Unique Ways to Cook with Wine this Summer

09 Jun, 2017

Memorial Day has passed, so summer barbeque season is off and running!  You or some of your guests may enjoy a glass or two of wine with your cookouts.  Sometimes we don’t finish the bottle and we end up with corked half empty bottles of wine crowding our counters or refrigerators.

If you don’t think you will drink it, but you don’t want to waste it, try blending into your next meal.  If you aren’t someone who has leftover wine, feel free to open a fresh bottle to make some of these delicious culinary creations.


White wine added to spices or Italian dressing makes for an excellent marinade for chicken or pork.  You don’t want to use red wine as it will discolor your food and make it look less than appetizing.  No real need to measure.  Just pour some wine into a resalable bag containing your meat.  Add your favorite spices or seasoning salt.  Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.  The marinade will give your chicken an extra sizzle as it hits the barbeque.  Your chicken will be juicy, tender, and delicious.

Caramelized Onions

Add some savory flavor to your steaks or burgers.  Cut one or two Vidalia onions crosswise and try to keep the circular pieces intact.  Add a half of stick of butter and cook over medium to medium high heat.  Keep an eye on the onions as they start to brown.  Add more butter if the pan seems dry.  The onions will soften and begin to brown.

Continue to move them through the pan with a spatula.  Wait until the onions are almost burned and then pour a healthy splash ( a half cup or more) of whatever white wine  you have available.  Scrape the pan with the spatula and watch the wine remove all the delicious crispy bits in the pan.  Add onions into a small bowl and cover with foil.  Spoon onions onto steaks or burgers. They also go well with chicken or pork.  Use leftovers in sauces and omelets.

Lobster and Scallop Scampi

Heat olive oil over low heat.  Add butter and garlic and brown slightly.  Whisk in paprika, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Finally, pour in your white wine and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stand there and enjoy the aroma as the wine wafts through the air.  Add your lobster and scallops and cook until all are heated thoroughly.  Don’t cook too long, as scallops tend to toughen quickly under too much heat.  Serve with your favorite pasta, rice, or potato side.

Pasta sauce

Add leftover red wine to any red sauce.  You don’t want to add more than a cup or so, or you may end up having wine tomato soup for dinner.  Red wine sauce goes great on pasta, also on grilled vegetables.  White wine can be used to make Alfredo sauce which is already creamy and cheesy.

Add a cup of white wine to a stick of butter and a half cup of olive oil.  Melt over medium heat.  Add Italian seasoning and garlic, and you will have a delicious rich sauce to serve over angel hair pasta.  Add a can of clams and create a fancy sea food pasta meal.

Drunken Spaghetti

Drunken Spaghetti is tasty and fun to make.  Heat leftover red wine in a large pan.  Boil your favorite pasta noodles.  When they are almost done, remove the noodles from the stove and drain them into a colander.  Pour the noodles into your heated red wine and finish cooking them.  The noodles will be dark red and will be bursting with flavor!  Serve as a side dish or with any of your favorite pasta sauces.

Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes

Don’t knock it until you try it.  This is an excellent dessert after a big summer barbeque.  Add ¾ cup of whatever red wine you have left over to your favorite chocolate cupcake mix.  Do not do this to vanilla or lemon cupcakes.  The darker chocolate the better.  You will taste the wine but you won’t see it.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can make the cupcakes from scratch using any number of recipes.

Soup Broth

When the summer nights get cold, have a hot bowl of soup.  Add some zest to your soup by pouring a generous amount of wine, white or red. Again, use matching colors.  Nothing uglies up a bowl of chicken soup like a splash of burgundy.  That said, some soups like French onion can incorporate whatever wine you have.  If using red wine, avoid soups that have barley or potatoes in them, as they will take on the red color.

Wine Coolers

Make your own wine coolers! Mix your leftover wine with your leftover soda and make a sweet, delicious adult drink.  Red wine mixed with a lemon-lime soda is thirst quenching and refreshing. Mix and match and create something new.  Keep these delectable drinks away from the kiddies, as they will love them too!

So fire up the grill and have everyone over.  Don’t worry about what to do with the leftover wine.  In fact, you might be using it in some of the dishes you are serving to your guests.  And if you don’t finish it all tonight you have lots of ideas of how to put it to future use. Happy summer to you!

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