How can I reuse or recycle … undrinkable red wine?

WineAn email from Leah:

We recently did a buy five bottles get a sixth free thing at our local supermarket but two out of the four reds we’ve opened so far have been awful, undrinkable because they’re so tart and vinegary.

We’re dubious about the other two bottles now but don’t want to waste them – or the two practically full bottles that we tried and hated. Are there any other uses for wine aside from getting sloshed or using it in food?

If they were white wine, I’d maybe suggest keeping them on hand to clean up red wine spills – since that’s supposed to work – but I’m not sure about red. Dying fabric maybe?

Anyone else got any suggestions?

(Photo by woodsy)

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20 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … undrinkable red wine?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    Make vinegar out of it. No, I am serious. Here is an article that talks about making wine vinegar by starting with “mother”. I hope this link to works!


  2. Tammy says:

    Echoing Bobbie…definitely do the vinegar thing. We make all our own red wine vinegar now, it takes virtually no effort, and it’s delicious.

  3. mercutiom says:

    You can also use it as a glass cleaner, of course with red wine it might be difficult to keep it off of any surrounding fabric. I’d go with the vinegar option, or just use it for cooking in general.

  4. runwithralph says:

    Use it for cooking. Red wine is delicious when added to beef that will be stewed or when used as a marinade to tenderize beef steaks. Combine with onion or garlic and black pepper. Mushrooms also blend well with the flavour. You can also blend it with lemon juice or vinegar to use as a salad dressing. Sample different mixtures over stronger flavored greens that require a bit more substance. Add garlic or onions/chives and plenty of fresh chopped herbs to taste.

  5. neil says:

    Don’t use it for cooking! If it is so bad it is undrinkable, and especially if it is ‘corked’ as these sound like, it will make the food worse not better.

    • Andy says:

      It should be fine for cooking – wine that is undrinkable still works wonderfully for cooking. I’ve done just that with some truly terrible wines I’ve been given!

  6. jacquie says:

    Add it to the compost heap!

  7. Rachel says:

    If it tastes bad to drink it will do nothing for your food. Cut your losses and buy better wine next time.

  8. Helenabucket says:

    Maybe use the reds to lightly dye fabric and use the bottles for making herbed vinegars?

  9. nancy says:

    save the bottles and make your own wine!

  10. Nigello says:

    Dilute it considerably and use to water plants? Not sure about this one, but it might work!
    Or you could perhaps boil it in pans/kettles to clean them?

  11. farad says:

    no recycle-save your bottle !!

  12. Tina says:

    Use sweet red wine to get rid of those little black flies that you sometimes get at home. They love it and will dive right in

  13. Ollie says:

    Use the wine bottle as a candle holder.

    I’ve got a collection; they look great when different coloured candles are used, and the wax melts down the neck.

    With the wine, add some water, freeze it and make it into coloured ice cubes!! Fun!!

  14. Lizzy says:

    Use the dregs at the bottom as eyeshadow/lipstick colouring – I’m serious :)
    Now I just need to try making a recipe….

  15. Barbara Barron says:

    I think there is a culture out there for wine vinegar. I suppose you could get some organic unpasteurised vinegar and use it as a starter. Aspinall do that and you should be able to get some from your local health store. Lactobacillus capsules also do a good job at fermenting, (lactic acid method) So that may be worth trying.

  16. Jeff says:

    I’ve got the same problem, only worse. 4 cases of home made red wine.
    I’ve tried a red wine reduction sauce, which was only just ok.
    I think the trick will be to add heaps of sugar, so I’m going to try wine jelly next.

  17. David says:

    I have 1000 (that’s a thousand) bottles of red wine… Vinegar anyone?

  18. Mr. Chef says:

    Simply used, if the wine is vinegar than a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar will make a dressing. Complement it with herbs of your choice. Some vinegars are use to cook with as in marinades for seafood and chicken dishes. See Asian culinary.
    Or…. you can freeze the wine for 24 hours in trays and seperate the alcohol by using a salad spinner (centrifical force) and you will recoup most of the the alcohol as it does not freeze. Make a liqueur or add some fresh chilled fruit and blend for a nice tropical drink.

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