What to Do with Left Over Sparkling Wine

Close up of a bottle of bubbly filling up a flute

We’ve got ideas.

By Erin Henderson

By now, you may be looking at your holiday leftovers and wondering what to do with it all.

The half-tins of Christmas cookies, the dregs of holiday cheeseboards, the half-full Champagne bottles left over from your New Year’s fête.

I can’t really help you with the cookies, though I do have thoughts – and a terrific recipe – on the bits and bobs of cheese. And, I can certainly give you some options on using up that unfinished fizz.

Of course, you can’t expect your sparkling wine to be as bubbly as it was when you popped the cork. Like any carbonated beverage, the clock starts ticking as soon as it’s opened. However, I can share some delicious ideas for making your wine work double time.

Drink It

This may surprise you but drinking your sparkling wine – sans sparkles – is still a tasty option.

Years ago, I was having lunch with the head winemaker from Mumm in Champagne, and he confided he prefers his fizz a little flat. His reasoning was there were no bubbles to distract from the true taste and aromatics of the wine.

So, if it doesn’t offend your sensibilities, carry on drinking your bubble-less bubbly as you would any other wine.

You may also like: How to Keep an Open Bottle of Wine Fresh

Cook With It

If you really can’t get passed the idea of drinking a flat fizz, cook with it the way you might any other wine.

Sparkling wines are naturally high in acidity, and since you want brighter acid when it comes to cooking with wine, this is a great choice for your kitchen projects.

Adding a sparkling splash to your risotto makes for a bougie dinner, Champagne jellies for dessert make for a luxe dessert, and poaching shrimp or mussels in sparkling wine gives a bit of pizazz to the standard recipes.

You may also like: How to Cook with Wine 

Make Simple Syrup

Elevate your cocktails with sparkling simple syrup.

Replace some or all of the water in a standard simple syrup recipe with your left-over bubbly. (The basic recipe for simple syrup is 1:1 ratio of water to sugar set over low heat and simmered until the sugar has dissolved.)

Using sparkling wine in place of water loans an added dimension to cocktails such as a French 75.

You may also like: How to Make Sparkling Simple Syrup (video)

Freeze It

When I was in Provence, which gets stifling hot in the summer, it was common practice to order wine “a la piscine.” Which meant ordering your wine (typically rosé) with ice cubes made from the same wine.

Turning your unused bubbly into ice is a terrific option for punches, sangrias, and spritzes to keep your drinks chilled without watering them down.

Your next read: How to Throw a Stress-Free and Stylish Cocktail Party

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