Wine Ice Cubes: The best thing for “leftover” wine.
Good wine is a terrible thing to waste.
Being a lover of wine, I’m always offering a glass or two to friends when they stop by. I take great care in the wine I select. It’s important only to drink the wines you like (that doesn’t mean they aren’t new ones to you – just don’t waste those calories on bad wine!). I always like to discover new wines and learn as much about them (the grape, the blend, the winemaker) as I can. Every label has a story.
It’s very little surprise then that I try never to waste wine once the bottle is opened. If I think that only one or two glasses will be poured, I will reach for my Coravin – a device that allows you to pour a glass or two without pulling the cork! It inserts a long needle through the cork, displaces the wine poured with Argon gas, and when the needle is removed, the cork seals over itself, and no air touches the wine in the bottle thereby there’s no chance of unplanned oxidization of the wine. It’s a truly genius system. So, when I open a bottle, I want to make sure that every drop is enjoyed! But sometimes, I might not realize we only have time for one glass, and I’ve opened the bottle only to have half of the bottle left.
Leftovers are great, some foods like soups, stews, and sauces are even better the second day, but that is not the case with wine. When air meets wine – oxidization of the wine begins. This is a great thing for a few hours as it allows the wine to “open” and change the taste and bouquet of the wine for the better. The wine becomes what the winemaker intended for you to be drinking. But, when too much air comes in contact with the wine – like by the next day – then the change isn’t so great. I can taste the changes, so I don’t drink leftover wine – and the problem remains. What to do with that leftover wine before it changes into something no one wants to drink?
This is what I do with that “leftover” wine – I make ice cubes! Whenever a recipe calls for wine, you should always be using something that you’d actually drink. You wouldn’t believe how this improves the dish. If you’ve ever just reached for that jug of red when the recipe calls for dry red wine and then another time (with the same recipe) you’ve used wine that you would be happy to drink you know exactly what I’m talking about. Your dish will always taste better when it’s made with wine you enjoy.
I have very clever OXO Good Grip “no spill ice-trays” made by OXO that I buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They have a flexible top that seals over the liquid so that there are no spills in your freezer. Simply fill the tray with your leftover wine, lay the top on the tray and freeze. Frozen cubes slide easily out of the tray. Keep the frozen wine cubes in a Ziploc bag that you’ve written what the wine is and the date it went into your freezer. Whenever you’re cooking and the recipe calls for wine – simply pull out your frozen wine cubes and you never have to open a new bottle again. Of course, if you need a couple of cups of wine for the recipe then, by all means, open the fresh bottle and enjoy a glass of the “leftover” wine while your recipe is cooking away!