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What To Do With Your Leftover Wine

Take the French approach.

While it may seem ludicrous that a bottle of wine could survive a weekend unfinished -- having it stare at you on the counter as it spoils is far more offensive -- foolish, even, it does happen.

The good news is that with colder weather comes hearty, slow-cooked meals, which go hand-in-hand with vino.

"Unfinished wine up to a few days old is great for cooking but once it starts to turn to vinegar, it's best for things like dressings," Will Manning, owner and chef at Academy Kitchen & Bar told The Huffington Post Australia.

Generally speaking, both red and white will keep for three to five days, with some lighter white varieties lasting up to seven days.

"Once opened, red and white wine will keep for at least a day at room temperature if sealed with a cork or capsule, but even longer if it's kept in the fridge," Manning said.

"In general, the higher the alcohol and sugar content, the longer it will preserve, so sweet wine will last longer than dry wine and some fortified wine will last virtually forever," Manning said.

Whether it's days-old or not, wine is an essential ingredient in French kitchens, usually accompanying steak and chicken in particular. And much like their approach to butter, good quality is non-negotiable.

To put it simply, don't cook with a variety you wouldn't drink first yourself.

Manning's only other hard and fast rule? "One for the recipe, one for the chef."

Coq Au Vin


  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Olive oil
  • 6 rashers bacon cut into lardons
  • 12 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400ml red wine
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • ¼ bunch thyme
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf


Marinate thighs with wine, garlic, bay leaf and thyme overnight

Remove chicken, simmer the marinade and skim with ladle

Add stock

Sear chicken in oil and place in deep roasting dish

Brown mushrooms, shallots and bacon then add to dish

Pour over liquid and braise in oven at 180C for two hours or until tender

Serve with crusty bread or mash potato

White Wine Poached Pears


  • 3 cups white wine
  • 3 cups caster sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 vanilla beans (split)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (broken)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 pears (peeled & cored)


Bring all ingredients except for the pears to a simmer

Stir to dissolve sugar

Add peeled & cored pears

Gently cook for 30-40 mins until pears are tender

Carefully remove pears and serve with ice-cream & a little cooking liquid

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