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Most of us only think of one thing to do with wine, and that is to pop the cork and pour a glass. Whether you’re breaking out a great vintage for a great group of friends, or simply pouring yourself a glass of your own favorite to savor, that bottle of wine is intended to be imbibed, right? Well, yes and no. Let’s innovate. You would be surprised by the long list of other possible uses for wine.
You’ve probably done it accidentally on some occasion or another, and after a spill of red wine it becomes abundantly clear that wine stains fabric. When it’s your favorite pair of slacks, that’s frustrating—but if you were looking to change a fabric’s color, it becomes intriguing. Using a soup pot at simmering temperature on the stove, you can dye a fabric into various hues– ranging from soft pink to a deep burgundy.
Wine contains antioxidants, which can help skin cells repair themselves (among many other beneficial uses). Interestingly, those same antioxidants are the reason why some doctors recommend drinking a glass of wine a day for your health, but you don’t need to stop there. You can apply it externally to your skin, just as you would use a cosmetic toner.
Frozen Wine Cubes
One well-known cook used to sport a bumper sticker that read: “I like cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.” For those of us who do cook with wine (in the food!) an ice cube tray filled with white wine can be a great resource. If your soup recipe or sauce recipe calls for the addition of wine, simply pop some wine-cubes into your pot. You can even use your iced wine cubes in your own glass of white wine; it will stay chilled longer, and when the “ice” melts it won’t be diluting your drink.
Many recipes call for wine vinegar, but the sad truth is that most store-bought vinegars are made from cheap and disappointing wines. If you would enjoy cooking with high quality vintage vinegar, it’s easy enough to make! You have probably already experienced on occasion how wine will “turn” after being opened, so you know that all you have to do is leave your partial bottle open for a week or so. Enjoy a glass or two of that wine when you open it, and the next week you can be cooking with high class wine vinegar.
Wash Your Vegetables
You’ve probably seen the hyped vegetable sprays available at the market, purporting to clean produce without adding unhealthy elements. Well, alcohol does that perfectly well. Alcohol kills even the most harmful of bacteria (salmonella, E. coli) and may add a little flavor as well. If you find yourself with partial bottles of leftover wine after your evening dinners, you will probably enjoy testing out these new uses. No sense in letting a vibrant vintage go to waste!