Good til the Last Drop, Holiday Parties and Leftover Wine
Don't make the crime of pouring wine down the drain...
‘Tis the season for gatherings and holiday parties galore. Nothing is better than an evening of joy filled celebration with friends and loved ones. All beautiful decorations, twinkling lights, laughter, hugs, delicious holiday treats, and festive cocktails fill our hearts and holiday season with delight and merriment.
Of course, there’s the clean up after all the guests have departed. I always find the morning after a fantastic evening of entertaining to be quite amusing. I am fascinated by the curious placement of discarded cocktail napkins and other party debris. How did that glass get there? Why is there confetti in the powder room? And the discovery of a few partially full bottles of wine. Assuming the wine wasn’t corked or there is some other reason why it was undrinkable, you can definitely save the wine.
Open Kitchen by Williams Sonoma Champagne Stopper
We’ve had more than one gathering that left a half full bottle of bubbly in the ice bucket the next day. I usually use a champagne stopper to preserve the effervescence between each pour in which case the bottle can be placed in the fridge to be used in a day or two. Even if you didn’t use a champagne stopper there could still be some perfectly good fizz remaining. Pour a tiny bit and give and see. If that’s the case and you’re making brunch you’re halfway to a mimosa. Otherwise, you may want to consider using the remaining wine for cooking. If it is a dry bubble such as a brut, then you can use it just as you would any dry white wine in a recipe.
A few dishes that come to mind are shrimp scampi, steamed clams, or chicken & asparagus pasta in a white wine sauce. If all else fails, pour into ice cube trays and freeze it for use later. Frozen wine cubes will be slightly slushy due to the alcohol content, but are great for use in recipes, in sangria or even for chilling down a glass of white wine without diluting it. It is better than using an ice cube, just sayin’. When it comes to still wine white or red you can probably just put a cork in it, place in the refrigerator and use it again later at dinner or while watching the game.
And cooking with it is still very much an option. Recently, we ended up with a few partially full wines after our holiday party. I already knew that after hosting the night before and getting the house back in order that making a time-consuming meal for dinner was not going to happen. There are those times when you just know yourself all too well and frankly take out also was not sounding too appealing.
Just after pouring my morning coffee, I pulled the pack of beef short ribs and some veggies from the fridge and plucked my Instant Pot from the pantry. I rough chopped onions and carrots then browned the seasoned beef in a skillet. Yes, I know I could use the Instant Pot for searing, however, that would have required a couple of batches and I was seriously not interested in spending that much time. My large skillet could easily accommodate all the short ribs at once without crowding.
Adding Acumen Wines Peak Cabernet Sauvignon
I poured about 1 cup of the leftover wine into into the skillet to deglaze and scrape up the tasty bits and let reduce a little. Then dumped the beef, wine mixture, veggies, a handful of fresh herbs leftover from Thanksgiving, a can of tomatoes, some beef broth, and the remaining wine into the Instant Pot. I also had a half bag of fresh cranberries hanging around, so yep you guessed it those went into the pot as well. Set the Instant Pot to slow cooker mode for 8 hours and went about my day.
Mmm, now that's dinner!
A clean house, a dog walk, and a nap later, the house smelled incredible, and the braised short ribs were almost done. I served the short ribs over creamy polenta with shaved parmesan and freshly chopped parsley. We put on one of our favorite Christmas movies, Christmas Vacation, poured two glasses of the remaining wine and tucked into a most comforting bowl of savory goodness.
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