If the dregs of a nearly empty bottle of wine have been kicking around your kitchen a little too long, chances are it will be better appreciated in a dish rather than a glass.

That’s because whether red or white, extra wine that’s past its prime still can have life as a great flavour enhancer.

“That leftover bit of wine has more potential to add flavour to your cooking than you realized,” says Food Network host Alex Guarnaschelli. Whether a chardonnay or a pinot, wine enhances flavours and brings its own zing to sauces, marinades and desserts.

Onions, for example, can be caramelized in a bit of butter, red wine, salt and pepper, then used as a topping for pizza, in a grinder with sausage and peppers, or on panini with gruyere cheese.

Once you’ve made sure that the wine isn’t so old it’s turned to vinegar, there are few rules to cooking with wine, except to use one you actually would drink.

Here are some favourite recipes for that leftover glass of wine:

  • -Toss pasta with grated Parmesan cheese, butter and fresh herbs, then add a splash of white wine. The wine will give a pleasant acidity to balance the other flavours.
  • -Make a reduced-wine vinaigrette to serve over grilled meat or fish. Bring red or white wine to a gentle simmer, then add a pinch of sugar or honey and reduce by half. Transfer the wine to a medium bowl. Add a handful of sliced seedless grapes, a pinch of salt and a generous splash of olive oil. Stir to blend, crushing some of the grapes as you mix.
  • -Braise vegetables in it. We recommends carrots, parsnips and turnips. Peel the vegetables, toss in a bowl with a bit of brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add a splash of white wine and a little olive oil, then toss to coat. Arrange them on a single layer on a baking sheet and cook, at 180 degrees Celsius, until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
  • -When steaming clams or mussels, pour some wine into the pot along with peeled shallots. Stir to blend, then let the wine reduce and meld with the juices of the shellfish. Add some fresh basil leaves and a little butter.
  • -After blackening fish with spices — such as cayenne pepper, paprika and ground cumin — transfer the fish to a platter and gently add wine to the pan used to cook the fish. Return the pan to the heat and allow the wine to reduce. Add a few capers, a squeeze of lemon juice and a touch of smooth mustard. Stir it all up and then pour the sauce over the fish.

Source: washingtontimes.com

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