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Food Waste Tips

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

What to do With Leftover Wine

I’ll admit, the question, what to do with leftover wine, doesn’t really pass my lips very often. However, I have found myself asking that question with greater frequency this year, as gatherings with friends and family have been curtailed.

As the only one in my household who likes wine, a whole bottle of red wine is not something I can drink by myself in one sitting. In younger years, oh yes, with abandon! But now, my head aches in advance at the mere thought of drinking a whole bottle. I try so very hard (so hard!) not to waste wine, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

Is Wine Waste A Problem?

The thing is wine waste is a surprisingly large problem. According to research by UK wine merchant Laithwaites, the average British household throws away around two glasses of wine a week on average. This is the equivalent of 624m bottles nationally, which is enough to fill 333 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Whilst the carbon footprint of producing and transport wine is hard to calculate, it undoubtedly does have a footprint, and it’s important to minimise food waste where we can.

How long does wine last for once opened?

First off, it’s important to know how long opened wine can be stored for before going bad. As a student I used in bars and so the following guide is imprinted in my brain:

  • Opened white wine lasts for up to three days in a refrigerator.
  • Opened Prosecco or Cava again stores for up to three days in the fridge.
  • Champagne can store for up to five days in the fridge.
  • Rose wine can store for up to five days in the fridge
  • Open red wine lasts for up to five days stored in a cool dark place, such as a cupboard.
  • Fortified wines, such as sherry and port, are best if drank within 28 days of opening, and stored in a cool dark place.

In all cases, make sure you replace the cork, lid if it’s a screw top, or use a bottle stop.

tips on using up leftover wine

What to do with leftover wine?

If you can’t drink your wine before it goes off – which you’ll know by that classic vinegar smell and taste – then here are some ideas with what to do with leftover wine.

Freeze It

One of the best ways to use leftover wine is to pour it into ice cube trays or muffin trays and freeze it to use in future recipes, such as stews, sauces, or bolognese.

Once frozen, you can pop them out into a container for storage, and then use them in recipes that call for a small quantity of wine. Bear in the mind that because of the alcohol content of the wine, the frozen cubes of wine won’t be as hard as standard ice-cubes made of water, but they will be solid enough to transfer into a tub or bag.

Cook With It

If you’re planning on cooking with wine straight away then skip the freezing, and proceed straight to cooking. Leftover wine is great way to add flavour to your cooking. Here are five vegan recipes that call for wine:

Mushroom Bourginon

cooking with leftover wine

The Simple Veganista’s comforting autumnal recipe for Mushroom Bourginon calls for red wine to add flavour and depth.

Garlic and White Wine Pasta

vegan recipe for using up leftover wine

The Minimalist’s Baker’s recipe for garlic and white wine pasta with brussels sprouts is high up on my list of recipes to try this winter. I love brussels sprouts.

Red Wine Braised Lentils

leftover wine vegan recipe

This recipe for red wine braised lentils from Give It Some Thyme is another great autumnal dish.

Red Wine Brownies

vegan brownie recipe
vegave

Finally, hankering after something sweet? These vegan brownies, are made with red wine for added flavour.

Any other tips or recipes for using up leftover wine? Do share with Moral Fibres readers in the comments below. And find more food waste tips this way.

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

Can You Freeze Oat Milk?

Can you freeze oat milk? That is the burning question we all want to know the answer to!

Whilst any non-dairy milk is great for the environment compared to cows milk, not all non-dairy milk is equal. Oat milk is a great sustainable choice – it’s better for the environment than many other vegan milk substitutes such as almond, coconut, and rice milk.

As such, we drink lots of oat milk in our house. Whilst we almost always finish an opened carton of oat milk, on the odd occasion when we are going away somewhere for a few days and can’t take the milk with us poses a problem.

In those instances, it feels wrong to pour perfectly good oat milk down the drain, so I have looked for ways to preserve my precious oaty goodness.

can you freeze oat milk

Yes, You Can Freeze Oat Milk!

Good news: it turns out that yes, you can freeze oat milk.

Oat milk settles in the freezing process, so it can be a little grainy when you defrost it, however, it’s completely fine to use. Due to the graininess, I personally would not use defrosted oat milk in my tea, coffee, or cereal. However, when heated up you don’t notice the graininess, and it’s great for use in cooking.

For that reason, I tend to freeze oat milk in an ice-cube tray so I have pre-portioned sizes of frozen milk on hand that I add directly to sauces. Pre-portioning the milk before freezing also means you can add it to your cooking without the need to defrost the milk beforehand.

Frozen cubes can also be added to smoothies. Because you’re blending the smoothie, this means you won’t detect any graininess.

I’ve also found that Oatly Barista Milk separates when it’s frozen – it’s made with rapeseed oil so the oil tends to rise to the top. However, giving it a good mix when you are cooking sorts that all out.

I use a plastic ice-cube tray because I’ve had it forever, and binning it and replacing it with a metal ice-cube tray is not in any way sustainable. However, if you don’t have an ice-cube tray you can get lovely metal ones*.

Your oat milk should be good for up to three months in the freezer.

I had tried freezing milk in jars, but unless your recipe calls for a lot of milk then I’ve found the milk just languished in my fridge for too long. The last time I tried this method we ended up having to pour a jar of milk down the drain as nobody wanted it in their cup of tea, so ice-cube trays all the way now!

Never refreeze already defrosted oat milk, and as always, make sure your milk hasn’t expired before freezing it.

What About Freezing Soy Milk Or Any Other Type of Non-Dairy Milk?

All other types of no-dairy milk (and regular cows milk) can be frozen. Again, they might go grainy like oat milk, or may lose some of their texture or taste, so I’d always recommend the ice-cube tray method.