How To Turn Bad Wine Into Something Good
– Don’t Pour It In The Toilet….Just Yet
Not what I was wanting but I guess it’ll do …right?
The wine and spirits store closed early, so you had to go to the gas station on the corner to satisfy your vino urge. After scouring row after row….let me rephrase that. After scouring the single row of low quality wines available, you decided to roll with the good ole “Bobby’s Big Daddy Bordeaux”, made right in the beautiful and scenic region of Bobby’s basement. “Ahhh” you say to yourself “at least tonight is going to be ok. Not the Cabernet I was wanting, but this will do.”
You finally get home, grab the corkscrew, and start twisting. After the immediate crumbling of the cork that seems to be made of rotten wood, you finally get it out! Yummm….the sweet smell of rotten eggs. That’s ok, you just decant it for a few minutes, right? This isn’t going to turn out well.
After about 30 minutes, it’s ready. Well, at least it should be ready. You reach into your cabinet for the perfect wine glass. Hmmm, yeah, let’s not break out the special expensive wine glasses. Let’s just go with the lone single glass that you won last year tossing rings at the fair. You pour the glass, swirl it around a bit to let it breathe, take a deep sniff (gross) and take that first sip.
Ok toilet. Here we come. Bye Bye Bobby Big Daddy Bordeaux.
Not so fast. Let’s not waste the opportunity to turn this seemingly horrible wine into something tasty. You have options, and I’m here to get you started. So sit back, and let’s see what we can come up with!
You are already excited, I can tell! The word “Sangria” just rolls off the tongue and immediately sounds like it will taste amazing. If done right, it will! Follow these simple steps and you will turn that nasty wine into something great!
To start off, you are going to need some fruit. We are making red wine sangria, so apples and oranges work well. First, you will need to cut up the fruit into thin slices or wedges with the peels still on. Take this fruit and toss it into a glass pitcher. The bigger the pitcher the better! Next, you need some brandy. Just like your big daddy wine, the brandy doesn’t need to be expensive. Add about a half cup of the brandy to the fruit in the pitcher. No, don’t drink it yet! It might look good but we aren’t done. It’s time to throw in the orange liquor, such as Cointreau. You will need around a fourth of a cup. Just pour this into the brandy and fruit. Nope. Still not ready. Get your face out of the pitcher.
And here we go. It’s time to make that Bobby’s Big Daddy Bordeaux shine once and for all. How much you ask? Yeah, pour the whole 750ml bottle in the pitcher. All of it. Every drop. I now see your hesitation to drink it. You would be finally be correct in waiting. Stir it all up and cover the pitcher in plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator. Let is sit overnight while you dream of big daddy sangria.
Now it’s time to drink it! Before serving, top off the sangria with sparkling water. Play around with the amount until it tastes good to you. Pour a glass, and make sure to scoop up some of that awesome fruit in each glass! If you want it sweeter, replace the sparkling water with tonic water. Walla! You have just turned that horrific bottle of wine into a refreshing sangria! Enjoy!
If sangria isn’t the fix for you, and you’re finding yourself sitting there mulling around ideas to fix the big daddy wine, then try this. Mull it. Say what did you just say? You heard me. Mull it.
Mulled wine is a perfect way to turn that bad Bordeaux into something incredible. Especially if it’s a cold, wintery evening. Mulling wine is the process of turning red wine into a spicy, warm cocktail, and it won’t leave you disappointed. Let’s get started.
For this tasty treat, you finally get to dust off the ole crockpot and invade the spice cabinet. There are so many different recipes out there that use a vast array of spices, so picking ingredients of your liking is important. Try different things. Remember, it’s best to use cheap wine for this, so you can play around and mess it up without much financial loss.
Some spices that work well with mulling include coriander, cardamon , cinnamon, anise, cloves, honey and ginger. Like I said, play around with it and find the spices that make you happy. Once you figured it out, place the spices in a skillet and toast them on high heat for about 30 minutes. After heated, transfer to a spice infuser bag.
Next, it’s big daddy’s turn. Take the wine and put it in a small saucepan, letting it get to a bare simmer. Then, it’s crockpot time. Place the wine in the slow cooker and set it to low heat. Add some spices, the juice from an orange, and the orange hull. Cover and let it steep on low heat for about 2 hours.
Once the 2 hours is up, give it a taste. At this point, start adding maple syrup and brandy until it tastes to your liking. Cover again and let it heat on low for another 30 minutes. Guess what? That’s it! You can now serve this warm, spicy, delicious mulled wine to your guests!
Ok, so you aren’t in the mood to start mixing, and you honestly don’t feel like waiting until the other ingredients make big daddy Bordeaux drinkable. What other options do you have? Plenty, although none are guarantees. But they are at least worth a try.
If the red wine is terrible, try chilling it for awhile. When the temperature drops, many of the flavors will become muted. Don’t freeze it, but let the wine sit in the fridge for a bit before drinking. Hopefully those nasty aromas will dissipate, and you can get back to drinking.
Who Doesn’t Love Spritzers?
Another option is to simply make it into a spritzer. This one is easy and takes very little effort. Grab a glass, throw some ice in it. Add the wine, club soda, and whatever berries you have in the fridge. Boom. Done. Yum.
This is not a guarantee, but in most cases, eating some cheese or adding mushrooms to red wine will alter the taste. Try some bold flavors to get those taste buds working. Eventually, as the big daddy wine bottle gets closer to empty, you will start saying things like “Hmm….that’s not so bad after all!”
If all else fails, bake some wine brownies or a cake. Take your favorite recipes and just add the wine. It might not be good to drink, but everyone likes cake and brownies, right?
As you can see, you have options. There are hundreds of recipes out there for wine cocktails besides sangria and mulling. Find what fits you. Eat some cheese. Throw a penny in the bottle. Just don’t pour that nasty stuff down the toilet.
Just remember, enjoy every sip, every bottle.
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