Tired Wine Tips

“What do you suggest to do with wine once it has passed its prime? I really hate putting wine down the drain.” - Jake (Bend)

I am also a very waste-not-want-not kind of person. It kills me to dump any part of a bottle down the drain. With that said there are lots of fun ways to re-use and recycle that old juice. Here are three of my favorites: 

U Sangría: Fewer things are more delicious on a warm day than a cold glass of sangria, and with spring hot on our heels, what better time to sip in the sun? 

There are two variations of this tasty libation, a white made with peaches and raspberries or a red with oranges, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and pineapple. See my two favorite recipes at the end of the article. 

COOKING: W.C. Fields famously once said, “I cook with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food.” Cooking with wine can be a real treat, but if not done with a deft hand, the taste of the wine can overwhelm your food, so be careful. 

Sautéing, marinating and macerating with wine are three great ways to utilize vino in the kitchen. I recommend using good wine — not grocery store cooking wine. You can and will taste the difference. If you would drink it, then use it; if not, don’t let it touch the food. 

Some classic examples of dishes that employ wines are boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin. 

VINEGAR: Thanks to the oxygen, wine is already on its way to becoming vinegar, so all it needs is that extra little push. A great way to speed the process is to add a little red wine vinegar to the wine to get it going. A simple search online will bring up several step-by-step suggestions on how to make wine vinegar. It is a bit more of a time commitment but well worth the wait, and it can also make a great gift for friends.

All in all, the best idea is to drink it before it goes bad, but even the best of us end up with a little waste now and again. Whether you choose to drink it with fruit and ice, throw it in with your next meal or make vinegar to give away or cook with later, you’ll find a happy retirement home for your old wine. 

Let me know if you discover an amazing recipe. I, too, sometimes have a little wine left over in my bottle. 

— Cheers! Jenni Cossey

E-mail me your questions at


Recipe by Mark Bosko, Colene Clemens Winery, Newberg

“Basically, I like to have a pitcher of Sangria on hand at all times, so I just continue to top it off with leftover wine and adjust the proportions to taste.” - Mark Bosko, Colene Clemens direct sales manager


1 bottle red wine 

1cup of Triple Sec

1cup of peach-flavored brandy

2–3cups of sugar

*fresh fruit


1. Add red wine to a gallon pitcher or container until it is about 80 percent full, leaving space to add fresh fruit. 2. Add Triple Sec — just enough to where you start to taste it; then add equal parts peach-flavored brandy. Add sugar and mix until it entirely dissolves. 3. Add plenty of fresh fruit. The juicier the fruit the better — oranges, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple. 4. Let steep for at least one day.

Bosko’s Tips: 1. You can often add white wine to the mix as long as it doesn't dilute the color or complexity. 2. Adjust the amounts of Triple Sec, brandy and sugar based on taste. Just add a little bit of each at a time until you reach desired flavor. 3. Oranges work great, but be sure to remove the rinds because they will add an off flavor. 4. Remove fruit once you notice it falling apart, and add new fruit (about once a week); that way the fruit flavor is always fresh. My secret to sangria success is to never let it run out. I like to compare it to fermenting with wild yeast. It's almost as if you have your own “strand” of sangria, and the flavor continues to get better with time. I just make sure to always continue to top off the level and adjust the proportions accordingly. 


Recipe by GM Jason Gerlt, Veritable Quandary, Portland


1 apple, cored and sliced into wheels 

1 lemon, sliced into wheels

1 lime, sliced into wheels

1 orange, sliced into wheels

½ pint strawberries 

½ pint raspberries

1 cup orange juice

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup lime juice

1 cup peach purée or peach nectar 

1 cup simple syrup (1 part hot water to 1 part baker's sugar) 

¼ bottle apple brandy 

¼ bottle berry-flavored vodka

½ bottle sparkling apple cider

2 bottles crisp white wine


1. In a large container, mix together all the ingredients without smashing the berries too bad. Adjust ingredients to taste. 2. Let steep for at least one day.  

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