Want to Know What to Do with Your Leftover Red Wine? Make This Kitchen Staple, of Course

It's the best way to put that extra half bottle to use.

Red wine being repurposed as vinegar
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So you've opened a bottle of red wine and you've drunk a few glasses. What do you do with the leftover liquid? While you could shove the cork back in and store the bottle for a few days (just until you're ready to finish it off), another great way to use up what's left is to make red wine vinegar. Cookbook author Andrea Slonecker developed a smart, fun method for making red wine vinegar at home, and it's easy too: in addition to the leftover red wine, all you need for the recipe is apple cider vinegar and a whole bunch of patience.

Slonecker's recipe is simple: in a quart-sized mason jar or other glass vessel, mix 1.5 cups of leftover red wine, or about half of a bottle, and 1/4 cup of Bragg apple cider vinegar. Cover the top with a double layer of cheesecloth, secure it with a rubber band around the rim, and find a dark, room temperature spot (like a kitchen cupboard or bedroom closet), to let it sit for 8 weeks. After two months have passed and the vinegar has mixed thoroughly with the wine, you'll be left with a homemade take on a pantry staple that's equal parts sour and sweet.

DIY Red Wine Vinegar

By Andrea Slonecker


A more robust version of your standard red wine vinegar, this homemade batch features deep red-berry notes. Choose your own adventure with Syrah for a bolder flavor, Gamay for a lighter result, or gather leftovers from various bottles and make your own house blend.

1 1/2 cups full-bodied dry red wine (such as Syrah or Gamay)

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg)

1. Stir together wine and vinegar in a 2-cup glass jar. Cover jar with a double layer of cheesecloth; wrap a rubber band around the rim to secure. Store in a dark place at room temperature until mixture no longer tastes like raw alcohol, about 8 weeks. (It's OK if sediment forms on surface of liquid or sides of jar.)

2. Line a fine wire-mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth, and set over a clean glass jar or 2-cup bottle. Pour vinegar mixture through cheesecloth to remove any sediment. Seal jar tightly with lid.

Make Ahead: Red wine vinegar can be stored at cool room temperature up to 3 months.

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