Whether it’s a semi-full bottle of crisp white or a half-empty bottle of leftover red, there are creative ways to make the most of unused wine after all the holiday parties come to an end. The World Wine Guys and Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits offer these ideas to help you put your leftover wine to good use this holiday season:
Make red wine vinegar
Impress your guests by adding homemade red wine vinegar to your next dish. Add one part raw vinegar to two parts leftover red wine; then store your mixture in a dark, cool place. Monitor periodically and keep testing until you get the desired vinegar smell, strain and refrigerate. Use as desired on salads and in homemade sauces and marinades.
Create wine ice cubes
If you can’t use your leftover white wine right away, pour the remaining liquid into ice trays and freeze. Next time you’re enjoying a glass, add some of the cubes to your wine to keep it cold. This trick can also work with a rosé or sparkling wine like Josh Cellars California Rosé or Enza Prosecco. Using the frozen wine cubes instead of ice can prevent what you pour from becoming too watered down.
Both red and white wines can be used in a variety of different dishes from appetizers to desserts. Keep in mind that open bottles should be used within 2-3 days, so look to use your leftovers sooner rather than later. Try adding wine to a seasonal side dish like these White Wine Glazed Carrots. It can also be used as a savory addition to main courses such as this classic Red Wine Tomato Sauce. For more information on wines for the holidays, visit WineFix.com.
Red wine tomato sauce
1 tsp. olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can whole, peeled tomatoes
⅛ cup Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp. dried sea salt
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. basil
• In medium-size pot, heat olive oil.
• Add onion and saute 4 minutes then add minced garlic and saute 1 minute. • Add tomatoes, wine, vinegar, red pepper, sea salt, oregano, thyme and basil
• Reduce heat and simmer, about 40 minutes.
Recipes courtesy of Deutsch Family and the World Wine Guys, authors of “Red Wine.”
Source: Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits.
White wine glazed carrots
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups water
1Tbls. honey 2
Tbls. Barone Fini Pinot Grigio
Add salt and pepper, to taste.
• In large skillet, combine carrots and olive oil; add water.
• Cook over medium-high heat until carrots are tender.
• Add honey and white wine; cook and stir 2 minutes until carrots are glazed.
You can do it Getting it all done for the holiday
By Danielle Pitanello
Let’s face it, who has time to cook the huge Thanksgiving feast, clean the house twice – once before the feast and once after, make it ready for overnight guests and work a day job? You and your family may, if you follow some common sense tips and alternatives.
It can be daunting, but like everything else in life, if you break it up conceptionally in pieces, you can make it happen seamlessly. Make a short list of what can be done ahead. Day-ahead and weeks ahead to be clear. Make yet another list of what can be ordered from the local store or caterer and what you would like your guests to bring. Already, your time is well spent, and the job becomes achievable.
What to make ahead – Anything that can be frozen and popped into oven on Thanksgiving will qualify for weeks ahead while prepping for stuffing a day ahead. Pull your serving dishes out, as well as serving utensils, a day ahead. Fill salt and pepper shakers and put them out, too. That way, you will know if you have everything you need and there won’t be any scrambling at dinner time. If you are using a slow cooker, pull that out. Slow cookers are awesome when you are concerned about stove and oven space for a big meal. Use the slow cooker liners for easy cleanup. The turkey roasting bags are super as well for easy cleanup and dripping containment for the gravy.
What can be ordered locally at stores and caterers – Bread, rolls, wine (all good options for the guest who doesn’t like to cook, too), deserts that you do not wish to make.
What can you ask your guests to bring – Again, wine, side dishes which take up so much time on Turkey day, special desserts that a guest is known for, and even the salad to start the meal. Appetizers are also a great request. You may not want many, but a dip or a pass–around appetizer is great to have as people arrive.
On Thanksgiving – Cook the bird early as well as ham if you are serving it too. Get the meat sliced and in broth in a disposable pan for the warming in the oven. The broth keeps things moist, and the biggest mess can now be cleaned! Don’t worry, that fantastic Thanksgiving smell will still permeate your home.
Gravies can be made early in the day as well and guess what, another mess can be cleaned, and another dish can be just warmed for the table.
When you do some simple things early in the day, the mess can be cleaned, and you can have a sparkling kitchen before everyone arrives. Tables can be set early, too, with time to splurge on how you want the table to look.
Making your home ready for guests
Plan who will sleep where. If it requires air mattresses or cots, make arrangements for either borrowing or renting. If your linens are clean and on beds, you can just spray some wonderful scent to freshen. Have blankets out and near beds for everyone. Some guests are always cold, and some always warm so err on the side of making blankets or quilts available rather than piling on the beds. Clean towels need to be out with wash clothes, boxes of tissues and even shampoos and body washes. If you collect products from hotel stays, put them in a basket and share them.
When you have guests staying, you also need to plan breakfast the next morning, and that should be done ahead by freezing a quick breakfast casserole. Put out juice, make the coffee pot available, napkins, fruit and serving utensils for everyone getting up at various times. Everyone can help themselves, and it is super easy.
Enlist a guest in planning for entertainment. Card games, board games, walks after the big meal are all easy if you have someone else coordinating. Card games and board games are great dessert serving opportunities, too. Sometimes, you just can’t eat another bite after the main meal. Put out cordials if you are serving them and any coffee and tea.
The most important tip is to get everyone involved. You will need to wash the table clothes, package any leftovers, wash the dishes and put them away. Putting dishes away is best done by you. No one will know where you keep things and you can be searching for months unless you control this task. Make sure someone sweeps or vacuum again to avoid food spills left or ground into floor coverings. Wipe off furniture and launder the table linens and put away for the next big meal. Have everyone strip their bed linens, kiss them all goodbye and rest with your wonderful memories. Your job is done for another year!