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What to do with Lots of Mediocre Bordeaux?

I had a party recently and ended up with a bunch of not-so-great cheap bottles of Bordeaux from guests. Anyone have any ideas what I could do with these (besides regifting, of course). Any stewy/braisey ideas appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. You probably know that if you don't like the tase of a wine, you probably will not like in cooking. But, I wonder if you couldn't concoct a savory marinade, or a sauce for chicken or beef...using lots of garlic and various herbs....Here's a thread from this past February that might help, although the wine is not a Bordeaux but a Cote de Rhone:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      I'm gonna agree on the marinade issue here, but add the recommendation of a real tough and gamey meat as the marinee coupled with lots of smokey heat.

      Something like a leg of lamb, marinated overnight with lots of wine, onion, garlic, and rosemary will come out phenomenal once cooked over a wood fire without carrying too much of the wine's flavor, but benefiting much from the marinade all the same.

      Plus, glugging a liter of wine over a delicious piece of meat has a certain, mixed, primal yet civilized charm.

    2. I would cook with it if it is not "off". Assuming it is still good, use it in braising, something you do in the crockpot or cook forever on the stove. I think you have it; stew, pot roast, etc. Just don't use it to deglace a skillet and pour over a steak, use it in something you cook and cook.

      1. Assuming that you find the wines unintersting but not distasteful, you can use them in any number of dishes. Classics like boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin are a good place to start, and fall is the perfect time to make them.

        If the wine is unpleasant--as opposed to just boring--then using it for a marinade is definitely an option. And if you have a little mother of vinegar around, even the cheapest Bordeaux will probably make a better vinegar than most of the stuff you can buy at the store.

        1. Bordeaux, like Cabernet Sauvignon, is often NOT a good choice for cooking because of the tannins. These don't reduce well at all. Can you tell whether your bottles are Merlot based, or Cab. Sauv based? The Merlot-bsed ones will fare better, but I think I'd save the bottles and bring them out for your next party.

          1. Surely these wines aren't too awful to be enjoyed to an ordinary degree with an ordinary day's dinner - "table wine," so to speak.

            1. I just gave a making lemonade out of a lemon speech to my daughter...perhaps Sangria?

              1. Braise a big, old rabbit cut into 8 pieces.

                1. You could try making your own vinegar.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ricepad

                    Make tie dye t-shirts out of the swill.

                    1. re: TonyO

                      In that vein, Christmas gifts . Afterall, someone else may like it.

                  2. Mix a cup of sugar to a bottle, with a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg, then boil to dissolve the sugar and burn off the alcohol, then freeze in a metal pan. Scrape it with a fork every 30 minutes and you'll have a fabulous granita.

                    Or, for a French pear tart: reduce a half-bottle of wine w/ a bit of sugar in a saute pan, pop in some peeled, halved pears and simmer until the pears are almost soft, then top with pie crust or puff pastry and bake for 35 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully flip onto a plate. Serve w/ whipped cream - Yum!

                    1. I would braise short ribs: one onion, some garlic, some thyme and rosemary,4-6 lbs short ribs, one bottle of wine, a couple cups of broth. brown the meat well on all sides in a dutch oven (or roast in a pan at 450 for 45 minutes, then deglaze roasting pan). saute aromatics until soft, then add veg and meat. cover tightly and braise in over for 2-3 hours. Remove meat to rest and reduce braising liquid if needed, adding in beurre manie to thicken.

                      poach eggs. Saute bacon and shallot onion. remove. reduce wine with herbs and poach eggs--they will come out purplish. serve eggs on garlic toast with the bacon and shallot. Maybe some lightly dressed frisee. Very French. Ouefs en meurette.

                      Make mulled wine or sangria. If you add brandy and fruit, the mediocreness will disappear.