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Old Wine Is Mighty Divine: 5 Ways To Recycle Your Reds

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Perhaps you’re not a big fan of the red wine blend that you coughed up five whole smackers for (thanks, Trader Joes!)… or you just found out that you’re pregnant… or your sole vice in life plagues you with terrible wine-induced migrane headaches (um… some sacrifices are worth it, I guess?). Whatever reason you may find yourself scratching your head while pondering how on earth you can make the most of your remaining wine dregs, you’ve come to the right place. Behold five shiny new ways to turn that leftover juice into something that Momma Nature would be proud of:

Sorbet, Anyone? 

Not nearly as calorically dense as ice cream (thanks to its dairy-free status), sorbet is the grown-up version of an ice pop, bestowing the tongue with an explosion of cool, fruity relief on a hot summer’s day. Throwing a little wine into the mix – well, of course it’s an inspired idea! – especially if you try whipping up a little pear-red wine blend or dabble in a sensational sangria delight. You’ll ask yourself why you never ventured into DIY sorbet territory sooner once you see just how easy the process is from start to finish, and it just might keep you out of the supermarket freezer case once and for all!

Dye Some Yarn.... Or Next Year's Easter Eggs 

Unlike the deep jewel-like liquid found within a wine bottle, more of a subtle mauve tone (with a grey-pinkish-cast) can be achieved when yarn and/or eggs are dyed with grapey leftovers. For those who want to tint yarn, the tried-and-true Kool-Aid procedure works like a charm, instead using your unwanted merlot in place of the neon drink packets – just be sure to ‘glove up’ in order to prevent nails and skin from absorbing the intense grape skin pigments.

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From the Organic Authority Files

DIY Your Own Vinegar (don't buy it)

For some, the kitchen is a true haven away from the madness of the outside world as well as the means by which gourmet visions are transformed into soul-satisfying, taste-bud titillating meals. Red wine vinegar happens to be one of those basic culinary tools that no home chef should be without, and as with countless other ingredients that often taste so much better when they’re prepared from scratch, this piquant condiment is no exception. So, whether you want to use up that bottle of Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, or unassuming yet perfectly palatable blend that comes in a 5 liter jug, it can live on in infamy courtesy of your very own DIY blend when poured on salads, cooked in stews or used as the base for vinaigrettes. 

Give Plain Pasta a Flavor Boost! 

Fans of French cuisine are intimately familiar with the magic that happens when red wine is added to bouef bourguignon or a simple pearl onion and wild mushroom sauté, so imagine the alchemy that results when leftover wine is added to a simple pot of spaghetti – whoa! Dazzle your significant other, family and friends by making drunken red wine pasta, a reasonably affordable yet supremely eco-friendly meal that will stimulate the senses while making everyone think that you have secret celebrity chef aspirations.

Make a Face Mask

Eating copious amounts of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can offer an insurance policy against the development of multiple chronic ailments, as can regularly indulging in green tea, dark chocolate and – surprise, surprise! – red wine, thanks to its naturally occurring phenols which are linked to cancer and heart disease prevention, reduced blood sugar levels and overall longevity. Since what we apply to our epidermal layer is absorbed into our bodies, slathering on a DIY facial mask made with red wine, green tea powder and cocoa powder can conceivably offer a health-bestowing jolt… but who says that kicking back and savoring all of that free-radical thwarting, facial rejuvenation power isn’t just plain old relaxing? Sounds like a pretty good reason to crack open another bottle!

Image: IraGelb

For more juicy green goodness, follow Elizah via Twitter @elizahleigh

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