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any use for terrible wine?

we have two bottles of unpalatable wine brought by well-meaning thanksgiving guests: a rose, and a gewurtztraminer, both sweet and slightly fizzy. is there any way to use them? i haven't the heart to inflict them on anyone else.

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  1. I'm sure they'd be fine in fruit-juice cocktails --

    1. You might make ice cubes out of them and freeze them till you have a cooking use for them.

      Or, in the summer time I have a quick dessert recipe that I like to make where I get an angel food cake drunk (eg, lightly soak the cake in sweet white wine and then tear into chunks), and put it in a trifle dish layered with good quality whipping cream and cut fruit of your preference.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tehama

        ooh, i like this one. whip cream and cake would probably save it, as both bottles are from a small regional winery that probably makes a clean product... it just isn't any good as wine.

      2. I learned the hard way....if it's not something you'd want to drink, then it's probably not something you'd want cooked in anything. However, I DO like the idea of mixing it with fruit juices. They might hide what's unpleasant about the wines.


        1 Reply
        1. re: violabratsche

          My dad mixes Carlo Rossi from a jug with cranberry juice, and drinks it every night. The open jug sits out at room temperature for weeks. To each his own.

        2. I once bought a six pack of imported beer that tasted like it was created by pouring boiling water through a bale of hay. I couldn't drink it. I tried it in a couple of recipes and the terrible taste came through. Finally the remainder went down the drain. Some things just can't be salvaged.

          1. I also had to learn the hard way, me, the person who never wastes anything. Would give it away (if I could first) or dump it and say a prayer.

            1. Are they actually bad wines, or just not to -your- taste? If they're bad wines, then there is no salvage for them, everything bad about them will come through anything you use them in.

              If you just don't like sweet fizzy wines, then maybe a sangria would make them more palatable to you, or finding something to cook them into. :)

              1. The New York Times had an article about this some time ago where they experimented with cooking with various qualities of wine. I can't find it, but here's the gist:

                If it's a truly bad wine (i.e. it's gone off) it's junk.

                But, if it's a drinkable wine, you can cook with it and you likely won't tell the difference. They made several dishes with a $10 wine and a $40 wine, and found that no one could tell the difference in taste tests. So if you can find recipes for these wines, and they're actually drinkable (but just not to your taste), you'll likely find that they go well in your food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: greglor

                  I'd agree but for one thing....I've had many a $40 bottle of wine that was garbage, and far more $10 bottles of wine that were wonderful.

                  I know I'm being picky. The article probably means a higher quality as opposed to a lower quality wine. The cost does not necessarily denote quality.


                2. You could experiment with making vinegar. Sweetness might be a virtue there.

                  1. Sound like sangria to me - the trifle idea is also a good one. If it were red I'd suggest mulled wine, but I don't think that would work for white or rose.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dubedo

                      I was also going to say sangria. Add a decent bottle of champagne and some fruit and you might be able to salvage a drink or 2!

                    2. I use the cheapest wine I can find to soak wood chips for grilling and BBQing.

                      1. You could make a sangria with it. Add some brandy and grand marnier, fresh lemons, limes, oranges and a splash of OJ. Let it all sit in the fridge for a few hours. Ladle it up w/ a splash of soda. They have great sangria recipes on Epicurious.

                        1. There's a cocktail I love called an Operator, that's just 1 part white wine, 1 part ginger ale, and a squeeze of lime. It's good if you want something only lightly sweet and not very alcoholic, and I only ever use cheap wine for it.

                          1. In the summer , a good way to kill flies and gnats is to put out a dish of wine. they're attracted by the sweet fruit and they drown in the alcohol. That way you don't waste them and no one has to drink them.(except the bugs, and they probably won't be offended)

                            1. Both are great for "fruits en gelee" - high end French jello mold usually made with Reisling or sparkling wines. Unfortunately I usually make them in the summer when berries and stone fruit are at peak. Not sure what I would use in the dead of winter . . .