tried this but I bet you could make a simple syrup and add your wine to it to make a tasty sweet cocktail.. I buy reds predominately and usually dry.. sometimes adding some sugar makes everything better. 😉

    • Kim since simple syrup is sugar and water, and the wine as a distinct taste, wouldn’t that color the taste of the drink you used the simple syrup in too?


      • Without a doubt it would.. but as a point in case.. I dont really care for sweet wines.. other than a few fortified wines… but a friend had a wine kit where you added all this sugar to dry red wine and I thought YUCK!! She made it & turned it into slushy’s by freezing it & OMG was it GOOD!! I mean REALLY good.. and depending upon the profile of the wine, it could easily complement the wine and make it more palatable.. Dont know that it’d work in all cases… but it might. Its worth a try..

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