Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Make Good Use of Wine That's Not So Good

Have you ever opened a bottle of wine that you just didn't enjoy quite so much?  I am not talking about a bottle that was corked or bad for some other reason.  It was just one that wasn't pleasing to your palate.  I've had that experience more than a few times.  Even though I know pretty much what I am buying when I shop for wine, there are still many times that I pick up a new vintage that wasn't as good as the last or a grape varietal that I typically love from a winemaker with whom I am less than familiar.  It just doesn't taste like I expected it to taste.  It happens!  What do we do with the less than appealing wine?  

Waste Not!

I had a grandmother who made you clean your plate no matter what.  You didn't have to like what was on it. You just had to eat it.  And if you said that you didn't like, she gave you more!  I was smart and learned quickly to never say a word at her table.  Just eat those turnips, liver, or eggs that she had prepared and to keep my mouth shut.  Make no facial gestures, pretended that it tasted like chicken, and finish the meal.  So I have sorta taken that approach with wine.  Typically, I cook with leftover wine.  I add red wine to my tomato based pasta sauces or create pan sauces for my beef, pork, or lamb dishes.  With the whites, pan sauces for chicken or just add them as the liquid in the pan when I am sauteing.  Once I had a Chef do a demonstration in my wine shop.  He used a Pinot Grigio to make his Chicken Piccata.  You can Google and find many, many recipes with wine as an ingredient.  I saw a recipe using red wine to make a chocolate cake!  

When I did my search, I found a few things to be quite interesting.  Did you know that white wine can be used to eliminate a red wine stain?  Did you know that red wine could be used to clean produce (it removes bacteria)?  White wine mixed with baking soda removes grease stains?  Did you know that by dumping wine into the compost bin (red wine), it becomes a great fertilizer for your plants?  

As I finished a bottle of wine that I probably won't purchase again, I found it quite interesting to learn what I could have been doing with the wine had I not been so determined to finish it.  Not only is wine delicious but it is functional.  Can't do that with milk!

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