10 Delicious Recipes Using Leftover Wine

To begin with, I strongly recommend not having any leftover wine in the first place. Drink it all and you will never have to wonder what to do with what’s left in the bottle. Not only does a good wine complement your meal, it is also beneficial for your health – numerous studies have proven that wine, both red and white, is rich in antioxidants and can prevent your arteries from clogging. There is just one tiny drawback – as good and flavorsome as your wine can be, as you unscrew the bottle, oxygen starts messing up with aromas and flavors, so don’t be too surprised when in a couple of days there would be no fruitiness left in your Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sancerre would lose its enjoyable tartness. Even though, don’t rush to splash the remains of the wine into sink – maybe it does not belong in your glass any longer, but it can still dress up your food. Below you will find 10 delicious recipes using leftover wine – both savory and sweet, but all worth bustling for some time in the kitchen!

  1. Pears Poached in Sauterne

Pears, apricots, peaches, plums, dried fruit – honestly, pick whatever is in season. Poaching fruit is dead easy – just bring a mixture of wine, water, sugar and your favorite spices to simmer and then add the fruit. Poach until just fork tender. Red from Burgundy, easily recognized for berry aroma and silky finish, pairs nicely with almost any fruit, but it is exceptionally good with pears and plums; among the whites spicy German Riesling has proven to be fruit-friendly, so did lusciously sweet Sauterne. Try this recipe for the evident proof.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Sauterne-poached pears


  1. Chocolate Truffles with Merlot

I love chocolate. And I love wine. And as surprising as it is, chocolate and wine do match. How? Try making these truffles. Because of its naturally spicy and earthy flavor, dark chocolate (which is definitely preferable for the recipe above) is perfect with stronger, full bodied reds – try Merlot, Zinfadel or even rich and peppery Syrah from the Northern Rhône.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Merlot-chocolate truffles

  1. Poached Salmon with Chardonnay

My mom hates salmon. Not even for its taste – I doubt, she has ever tried. The smell – that is what´s killing her. I have tried everything – marinades, with lemon juice and ginger; parmesan crust on top; rich sauces to coat the fish – and we still ended up eating in separate rooms. Honestly, I did not expect much from this recipe as well, but the combination of handful of fresh herbs (also try tarragon – it makes a tremendous match for salmon!), and white wine miraculously outshone salmon’s peculiar smell, and in fact complemented the flavor. Ideally, you would use Chardonnay for this dish – both the wine and the salmon are rich and buttery, and thus make a perfect pairing.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Chardonnay-poached salmon

  1. Tuscan Flatbread Schiacciata con l’Uva with Vin Santo

The ancient Greeks called Italy Oenotria – the land of wine – and for a good reason. Italians have a long history of wine-making, and taking into account nation’s passion for cooking, there is no surprise plenty of authentic recipes list wine as one of the ingredients – risottos, rich stews and soups – all benefit from a generous splash of wine. Essentially a type of focaccia, schiacciata – from Italian “flattened down” – is a staple in Tuscany, where yeast-leavened dough is sometimes sprinkled with sugar, aniseed or, like in the case with schiacciata con l’uva (flatbread with grapes) – is enriched with wine grapes. This recipe incorporates fresh rosemary springs and fennel seeds – both are pretty traditional in Tuscany. And don’t be surprised that the recipe lacks red wine – I never planned on adding any either, but then I found out that I have a liquor glass of Vin Santo tucked away in the pantry… And while the dough was rising, I soaked pitted grapes in this delicately sweet wine. Needless to say, the flavor was phenomenal.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Grape schiacciata with a splash of Vin Santo

  1. Consomé with Jerez

Winter months in the Northern Spain can be surprisingly cold, and is there a better remedy for foul weather than a bowl of warming clear broth? In traditional bars in La Rioja province, in the Basque Country and neighboring Navarra, consomé with a splash of Jerez (which you probably know by the name of Sherry) have become a staple. Next time when it is snowing outside, follow your favorite broth recipe’s instructions, or try this one, for example, and just before serving drizzle with Jerez.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Clear broth with Jerez

  1. Steamed Mussels with Muscadet

French has given the world many great recipes – some require intensive labor and can take hours to prepare, others can be easily pulled off in less than an hour. Moules marinière – mussels cooked with wine and some garlic – is a fine example of the latter. Even though, you’d probably have to clean the mussels, and this might take a while, the dish itself can be prepared in half an hour. You can go with any dry white wine you have on hand, but French Muscadet, fairly neutral white from the Loire, traditionally makes a fine match for seafood.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Steamed Mussels with Muscadet

  1. Cranberry Sauce with Shiraz

Now that the Christmas season is approaching, we all start looking for some new recipes to please and stun our guests at the festive table. Plain cranberry sauce might be a tad too boring, but try adding sweet pear and some robust mouth-filling red, like Shiraz – and you’d win their hearts!

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Cranberry-pear saouce with Shiraz

  1. Red Cabbage Braised with Pinot Noir

One of the strongest memories I have from my Christmas trip to Germany was… dinner I had in one of the breweries in Cologne. The dish featured wild boar steak served with mushrooms, spätzle (German fresh pasta) and… red cabbage braised with apple and red wine. As someone who grew up in Russia, I was overwhelmed by the presence of cabbage literally everywhere – pickled cabbage, cabbage filling in hand-pies, cabbage in soups, cabbage for lunch, and cabbage for dinner. I grew up hating the vegetable, and yet I was anxious to try it with red wine – I love red wine after all. And you know what? This thing works! I’d go with Pinot Noir for this recipe – lighter bodied, with subtle acidity and berry scent – it would complement the earthiness of cabbage and benefit from a dash of allspice.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Red cabbage braised with Pinot Noir

  1. Sautéed Mushrooms with Cabernet Sauvignon

If you have ever picked up mushrooms, you’d know what they smell of – earth, forest, and soil after the rain. No wonder, a wine that would be described as earthy, with woody and truffle scents – say, Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux or Chianti – pair beautifully with a plate of sizzling mushrooms. Serve these mushrooms on their own, as side dish, or put on top of polenta and scatter parmigiano all over the plate.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Mushrooms with Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. Cocktails

Holidays are for spending time with your family and friends, sharing food together, laughing, and smiling, but above all holidays are for… drinking! Just kidding; but you would not deny that the right festive table is not complete without good cocktails. So, now, before you’ve got relatives visiting from all over the country for Christmas and New Year, pour leftover wine in your shaker and be creative on the rest of ingredients. You can get the inspiration from here, where wine-based cocktails are further enriched with traditional Christmas flavors and aromas.

10 delicious recipes using leftover wine

Christmas-inspired cocktails with wine

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