What to do with crappy wine

I hardly drink.  And I’m not a huge fan of wine. If I do drink wine I have very specific, and quite frankly, juvenile tastes.  Asti Spumante, Lambrusco (no, not riuniti, I’m not THAT bad  oh oh ),  but you get the idea, sweet stuff.  On rare occasions I will have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, but literally a glass, so I’ll only have that when out because finishing a bottle won’t happen.


So we get to the issue, over the years I’ve been given various bottles for various reasons (usually Christmas) and for whatever stupid reason I never gave them away.  Now I’m looking at them, and don’t know if they’re even worth giving away, cooking with, or are they just vinegar at this point.  

I don’t want to insult someone and give them nasty funk that should just be poured out, but I don’t want to waste it if it still might be good and someone might actually drink it.  Is there anyway to tell without opening the bottle?


The list 

(And if anyone wants any of these, I’ll happily deliver so long as you either show me ID, or look old enough to qualify for early SS retirement,  NO porch drop offs for obvious reasons)

Some wines get better with age, some just turn to vinegar.  I know nothing about wine, so what I have that is drinkable is anyone’s guess

Simonetti, Montepulciano D’abruzzo, 2018 (this one is actually new, received it at Christmas this year)

Brut Gruet, Method Champenoise, can’t find a date

Pol Clément, brut, blanc de blancs, no date,  TWO bottles of this one

Blue Nun, starts with Lieber, but the label was damaged by another bottle that leaked, 1992

Indigo Hills, Chardonnay, 1992

Gossamer Bay, Pinot Grigio, 1997

Filtrato dolce moscato del piemonte, no actual label, has a tag tied to it.  Is this one sweet, and should I maybe give it a chance?  Or dump it because I’m pretty sure I was given this one about 30 years ago.

La Terre, Chardonnay, no date (label partially torn off)

Domaine la noble, unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon, 1994

Fetzer, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1991

Georgia wines inc, Catoosa county white.  No year given, but apparently celebrating Georgia Wines Inc’s 150th anniversary 

Bel Arbors, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1990

Jaume Serra, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1982 (gift from an old boss a gazillion years ago)

BV Coastal Estates, Merlot, 2002

Cousiño Macul, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1990

Sooooo, which ones do I dump down the drain (probably all), and which do I try to find new homes for if by chance any are still within their drinking window?

Again, I do enjoy the odd glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with a meal on occasion, but literally a glass once every few years, so opening a bottle for my own enjoyment would basically be a huge waste 




Gruet Brut. Not a bad inexpensive champagne.  Open and pour carefully because it is unusually foamy. Been drinking champagne most of my life and worked in clubs forever. Few wine stores carry it but I discovered it many years ago.

Blue Nun, maybe Liebfraumilch 

Lots of Cabernet. 

A Pinot Grigio.

Looks all drinkable but I'm not fussy about white wine so any Pinot Grigio seems fine. Reds , if they are not great you can add to a sauce for pasta.

Why not invite everyone on MOL over and let us evaluate LOL


I'd be happy to get any of your dry white wines.


ina said:

I'd be happy to get any of your dry white wines.

 Unless the label specifically has the word “dry” on it, I have no idea of which ones are dry  oh oh

I’ll most likely be heading to Maplewood this Sunday for the Durand Hedden cooking demonstration.  If you’d like I can bring them out there with me.  Just go over the above list and let me know the names of whichever ones you’d like 


Morganna said:

Gruet Brut. Not a bad inexpensive champagne.  Open and pour carefully because it is unusually foamy. Been drinking champagne most of my life and worked in clubs forever. Few wine stores carry it but I discovered it many years ago.

Blue Nun, maybe Liebfraumilch 

Lots of Cabernet. 

A Pinot Grigio.

Looks all drinkable but I'm not fussy about white wine so any Pinot Grigio seems fine. Reds , if they are not great you can add to a sauce for pasta.

Why not invite everyone on MOL over and let us evaluate LOL

 Unfortunately I’m no longer local.  But I’m coming out Sunday, so if any adults of legal drinking age would like any of these I’d be happy to bring them with me to hand over in person


Unfortunately, because they are alcohol, I will not do porch drop offs, in person only.  

The Moscato seems to be by Gianni Gagliardo, not that that name means anything to me.  Still can’t find a date on the bottle though.  Does “filtrato dolce” mean it is sweet, or that they filtered it to get rid of the sweet?  If the former, I *might* try that one myself, though I have no idea of what to pair a white sweet wine with 


So, of the 19 bottles I have, two are obviously not drinkable (corks rotted/leaked), one is a wine I actually like and purchased for myself  (Sei Amici Dolce Rosso Lambrusco) and one *might* be something I’ll try, the moscato

I didn’t even realize I had the Lambrusco since all the other wines i won’t touch were hiding it.  People mean well, but giving me wine as a gift is a huge waste  oh oh


You can use some as marinade - the alcohol content is cooked off. If you're not sure about some of the other flavours, add a little deep berry/sour cherry (morello) or Polish plum conserve to your mix, and some middle Eastern herbs and spices, and make a lovely slow-cooked hunters stew. 

You can also try to deliberately turn some into classy herbed vinegar. I've seen a YouTube class on it some years ago, but can't remember the link now. Apparently it's really handy for nice gifts. 


There are probably some that would make a great addition to a red pasta sauce, meat or no - make a big batch or two, freeze it in the appropriate portion size for your family and you will be psyched to know it's on hand to defrost for a really simple meal!


spontaneous said:

The Moscato seems to be by Gianni Gagliardo, not that that name means anything to me.

You really expect us to believe this isn’t a bait-and-switch before you ask us to decipher his cause of death?


Should someone be calling in Hank Zona?


Keep the sparkling wine (if it isn't > 5 years old) and down the drain with the rest.   Well, the 2018 is probably ok, but it retails for $6, so no fireworks there.


dave said:

Keep the sparkling wine (if it isn't > 5 years old) and down the drain with the rest.   Well, the 2018 is probably ok, but it retails for $6, so no fireworks there.

I think the 2018 is the only one that is less than five years old.  That one was a Christmas gift from a local pizza place.  We’ve probably been doing Friday night pizza too many times if they’re giving us gifts now  oh oh

This is why I asked, I know nothing about wine and didn’t want to give someone a bottle of funky vinegar with a chaser of botulism.  But I didn’t want to pour it down the drain if it was actually drinkable.  I know enough about wines to know some can be drinkable for decades, and others turn to complete garbage in a few short years.  Other than beaujolais nouveau (a wine that helpfully puts the fact that it’s supposed to be drunk young in its name) I have no idea of which types of wine age well and which don’t 

Lesson learned.  From now on if I receive gifts of wine, I’ll try to rehome them as soon as possible 




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