HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food project? Tell us about it

Half a bottle of too-sweet Riesling

dmd_kc Nov 28, 2009 07:30 PM

For Thanksgiving, I opened a bottle of Riesling that we found too sweet, so I was left with a little less than half of it. I am constitutionally incapable of throwing out anything that may have some use left in it, so I determined tonight to find a way to make it palatable.

Success! I started a big ol' bunch of chopped garlic in canola oil, then added the wine. To that, a tablespoon or so of capers and a bit more of their brine, then cooked it down to about half over high heat. At that point, I dumped in a can of cheapo plain sardines in oil and broke them up. Cooked that a bit more, then added some leftover cold spaghetti and warmed it through. Very delicious!

What other tricks do you have for wine that's too sweet to drink (aside from making vinegar)?

  1. c
    condie Dec 13, 2009 06:55 AM

    Pour some sweet wine into a large coffee cup to about 1/5 full.
    Squeeze in the juice of a sliver of lemon, then drop the sliver into the cup.
    Fill with water.
    Heat in microwave to about coffee drinking temperature.
    Mmmm! Mogen David tea!

    1 Reply
    1. re: condie
      donali Jan 3, 2010 05:29 PM

      Right this minute I'm trying a bolognese recipe for the slow cooker. It all starts at the stove, as a normal bolognese by sauteeing the mirapoix, then the ground meat, bubbling off the milk, then the wine (for which they recommend a sweet reisling, contrary to anything I've used before) and then finally it is finished in the crockpot with the tomatoes. We'll see, can't vouch for it yet, it's still a work in progress.

    2. HillJ Dec 3, 2009 09:54 AM

      If you enjoy making homemade ice cream or sorbet, riesling works well.

      8 Replies
      1. re: HillJ
        BernalKC Dec 3, 2009 10:11 AM

        which reminds me: I've wanted to play around with using sweet dessert wines in granitas. Anyone with recipes or advice on how to modify a typical granita recipe to work with an alcoholic (wine) component?

        1. re: BernalKC
          HillJ Dec 3, 2009 10:20 AM


          BernalKC, this is a basic recipe which can be adapted with add'l flavorings.

          1. re: HillJ
            BernalKC Dec 3, 2009 10:26 AM

            Perfect! Exactly what I was imagining.

            1. re: HillJ
              BernalKC Jan 1, 2010 11:46 AM

              Finally had a chance to try this. So simple. So good. It was one of 9 dishes I served last night, not the star of the show from everyone else's POV, but I loved how simple it was, how I could set it up the night before, and how it worked between mains and dessert. Thanks for the link!

              1. re: BernalKC
                HillJ Jan 1, 2010 12:03 PM

                My pleasure, BKC! If you don't mind, what were the 9 dishes?

                1. re: HillJ
                  BernalKC Jan 1, 2010 02:15 PM

                  Sure, recalling it is a lot more fun that continuing the clean up! Now that I write it down, my count was a bit off.

                  Dinner for 14 built around a 10# pork shoulder roast:

                  cheese (and onion confit) pastry twists
                  cheese, fruit, pate, olives hor d'ouvres***
                  pulled pork sliders w/slaw and vinegar BBQ sauce
                  pork sugo over fresh linguine
                  baked beans
                  roast Brussel's sprouts (w/bacon & lemon)
                  green salad***
                  moscato granita
                  pecan diamonds
                  kahlua chocolate cake***
                  toffee crunch cheese cake***

                  ***guest's contibutions

                  1. re: BernalKC
                    HillJ Jan 1, 2010 03:08 PM

                    How delicious! I love pork sugo...reminds me of this one

                    Wonderful menu, BKC. Txs for sharing it! Gotta love guests who bring toffee crunch cheesecake!

            2. re: BernalKC
              bushwickgirl Dec 3, 2009 10:37 AM

              I've made granitas with white and red wine, subbing the wine for any fruit juice or puree, with the addition of a bit of citrus, lemon or lime, as for white wine. For red, I made a "mulled" wine, with orange and sweet spices, clove and cinnamon, then used the wine for the granita base.
              Heavy or medium-bodied, semi-dry reds and sweet, fruity whites or fortified dessert wines work best. Champagne is good, too.
              I made a simple syrup with the wine and the sugar, the citrus and froze it in the usual manner. The remaining alcohol in the syrup base will keep the granita from becoming a solid frozen block.

          2. s
            sasha1 Dec 2, 2009 11:07 AM

            Cake. There is a recipe on epicurious called Beaumes de Venice cake. It calls for a cup of wine. The wine in the recipe is it's namesake, but I've done it with whatever sweet or dry I happen to have around, and it is always delicious.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sasha1
              hotoynoodle Dec 2, 2009 08:35 PM

              beaumes de venise. it's a fortified muscat wine from the rhone that can be ambrosial when made well. its nose holds gorgeous aromas of stone fruit and white blossoms, with a refreshing acidity on the tongue. never cloying. "just any sweet or dry wine" isn't at all the same.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                sasha1 Dec 3, 2009 09:02 AM

                I didn't mean to suggest it was the same. What I said - or meant to - was that in the cake recipe, I've had good results with a variety of white wines. We're talking a cup of liquid, mixed into a cake batter, baked for an hour. Whatever very real differences you may experience comparing two glasses of wine will be quite diminished in this preparation.

                In any case, if I was trying to use up some too-sweet to drink wine, this is how I'd do it.

            2. m
              miss louella Dec 1, 2009 08:46 PM

              I am not--repeat NOT -- a fan of sweet wines, but when faced with a similar situation, I used a too-sweet-to-drink wine for risotto and LOVE the result. I now buy sweet wine to start my savory risottos.

              Please try it before you condemn me. It is not only a great way to use up sweet wine but also a fab addition to risotto!

              1 Reply
              1. re: miss louella
                dmd_kc Dec 2, 2009 08:54 AM

                I can totally see that working. I use dry vermouth sometimes, and am not a huge fan of the result -- though I know many people use it as their default.

              2. Will Owen Dec 1, 2009 01:22 PM

                A light too-sweet wine (as opposed to something syrupy) is good to braise sauerkraut in, either just with some bacon as a side dish or as a fullbore choucroute garni. Most of the Alsatians whites are (or at least used to be) a bit sweeter than a lot of us really care for, and are thus the obvious choice for making this very Alsatian dish. I make it every New Year, and usually use a wine sweeter than I'd want to drink with it.

                As it's being used to cook some strong-flavored stuff, if there isn't enough to make the dish now there would not be anything wrong with just corking it tightly and saving it, then combining it with more of something else when the time comes.

                1. buttertart Dec 1, 2009 11:55 AM

                  I steep prunes in sweet wine for a very good accompaniment to pork chops or roast.

                  1. bushwickgirl Nov 29, 2009 03:52 AM

                    Well, I love spaghetti with sardines, bread crumbs, olive oil and lots of garlic, but I wouldn't think the Riesling would be a fit. I guess you never know...

                    On another note, I think TheMac means "wino"; not all hobos drink, but all winos do.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                      hotoynoodle Nov 29, 2009 06:04 AM

                      plus hobo is very 1940's -- very un-pc these days.

                      bushwick, i love that dish too, with the addition of plenty of red chili flakes. mmmm. but i have always just started it with the olive oil, and anchovies, instead of sardines. come to think of it, vermouth might be nice there.

                      i would have used the riesling as the base of a marinade for pork or chicken.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        scunge Dec 2, 2009 02:44 AM

                        I grew up in Bushwick often eating Pasta cu' e Sardi .A Sicliian neighborhood we drank dry wines with that dish white or red..Find a not too crazy sweet dessert maybe a nut bread or even pancakes for a brunch by the way Bushwickgirl there's a cookbook called Bruculinu by Vincent Schiavelli with his tales of growing up in Bushwick as well as recipes

                        1. re: scunge
                          bushwickgirl Dec 2, 2009 07:03 AM

                          Oh yes, I've heard about that cookbook, and of course, Vincent Schiavelli, but didn't know he was from Bushwick. Bushwick is not an Italian neighborhood anymore.
                          I'll check out the book, thanks for the recommend.

                    2. q
                      Querencia Nov 28, 2009 08:16 PM

                      A standard dessert in Argentina is "clerico'" (accent final o---this is a Spanish-ization of of "claret cup"). It's just cut-up fresh fruit with any sweet wine poured over it. Also, in fresh peach season, the classic from New York's Little Italy church street fairs is "peaches in wine"---fill a glass first with sliced fresh peaches then with wine---eat the peaches, drink the peachy wine.

                      1. Vetter Nov 28, 2009 08:08 PM

                        Poaching pears or stone fruit, or making a fruit sauce. Yum!

                        Show Hidden Posts