Need Wine Advice (how to use)

I have in my possession a 750 ml bottle of Black Opal Shiraz because 1) that’s one I know I like to drink and 2) it was on sale at the local store.

Now, 1, at most 2, glasses of wine at dinner is tops for me. And I drink at all with dinner at most once a week, and usually once a month.

I don’t think the wine will keep that long…

So, maybe 1 or 2 servings out of the bottle, and then… what?

Well, maybe I could cook with some of it, right? Can I have some simple suggestions? Like maybe how much to add to a batch of stew in my slow cooker, for example.

I have to warn you - I’m pretty bad with any sort of sauce. I’d probably not want to combine inexperience with wine with inexperience with sauces. (You can try to convince me otherwise, but I’m a little gun shy on those).

Cooking with it is definitely an answer. For a basic beef stew in the crock pot, add maybe a half to three quarters of a cup of wine.

Try this: have a couple of servings or so out of the bottle with dinner. Recork the bottle and stash in the fridge. When you brown the beef the next day for the stew, use the wine to deglaze the pan. Scape up all those BCBs and add them, and the wine, to the crock. Proceed as you usually would.

Another way to store leftover wine for cooking is to fill an ice cube tray with the leftovers. Freeze and bag. Label as to what kind of wine. That way when you want to add a little wine to a stew or the like, all you have to do is toss in a cube or three.

Invite a wine drinker to dinner. (I’m free next Saturday . . .)

A slosh (yes, that’s a technical term! :)) in tomato pasta sauce if you cook that regularly - 1-200ml or something.

Poaching fruit? This red wine poached pearrecipe calls for 500ml which is basically your bottle less 1-2 glasses.

Beef bourguignon is another good use - most recipes call for a bottle, so if you have a couple of half bottles stored away you could cook that, I do mine in the oven but there are slow cooker recipes too.

A lot of meat dishes can use the red wine to deglaze the pan to create a light sauce - beef, duck, rabbit etc. This duck recipe again needs about half a bottle. I’m sure this would work with chicken as well - it’s a version of coq au vin rouge.

That deglazing sounds like an idea - I was considering making some lamb stew (if I can find lamb - I seem to live in the land of Beef and Pork) and if not lamb, then beef. That could work.

I remember reading in a cookbook that one way to get rid of leftover wine is to simply pour it into ice cube trays, freeze and then use them for cooking when needed.

I mentioned this to two friends of mine in NYC who like wine and their response was “Leftover wine? What is that?”

This is what I would suggest. You can pop a couple cubes into something you’re cooking that will taste good with red wine flavor added. My favorite is to cut up some portobella mushrooms, carmelize them with butter, salt and pecker and add the wine about 2/3rds of the way through the process and cook until the wine is absorbed/evaporated. Delicious with steak.

Another thing you can do is reduce it and use it to drizzle over savory dishes/meats, or even over vanilla ice cream. To reduce it you just pour your leftovers into a pot and simmer it until it is thick and syrupy. Its really quite tasty!

Really? Hmm…you sound like quite the interesting cook.

Another vote for the freezer to use as needed for several months. However, I eschew the ice cube trays and just pour leftovers into a sealable storage container. It turns slushy so you can just scoop out what you need to deglaze/add to sauce/whatever.

One of these days I’ll remember to freeze my homemade soup stocks with wine to see if I get the same effect or if they separate.

Wine can certainly be used in many kinds of stews. My method is to pour a little, cook a little, taste a little, repeat as necessary. It’s really just a matter of flavor and consistency.

That said, there are devices you can use to vacuum-seal opened bottles, and keep the wine from oxidizing. I have a manual one (less than $20, with three reusable stoppers plus the pump) that works very well for me, but I understand some folks have trouble with models like it and prefer powered devices.

Ha…my brother is a chef and many moons ago we both worked together in restaurants while in college and for some reason we always called it that…