Many of us would consider this question of “what to do with left over wine” to be an oxymoron. What left over wine?
However as more bottles are being opened together either for verticals or horizontals and comparisons of the same varieties from different regions there is often more wine left over at the end of the evening then we expected. What to do with it?
Several systems are on the market to keep oxygen out including the innovative restaurant-wine bar Enomatic wine dispensing machines. Are you the first in your neighborhood to install one in your home or condo? Ha! Ha! Simpler Vacu Vin and other pump systems to get the air out or using a canister spray of an inert gas containing Nitrogen or Argon are becoming increasingly popular.
I still use an antiquated series of small bottles. 750 ml for left over Grand Format, 500 ml, 375 ml (if you have no half bottles to drink consider immediately on opening a 750 decanting it into a half for subsequent use and drinking the other half), 250 ml, and petite jam jars or even those miniature airline liquor bottles. Fill them as full as possible, stopper them, and refrigerate them for later drinking! Some of those new screw cap bottles work well for this procedure. The cold temperature helps slow down oxidation but try not to keep them in the frig too long. My system still works satisfactorily for me and some young wines actually do show improvement the next day.
Dessert and Fortified wines – especially Madeira – last better but be careful when opening those special older vintage ports which can change after 24 hours or so and still oxidize rather quickly compared to young table wines.
My better half Joan has a few tips for using your leftover wine:
Freeze in ice cube trays for later use in your marinades or addition to cooking sauces.
Hold some white wine as a helpful household solvent for help in getting those emergency red wine stains out before they set.
Start your own special homemade vinegar blend.
Please post your comments on what works best for you in either preserving or using left over wine.