You Should Freeze Leftover Wine

Can’t finish a bottle before it oxidizes? No problem. Pop that wine in the freezer and use it for cooking.

Even the most dedicated wine drinker runs into the bottle problem. You have a glass of wine, maybe two, but finishing the bottle isn't a great idea if you want to wake up the next morning without a headache. It's particularly true if you live alone, or with someone who doesn't drink wine, thata whole bottle can be a lot to finish. Once you open the bottle, the wine begins to oxidize, and that means that having another glass from the same bottle a few days or a week later will be a completely different wine experience. There are various devices that can help with that, if it's a regular problem. But if you're stuck with wine leftovers now and then and don't want to waste, what can you do? Simple: Freeze your wine.

Pouring wine into ice cube tray
Shutterstock / Ahanov Michael

I learned this trick from Nigella Lawson, who pours leftover wine into ice cube trays to freeze and then stores them in a plastic bag in the freezer. The dregs from the bottle or the glass you can't quite finish turns into a valuable pantry resource. The next time you need red or white wine for, say, a pot of Boeuf Bourguignon or a white wine herb sauce, those leftovers will be waiting for you to use up. If you have a large quantity of wine, more than an ice cube tray can handle, I've also successfully frozen wine in pint or cup-sized plastic deli containers—just make sure to leave an inch or so at the top to allow for the wine to expand in the freezer. I also like Souper Cubes for this application, because it allows you to freeze the wine in cup or two-cup portions, handy for when you need more than just a splash of wine for a recipe.

There are a few drawbacks to freezing wine. First, you can't keep sparkling wine well this way, since the freezing doesn't trap the carbonation. Second, because wine has alcohol in it, of course, it won't freeze as hard as water would, so it thaws very quickly once you take it out of the freezer. That's fine as long as you're prepared for it. I also wouldn't really thaw a glass of wine cubes and drink it expecting to have it taste the same as a freshly opened bottle. But throw some frozen wine in the blender with fruit and you have a quick slushie sangria. Frozen rose wine turns into a perfect glass of frosé. You can turn that wine excess into a wine opportunity, All thanks to your freezer.

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