29 Novel Uses For Wine (That DON'T Involve Drinking!)

29 Novel Uses For Wine (That DON'T Involve Drinking!)

Going on an alcohol-free stint, or have some leftover wine lying around after a heavy night?

Whilst it may not be good to drink - or particularly appealing depending on how rough you feel - it's not to say you should pour it down the drain.

There are loads of uses for wine that don't involve drinking at all, and today we're sharing them with you.

So put down your wine glass, and let's get started.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in September 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2019.  

1. Dye a t-shirt

pink wine dyed t-shirt
Surprisingly pretty!

Give that old white t-shirt Summer-holiday ready with wine! You can find out details on how to do this at From The Cellar. Make sure you wash your wine-dyed items separately for a few washes so the colour doesn't transfer. If you're feeling wacky, why not try your hand at wine tie-dye too?

2. Red wine ice cream floats

GET in my mouth.
GET in my mouth.

Forget ice cream floats, for grownups, Mind over Batter have created the red wine ice cream float.

All you need to make them are sparkling red wine, maraschino cherries and vanilla ice cream.

3. Mussels

Hungry? Now you are...
Hungry? Now you are...

When done right, mussels are truly divine. should not be left from this list. This dish of mussels in white wine from Daily Gourmet would make a perfect evening meal, especially when served with a side of chips or some fresh baguette.

4. Red wine ice lollies

So summery
So summery.

Think lolly pops are just for the kids? Think again
These little beauties are the perfect thing for a warm summer Saturday. All you need are strawberries, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar and a cup of sweet red wine. For the recipe check out Pastry Affair. Summer can't come quick enough!

5. Bathe in it

Before you picture a bath overflowing in red wine, we're only talking about a glass or two added to your bath. The antioxidants have been said to work at softening skin, shifting cellulite and leaving you feeling invigorated.

6. Pasta sauce with leftover wine


In our opinion, the best place for leftover wine is in food. Haley at Cheap Recipe Blog has come up with a tasty pasta sauce recipe using leftover wine. It looks incredibly easy to make, and will make a cheap evening meal.

7. Make frozen wine cubes

If you've ever even glanced at Pinterest for a even a second, chances are you've come across some frozen ice wine cubes. Pour your leftover wine into an ice cube tray and store it for future use. As soon as you come across a recipe that calls for wine, pop out a few cubes and you're ready to go. Use them to de-glaze a pan and if you've got enough then make up a wine-slush for a hot summer day.

These are also great if you want to chill your wine fast, without watering it down.

8. Wine vinegar

Wine vinegar has real zing to it and will make any boring old salad bright and tasty. Why not try making your own? You'll save a lot of money!

9. Remove a red wine stain...

...with white wine! Yes, believe it or not, the best way to get rid of wine stains is with the thing that caused it.

Pour a small amount of white over the red and use a clean, absorbent towel to blot the stain. Never rub or wipe as this will push the stain deeper into the fabric.

10. Clean your fruit & veg

Mark Daeschel of Oregan State University found that there are properties in wine that are antimicrobial. This means you can use leftover wine to clean your fruit and vegetables and as a general disinfectant too. Who knew?

11. Jazz up your brunch with a Mimosa

Making Mimosas at home is easy. If you're in the party mood and have some bubbles leftover then this is the best way to start your day - bright and orange-y!

Mix equal parts prosecco or champagne with orange juice and hey presto!

12. Get rid of grease stains

Mix a little white wine with some baking soda and use it to scrub grease stains from your BBQ. Let the mixture sit on the stains before wiping it off. Hey-presto, a de-greased BBQ!

13. Red wine lollipops

Great idea for Valentine's Day.
Great idea for Valentine's Day.

Here's another sweet treat you can make with wine: Boozy lollipops? Perfect for Valentine's!

Sprinkle Bakes has written a delightful recipe for you to try your hand at your very own red wine lollipops.

14. Mulled wine

Christmas is coming...
Hurry up Christmas!

A seasonal favourite, if you've got some spare wine at Christmas then make a tasty batch of spiced mulled wine! It'll go down a treat for guests coming in out of the cold.

15. Wine marinade

If you're a keen cook then you'll love using leftover wine in a marinade to help tenderise meat. We've found a really helpful tutorial on how to create your own marinades at wineFolly.com. It includes all the information you need including excellent tips and recipes.

16. Poach fruit

Simple , elegant stuff.
Simple , elegant stuff.

Create a lovely, light dessert this evening by poaching some fruit, if you need some help, Mother Thyme has a step-by-step guide.

17. Poach eggs

Go on, make me some breakfast.
Go on, make me some breakfast.

Forget fruit, poach eggs in white wine instead! 101 Cookbooks has the perfect recipe that would make an amazing breakfast or even starter!

18. Clean kitchen counters & dirty windows

If you've got leftover white wine, add it to a spray bottle full of water and use it to clean your dirty windows, mirrors and kitchen counters with a scrunched up bit of newspaper. It will shine them like vinegar!

19. Chocolate brownies

I'll take 43 please.
We'll take 43 please.

What's better than chocolate? Chocolate and wine! Your dregs of wine will go beautifully in this red wine chocolate fudge brownies recipe from Butter Me Up Brooklyn. If you need any testers, we'd be happy to oblige.

20. Wine jellies

Jelly: it's not just for kids.
Jelly: it's not just for kids.

Here's another wine-based pudding, this time from Tesco. Why not make you and your dinner guests some sparkling wine jellies. They look so glamorous, don't they?

21. Sangria

STOP... it's Sangria time! Why not celebrate with a jug? This drink would make any table look brighter and is relatively cheap to make too.

Go on - spoil your guests.

22. Make a cake

Chocolate + Wine = Cake
Chocolate + Wine = Cake

With a cup and half of red wine you can knock up the cake pictured above. It's certainly a show-stopper! For details on how it was made, please check out Cakebook.

23. Add it to your compost heap

You should never throw wine away. If you've got a leftover wine from a party then add it to your compost heap. It acts as a compost accelerator as it's full of nitrogen and moisture, but make sure you balance it out with some dry materials. 

24. Get rid of limescale

limescale shower head

Did you know you can use wine to help get rid of mineral build-ups on sinks, toilets, shower doors and more? Spray white wine onto it, leave for 30 minutes then wipe clean.

25. Have a Spritzer

It's very easy to put together a red or white wine spritzer. It's a wonderful drink for summer, will help you manage your drinks better, and is cheaper too! Why not try it for yourself?

26. Skin toner

If you want smooth, clear and soft skin then soak a few cotton balls in red wine and apply to your skin before you sleep. Let it air-dry and head to bed!

It's full of antioxidants and tannins so acts as an astringent on skin.

27. Red wine spaghetti

red wine spaghetti
Looks just like meat!

Would you look how pretty this spaghetti is! Using red wine, you can create this superb-looking dish for your friends and family. For the recipe, head to Tasty.

28. Bread & wine on bruises

Perhaps an old wives' tale, but worth a try - soak bread in wine and apply it to bruises to help them heal. As wine is rich in antioxidants, it is said to have beneficial effects.

29. Sorbet

Cleanse me oh sorbet.
Pretty as a peach!

That classic palette-cleanser sorbet is great with the addition of wine. We've found a wonderful looking peach and white wine sorbet recipe from Vin de Peche.

Leftover wine - sorted! Now you'll never need to pour it down the sink again. If you've got more uses for wine, we'd love to hear them in the comments below...

Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author Maureen O'Brien on September 5, 2015 at 8:16 am

    What's leftover wine?

    1. Author Colleen B on September 9, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Ha ha - it's a mysterious liquid indeed!

    2. Author Carol Bull on April 11, 2016 at 12:08 am

      who the hell has a problem with left over wine?

    3. Author Colleen B on April 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      Ha ha, we know it's a rare occurrence!

  2. Author Lesley Reeves on November 25, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    My sister will love the wine sorbets and lolly ideas - they look great but I don't like booze so she can have all the fun of trying them out.

    1. Author Colleen B on November 29, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      We hope your sister enjoys them Lesley and thanks for reading!

  3. Author Donatello46 on November 25, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Having read the previous comments, I must agree for the most part, what is leftover wine (apart from a very old song by Melanie Safka). But then, I thought back to various parties where guests thirsts exceeded their capacity or in some cases, their memory as to where they had left their glass! The next morning is, of course, the clean-up marathon and, since I am not inclined to "minesweep" the dregs in the glasses, it make sense to try and use up the remains. And, yes, I have gathered up the wines and the spirits (suitably sorted like washing into whites, coloureds and others), frozen them down for use in cooking - I just hate to see waste at the best of times and wasting good booze is, well, alcohol abuse (just my opinion of course). However, when it comes to cleaning windows, ceramic hobs or other vitreous surfaces, VODKA knocks everything else (apart perhaps from distilled vinegar) into a cocked hat. My best to you Coleen and to all of the contributors that you attract to this forum/blog, if I have no cause to comment in the near future, then my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to one and all.

    1. Author Colleen B on November 29, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Donatello - thank you for your kind words and teehee at waste being 'alcohol abuse'. Thank you for your tip about Vodka - we will have to look into that. If we don't see you comment between now and the holidays, then a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Expert Home Tips. :)

  4. Author Jean on January 21, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I have been adding red wine to pasta sauce for years!! Also I add it to gravy😋

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 21, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Sounds delicious, Jean!

  5. Author Annette on January 21, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    On QI recently, they proved that adding white wine to get rid of red wine is a myth. They did a demo in the show. You can only blot up as much as you can by standing on an old towel and pressing down hard.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 21, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Annette! That's funny - it worked for us. Perhaps just a trick of the mind, though!


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