If Not Drinking, Do This With Your Leftover Red Wine

So, you've cracked open a bottle of red wine and sipped from it. What should be done with the remaining liquid? You could put the cork back in the bottle and keep it there for a few days (until you're ready to drink it all), but making red wine vinegar is a fantastic alternative that will help you finish the bottle. Andrea Slonecker, a cookbook author, came up with a clever, entertaining method for manufacturing red wine vinegar at home. It's also simple: in addition to the leftover red wine, all you need for the recipe is apple cider vinegar and a lot of patience. 

Slonecker's method is straightforward: combine 1.5 cups of leftover red wine, or roughly half a bottle, and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in a quart-sized mason jar or another glass container. Find a dark, room-temperature location (such as a kitchen cupboard or bedroom closet) and place the container there for 8 weeks. The top should be covered with two layers of cheesecloth. You'll have a handmade version of a pantry staple that is equally sour and sweet once two months have gone and the vinegar and wine have properly blended. 

This homemade batch of red wine vinegar has strong red-berry undertones and is stronger than your typical red wine vinegar. You can experiment on your own by using Syrah for a stronger flavour, Gamay for a lighter outcome, or leftovers from different bottles to create your own house mix. 


1 ½ cup of dry, full-bodied red wine (such as Syrah or Gamay) 

A quarter cup of raw apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg) 


In a 2-cup glass jar, whisk together the wine and vinegar. Wrap a rubber band around the jar's rim and cover the lid with two layers of cheesecloth. When the combination stops tasting like raw alcohol, about 8 weeks, store in a dark area at room temperature. (If sediment develops on the liquid's surface or the jar's sides, that's fine.) 

Cheesecloth should be double-layered in a fine wire mesh strainer and placed over a 2-cup bottle or clean glass jar. To get rid of any sediment, pour the vinegar mixture through cheesecloth. Jar lid must be tightly closed. For up to three months, red wine vinegar can be kept at a cool room temperature.