Don’t throw away your wine

Don’t throw away your wine

Cooking a recipe requiring a small amount of wine is inconvenient when you don’t have some at hand. You end up opening a bottle only for that purpose, leaving you with perfectly good wine to dispose of. We all have our own ways of dealing with the “opened bottle” problem and I used to approach it as follows. First I would definitely have a glass of wine with my meal. I’m not a big fan of getting hammered by myself on a weeknight, I’m more of a “glass a day keeps the doctor away” kind of girl, so that wouldn’t take me very far. Secondly I would search for recipes that would use the leftovers but again the chances of finding one that works with my schedule would be slim. Thirdly, with all the best intentions, I would store it in my fridge, to stretch out its life expectancy, only to rediscover it a few days/weeks later, too late of course to do anything with it. I’ve queried this strategy many times but only recently have I looked at the problem from a new angle.

The answer is so simple, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. Let’s just freeze the wine!
After some research and testing I can confirm this actually works and it is so simple, although a bit messy. Due to its alcohol content, frozen wine will never be as hard as ice. Once out of the freezer, it has the texture of soft Popsicle on a hot summer’s day; eat it quickly or it will go everywhere. But once iced-cold it will keep its shape, perfect to store the formed cubes into plastic bags. Just be quick with the transfer to avoid a burgundy pool on your counter.

Frozen wine
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. Leftover wine
  2. Ice cubes tray
  3. Freezer
  4. Plastic bag
  1. First, measure the volume of each cube by filling them with water. I for example need 50ml to fill 3 cubes of my ice-tray. I like to use a balance for accuracy, but you can use a tablespoon or a measure jug. Note it down somewhere to avoid doing this again.
  2. Pour the wine in each molds and freeze overnight.
  3. To prevent smells to be absorbed by the ice, unmold the cubes and store them a plastic bag until ready to use.
  1. If you don’t have ice-cube trays you can measure out the wine into handy measures, I like to do 1/2 cups (125ml), and pour it in plastic bags. If leakage worries you, put the bags, with the zip standing up, in a contain like a glass or a Tupperware until frozen. Once solid you’ll be free to store the bags where ever in your freezer.
  2. You have no wine cubes left and you’re in the middle of a recipe? Vermouth is your saviour! This aromatic grape fermentation isn’t just used to make great martini, it is also amazing in sauces, risotto, stews, you name it. Even the great Julia recommends it as a substitute to wine. Keep a bottle at hand, it will stay good for a good few months.
Singly Scrumptious

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  1. What an amazing tip!! Thank you :)

  2. Louis Salin

    First of all, I never have that problem. Somehow, I never seem to have *enough* red wine at my disposal! But if I did, I would totally make vinegar!

  3. Throw away wine? That thought made me shudder.

    Interesting idea… to freeze it for use in future recipes, but I have to say, within a couple of days it’s gone. I was at a fancy food show in NYC a few years ago and there is a company that makes some kind of frozen wine “ice cream”. Actually not sure if it was really ice cream or more like a sorbet. Either way, tried a few samples. It was interesting.

    • Andree-Anne

      I know right! When that happens to me I feel like shedding a tear; It’s usually when I’ve opened a bottle on the weekend but been eating out the rest of the week, the poor little thing just waits for me to come home. Quite an interesting idea you’ve got there, was it good? Maybe wine granita would be easier to make for the single cook.

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