12 Things to Do With Leftover Wine So You Don't Waste a Drop

Wine not seize the day with these leftover wine ideas? It's the perfect way to minimize waste and use every last drop.

Updated July 18, 2023

Sometimes, it happens. And it always happens when you least expect it. There's no reason to worry or feel shame, and most importantly, don't throw it all away. It's okay to have leftover wine. Unusual - but okay.

So if the unthinkable happens and you've got some leftover wine, we're here for you. We can help you figure out what to do with leftover wine.

Use Leftover Wine as a Dye


Ever use red wine as a dye before? The clumsy among us might say, "Not on purpose..."

If you've ever spilled wine on your carpet, you're well aware of how aggravating the stuff can be to get out. That being said, think about how great of a dye wine can be! And who wouldn't want to drape themselves in an elegant, Merlot-esque color?

Heat up your leftover red wine in a pot, place your fabric in it, and stir for 10 minutes. Take the fabric out of the brew, allow it to cool, and rinse with water. Voila! You've got yourself red wine-colored fabric. On purpose!

Bait Fruit Flies With Leftover Wine


Does anyone else wage an endless battle with fruit flies? These pests devour your apples and bananas as though they contribute to your monthly rent and pay for your groceries. Luckily, the tables are turning and victory is just one trap away when using this leftover wine bait.

What You'll Need

  • A bowl or glass
  • Scotch tape
  • Leftover red wine
  • Saran Wrap
  • Toothpick


  1. Fill your bowl or glass a quarter to halfway with wine.
  2. Cover it with Saran Wrap.
  3. Tape around the bowl to secure the Saran Wrap.
  4. Poke about 15 to 20 holes on top of the wrap with a toothpick.
  5. Make sure the holes aren't too small for the fruit flies to get inside, but not too big so that they can escape.

Make Chocolate Wine Balls


If you've ever had chocolate balls, you'd know that this delightful dessert is like heaven and hell clashing on your taste buds - so delicious that it's divine, but so decadent that it's sinful! But if you add red wine to it? It's so good, you just might eat the plate too. Try it. You'll thank us later.


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup leftover red wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it bubbles around the edge.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the chocolate in a small bowl. Pour the hot heavy cream over the top and stir until all chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Stir in the red wine and the butter. Stir until the butter melts.
  5. Cool in the refrigerator for about three hours.
  6. Put the cocoa powder in a shallow dish.
  7. Form the chocolate mixture into about 60 balls - using a melon baller to scoop it out helps.
  8. Roll each ball in the cocoa powder.
  9. Refrigerate or freeze; these will store in the fridge for about five days or the freezer for about six months.

Freeze It for Cooking or Chilling


If you need to preserve your wine, here's a clever tip: freeze the wine in an ice tray. Ten to 12 cubes yield one cup of wine, which is useful info if you ever need to make wine-infused dishes. Think of using it in stew, mussels, or any dish you want to give a little extra zing to. You can even mix different types of wine in the tray, since you'll be using it for cooking.

Quick Tip

Freezing red or white wine and adding to your fresh wine the next time around to keep it cool is the ultimate wine-drinking hack to chill your beverage quickly without watering it down. You can even add those cubes to sangria.

Make Sangria by the Glass


You can make both red wine sangria and white wine sangria with leftover wine, but you'll only be able to make a small batch; one or two servings depending on the amount of wine you have left.


  • 3 ounces leftover wine, red or white
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¼ ounce brandy
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces club soda to top off
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge for garnish


  1. In a rocks glass or wine glass, fill a quarter to half way with ice
  2. Add wine, orange juice, orange liqueur, brandy, and simple syrup.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Add club soda.
  5. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Make a Wine Facial Serum


Wine can help exfoliate skin and provide valuable nutrients, leaving your skin glowing. If you've got leftover dry red wine, try making a luxurious anti-aging facial serum.


  • 1 tablespoon red wine
  • 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosehip oil
  • Oil from 1 vitamin E capsule
  • 3 drops neroli essential oil


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small dish and pour into a dark-colored glass jar.
  2. Store in the refrigerator.
  3. Massage a few drops onto clean skin as part of your bedtime skincare regimen.

Poach Fruit With Leftover Wine


Leftover wine is fantastic for poaching soft fruits such as figs, apples, or pears. Pro tip: those poached fruits are an absolute delight to nibble on their own or as a way to add a little pizzazz to your salad.


  • 8 ounces leftover wine, preferably red but white is also great
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed from pod and scraped into poaching liquid
  • 1 cup fresh fruit, peeled, cored, halved and/or sliced


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean.
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the fruit. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens, about 10 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool with the fruit in the liquid. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Serve alone, spoon fruit and liquid over vanilla ice cream, or add to your salad. Live the delicious life.

Make a Wine Syrup


Syrup out of wine? You bet. Use the sweet syrup on ice cream, fruit, or even breakfast foods such as waffles or pancakes. Wine for breakfast? Heck yeah! Also, consider adding this sweet syrup to your next old-fashioned.


  • 8 ounces wine
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by about half and is thick and syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove star anise and cinnamon.
  5. Cool and then pour into a jar or bottle.
  6. Refrigerate for up to five days.

Turn Leftover Wine Into a Salad Dressing


Use equal parts of wine vinegar and leftover wine in a vinaigrette recipe to give it a bolder flavor that isn't quite as acidic.

Turn Leftover Wine Into Cocktails


So long as you've stored your wine properly and it's still tasty, you can skip the wine glass and turn your wine into a cocktail! You can whip p a vodka and wine punch or craft up a wine spritzer, slushie, or a New York sour.

Use Leftover Wine for a Marinade


If you have white wine, go ahead and marinade your chicken, fish, or shrimp in a cup or so of wine with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices that speak to your heart.

Leftover red wine makes for an excellent steak marinade. Unrelated, we're running to the store to grab one for dinner tonight.

How to Store Leftover Wine


Not going to use your leftover wine right away for any of the above? You can briefly store it for about three days in the fridge, tightly sealed either with the original cork or a wine stopper. It will store a little longer if you use a wine saver to seal the bottle, perhaps as long as a week. But after that, you won't want to use it in any of the edible recipes here because the flavors will be off.

Wine Not Try It Out


Have a spa night, give your steak a little something extra, catch those fruit flies, and enjoy a glass of sangria. All without running to the grocery store. You already have everything you need: leftover wine.

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12 Things to Do With Leftover Wine So You Don't Waste a Drop