As the world moves to a greener frame of mind, just recycle wine. I’ve been in many discussions with clients and friends about the topic of an unfinished bottle. In my opinion, you have 3 options: drink it, preserve it or recycle it. For the sake of argument, let’s remove the drink it option and you are left with preserve the wine or recycle it.
Use the search word “wine preservation” in Google and you’ll spend the next 24 hours looking at the vast array of wine preservation equipment. You can spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on dispensing and preservation. The battle is against oxygen and the oxidation of the wine. PEK Preservation equipment uses argon gas to displace the oxygen. The Keeper line of equipment uses nitrogen. It’s an entirely separate debate on which is better. You can even consider the inexpensive Vintner System which will allow you to preserve and pour wines by the glass. These are just a few examples of available wine preservation equipment. The least expensive option? Cork the bottle tightly and place it in the back of the fridge. It will keep for about 2 days. Which ever wine preservation method you choose, it’s likely the wine will lose some of the qualities you noticed when it was opened.
Personally, I prefer to recycle wine rather then preserve. Recycle may not be the proper term, but an open bottle of red wine can turn into great sangria for the next party. The fruit, sugar and higher alcohol content will bring a new life to the wine. Another idea is to make red wine vinaigrette or other salad dressing. Use it to deglaze a pan to add richer flavor to a sauce. A few weeks ago, I used 1/3 a bottle of a great Zinfandel in a slow cooked beef short rib recipe. Delicious! You could simply marinade a good steak to add a new dimension of flavor.
So whether you choose to drink, preserve or recycle, there are many options available for that lonely, leftover or unfinished bottle of wine.