Calling all winos! There's now more you can do with wine than just imbibing it. Whether it's a newly opened bottle or an already opened one that is becoming increasingly bitter neglected in the depths of the fridge, there are many ways besides drinking wine to get the most bang per ounce. From a buzz-worthy bath to removing carpet stains, wine is your newest household essential.
In terms of is use as a household item, wine is relevant due to its alcohol and acidity, which are effective at combating E. coli and staphylococcus. This makes it a great alternative to harsh chemical cleaners such as bleach. Wine also contains the powerful antioxidant resveretrol, which contributes to a host of benefits, for both inner and outer beauty and health. So pop that bottle and get creative with these 20 unusual ways to use wine.
1. Take a Bath
Pour a glass of red wine into your next bath water and watch your skin transform – it will soften, firm, and develop increased elasticity. Red wine’s powerful antioxidant, resveratrol, is responsible for this effect.
2. Make Wine Vinegar
Pour a bottle of commercial vinegar into a glass jar, such as a Mason jar. The only prerequisite is that the chosen vinegar have gummy-like substances that form at the top or in the liquid of the vinegar – these particles are usually orange and are the so-called “mother of vinegar.” Organic or raw vinegars work best. Add leftover wine to the vinegar mixture. Feel free to mix several wines together as long as you separate red and whites. Cover the glass jar with a paper towel or cheese cloth and hold it in place with a rubber band. Allow the jar to remain at room temperature in a dark area, away from other foods. Store for at least 1 week. Stir before tasting and whenever it has reached the desired level of sourness, you can remove the newly formed “mother of vinegar” substances and store the vinegar in the refrigerator to stop fermentation. Use in salad dressings, marinades and sauces.
3. Whisk Up Vinaigrette
Add a buzz to your next salad. Add white wine – up to two tablespoons – to your favorite vinaigrette for an extra oomph. A basic recipe is to combine 2 tablespoons white wine with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon mustard, ¼ cup olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Poach Pears
Infuse pears with the rich flavor of red wine through poaching. Peel and slice five bosc or Anjou pears. Set aside. In a saucepan over high heat, combine 1.5 cups of red wine, ¾ cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the pears. Cook for another 10 minutes until the pears become tender. Remove the pears and allow them to cool. Continue to boil the wine mixture until it reduces by half. Serve the pears with the wine sauce poured over. Pair them with crème fraiche.
5. Dye Cloth and Clothing
Give your fabrics a crafty look by staining them with wine in the artistic way you choose. It will provide them with a Boho look reminiscent of natural, earthy tones.
6. Marinate Meat
Aside from the flavor that red wine infuses into meat when marinated, researchers have found that steeping meat in alcohol for a few hours can actually destroy carcinogenic compounds caused when the meat is cooked.
7. Add Depth to Tomato Sauce
Enhance the flavors of a homemade tomato sauce or make a store-bought brand your own with white wine. It adds extra depth and kick.
8. Go Compost
Wine is 100-percent compostable and actually works as a “starter” to working up bacteria in your compost bin.
9. Freeze into Ice Cubes
Before the last of the wine reaches its demise, pour it into an ice tray and keep it on hand for whenever you make a stew or sauce that would be enhanced with the addition of wine. They are also handy for whenever you want to cool down the same type wine that you’ve forgotten to chill before hand without diluting it.
10. Make a Hot Plate
You are a simple DIY project away from making a fun, personalized hot plate. Corks are very heat resistant. Simply stick together the side of corks using hot glue into the shape that you desire.
11. Fight Aging
The antioxidant resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound in wine that is linked to slowing the aging process. Not a bad reason to pop a bottle at any age.
12. Poach Eggs
Bring 1 cup of red wine and ½ cup vegetable broth to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Poach 2-3 eggs for approximately 3 minutes. Make sure to use a spoon to coat the top of each egg with the liquid as it poaches to ensure even cooking. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and serve over bread or a salad. Season with salt and pepper.
13. Get Rid of Grease
Wine effectively removes pesky grease stains around the house and in the garage. The alcohol acts as an astringent, peeling away otherwise hard-to-confront stains.
14. Top Ice Cream
Either pour a drizzle of red wine over ice cream, or get a bit more creative; boil 2 cups of white wine with 3 tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add about 4 cups of chopped dried fruit of choice. Mix so that all the fruit is evenly covered with the liquid and remove the pan from the heat. Let the dried fruit sit in the liquid for 20 minutes or until it rehydrates. Drain the liquid from the dried fruit and bring the liquid to a simmer until it reduces to thick syrup after 10 minutes. Use the syrup as an ice cream topping.
15. Heal Small Cuts and Bruises
Because of its high antioxidant content, wine is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It can sooth soreness around the affected area as well as remove bacteria. According to research conducted by the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, wine has potent bacteria-fighting properties.
16. Remove Wine Stains
This sounds a bit nonsensical, but it actually takes wine to remove wine from the carpet. If you spill red wine, immediately pour white wine over the stain to dilute it and then use a towel to dab and wipe the stain clean.
17. Clean Fruit and Vegetables
Like baking soda, wine naturally cleans fruit and vegetables without the use of harsh chemicals. The alcohol dissolves impurities and other components kill off foodborne pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli.
18. Clean Glass Windows
When wine is near to being spoiled, it resembles vinegar, which means it works great in cleaning dirty glass. Add wine to a spray bottle of water and use like you would Windex.
19. Get Rid of Heartburn
Although wine in excess can cause heartburn, it only takes a small amount of light white wine, which contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), to reduce acidity and relieve heartburn.
20. Increase Mobility
Researchers of the American Chemical Society conducted a study that suggests wine’s powerful antioxidant reservatrol could decrease mobility deficiencies. This is good news for the aging population.
Photo Credit: Jurvetson, Dennis Wong, Pilisia, Unicoletti, Sean MacEntee, Jon Hansen