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What to Do With Bad Wine?

I bought a bottle of riesling the other day, and it is way way too sweet. Almost undrinkable. What should I do with the rest of the bottle? I was thinking maybe a sangria, or some sort of fish dish, but am feeling a bit uninspired. Help!

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  1. If you don't like the taste, toss it, why torture yourself?

    On the other hand, if it has good flavor but is just too sweet for drinking with a meal, then yes, sangria is a possibility, or use it for marinating a fruit salad. I wouldn't want to cook fish in anything too sweet.

    6 Replies
      1. re: JaneRI

        The yankee in me can't throw away wine!

        1. re: wanderluster

          Make ice cubes and use them to flavor lemonade or order some spicy Thai food and you may find the wine is just fine

          1. re: TonyO

            Wow, I love the ice cube idea!

          2. re: wanderluster

            I was wondering what was wrong with me that I have problems throwing unused food / drinks away ... you answered my question ... I grew up in New England ... it's just the Yankee in my soul.

            I assume you've frozen it ... great idea. What kind of wine was it? I might have a few ideas depending on type of wine.

            1. re: wanderluster

              If it is too sweet to drink, then I would use it as a simple syrup for baking. I like the idea of using it to macerate fruits, or soaking a holiday fruitcake.

              If you are willing to experiment, you could use it for making wine vinegar.

        2. It may be that that was the style. If it was late harvest or 'eiswein' or 'trockenbeerenausleese' it is supposed to be sweet, to be drunk with or in place of dessert, not with dinner. Residual sugar percentage should be on the label.

          Try pouring it over some sliced strawberries and letting it sit an hour, or sipping it alongside a dessert with sweet but simple flavors, such as custard or angel cake.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Louise

            If it's either of those two categories it will have been a rather expensive (certainly over $25, and in the case of eiswein possibly over $100!) bottle, and if you don't like it, send it to me, I promise it won't go to waste! ;-)

            If, on the other hand, it's just a cheap oversweetened riesling, I stand by my suggestion above.

          2. and if all else fails... vinegar ;)

            1. Sometimes when I really don't like the flavor of a wine, but don't want to toss it, I'll just drink it as a spritzer. Since this one is so sweet, you could just mix it with some unflavored fizzy water, ice and a wedge or two of citrus

              1. Poached pears?

                I like the sangria idea.

                1. Two points:
                  1) I have no trouble pouring right down the drain wine that I do not like.
                  2) Wine that I do not like is not necessarily "bad" wine.

                    1. What do I do?
                      Well when it is corked wine, forget it.I dump it, there is no getting past that taint.
                      If it is a wine that is too sweet, I'll save it with all the good intentions of making a dessert and using it there. On the other hand, if it is just so sadly off to my tastes, then I save it for my husband. God Bless him, I have rarely ever seen him thow a single thing away.
                      Me, I'll just go with out.

                      1. Make a dessert risotto

                        1. I, like you, cannot discard wine I don't like, unless it's someone's "homemade" brew. I often use what's left in salad dressing. Mix with a complementary vinegar of your choosing half and half, then add the same volume (of the combined wine and vinegar) in olive oil. Add shallots, mustard, salt, pepper, etc. to taste.

                          Other ideas: pasta sauce, wine spritzer (with ginger ale, mango nectar, etc.), a light chicken stew.

                          Let us know what you do/did with it!

                          1 Reply
                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              rieslings are generally too sweet to make sangria with after fruit and all is added in, isn't it? i always use a really dry white wine for white sangria.

                              i LOVE the spritzer idea ... that's an awesome idea for something too sugary/heavy. i occasionally open the too-sweet bottle of riesling and usually my method for wines i don't like is to drink them last in a multi-glass evening.

                              1. re: rabidog

                                Sangria? It's a shame to subject good wine to the treatment....

                                If you just don't like it, figure out how to cook with it.

                                If it's really "bad," as in off, pour it as a libation to the gods of Yuck. We're all better off without it.

                                But, to answer a slightly different question, though I like red wines, I can't drink much 'cause they can trigger migraines, so if a bottle opened with company isn't finished, I wrap it up and tape it well (open container laws in my state) and send it home with a guest, or bring it to a work buddy who enjoys a nice red. So sad to let a good thing waste....

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                i think this is actually a good idea, USING AS WEEDKILLER! I have opened up two different bottles of wine from the same winery - I tasted them at the winery and they tasted alright- with the amount you get at the time. From what I understand maybe they are corked? mine remind me of a smell of bandaids or something..

                              3. I use bad wine as fertilizer ... I knew a guy who got fantastic results with his lawn using beer ;) By applying directly to the lawn, I guess I should add ...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: foiegras

                                  sweet riesling would be perfect to steam some clams in.

                                    1. re: TBird

                                      You can also poach salmon in it. Throw some spices and/or herbs in with the wine to infuse it with flavor (I've done it with pieces of star anise and lemon grass).