I’m all about repurposing, up-cycling, and avoiding waste as much as possible. In the last year or so, I’ve come across some nasty-ass wine. Here’s what I do with it.
I like wine. I like trying new wines. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t work out, no matter what you drink it with or how cold it is. Some wines are just gross, yet I find I hate throwing it out. Sunk costs fallacy, I guess. Anyway, this has happened enough in the past year that I’ve challenged myself to find ways to use the wine and the bottle, so it isn’t wasted.
For the Wine
Pear and Red Wine Pie with Rosemary
I discovered this recipe on Pinterest, and it’s perfect for red wine that just isn’t drinkable. They say to not cook with wine that you wouldn’t drink, but I disagree. The sugars and other flavors redeem this wine every time.
French Onion Soup
This might sound like a weird combo, but hear me out. Most French onion soup recipes call for some kind of alcohol like vodka. Red wine is nothing like vodka, but turns out, the wine is perfect in this soup. Here’s my recipe:
2-3 tablespoons of butter
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 yellow onions
1 cup or so of red wine
16 oz of beef broth
Heat the butter and oil in a pot (the oil keeps the butter from burning) and throw in the cut-up onion. Cook the onion down till it’s nice and golden.
Add the wine and let it reduce till the alcohol cooks out.
Add in the broth and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Season with salt to taste.
Obviously I’m not a chef. You’ll have to just play with this recipe to get it like you want it. I’ve sort of made this recipe up and never measured, so…
For the Bottle
This is exactly what it sounds like: a wooden “tree” (a post with wood sticking out, like branches) with bottles slid onto the wooden pegs. Everyone in my family has one of these, and they remind me so much of home. Once you make your soup and pie, rinse out the bottle and stick it on the tree.
Photos by Matthew Paulson via Flickr and excessfroufrou vi Photobucket
There is a world of possibilities for vases made out of wine bottles. You can leave the bottle as-is (minus the wrapper) or paint it. Paint it to fit your house or paint seasonal ones. For example, for Halloween, paint the bottles to resemble candy corn.
swelldesigner via Flickr
Just like the image below shows, you can turn your bottle into a unique light fixture. Run a string of lights through it or use those remote controlled battery-operated ones to light up the room.
I hope this helps and inspires you to creatively use what you have. Use your imagination when it comes to disposing of things. Let me know if you have any new ideas!
Not all of these pictures are mine. Many of them I find from Pinterest or as stock footage from Pexels. These artisans and photographers do amazing work, and I in no way want to take credit for their work. They represent these ideas better than myself (or in some cases, I don’t have a way to take my own pictures, like if I sold the product or have yet to do it myself, for example), and I, with as much respect as humanly possible, want to show off their work here.