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How to save leftover wine: tips from a Master Sommelier

How to save leftover wine: tips from a Master Sommelier

When wine's mortal enemies, oxygen, heat and ultra-violet light, start to have their way, there are a few fun ideas to try. 

How to save leftover wine: tips from a Master Sommelier

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas shares his expert advice for how to save leftover wine.

Occasionally, there is wine left over after a dinner party or gathering in which too much wine was opened and too little drunk.

The next day, the wine just doesn’t seem as good; it has lost its energy and now seems boring. What to do?

The enemies of wine are oxygen, heat and ultra-violet light.

Once a bottle of wine is open for a while, it’s likely it won’t deliver the same pleasure as it did when first opened (an exception is the high-quality red you may have opened too soon – it may well benefit from sitting quietly on the table overnight).

Option one is to drink the wine anyway – you paid for it. Option two is to tip it out and move on.

How to save leftover wine: repurpose it

Option three is to repurpose the wine.

For red wine, try fortifying it with some vodka or brandy. Add a little sugar syrup and try creating a liqueur.

Use leftover wine to season rice in the pan before adding the stock. I find red wine better for risotto when making an earthy-flavoured dish, although my rule is: if the wine is awful, don’t put it in the food.

For white wine, try turning it into a kind of vermouth by soaking it in some fresh elderflower, sage, bay leaf and any other green herbs you have. The more bitter, the better.

You’ll need to add a neutral spirit such as vodka to lock in the flavours. In just three-to-five days, the infusion can be strained and used as an aperitif or in cocktails.

READ MORE: 10 tips for serving the perfect glass of wine.

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