Some wines just aren’t good. Whether it is an individual’s tastes that just don’t quite agree with the bottle, or whether the wine itself just isn’t that great, sometimes it might be necessary to hunt down a way to improve the flavour so the bottle doesn’t go to waste.
Below are seven tips on how to make red wine taste better:
1. Aerate the wine
The interaction of the air with the wine causes oxidization, which can help improve a wine’s taste. There are a few different ways to aerate wine. The first is to use an aerator. This device screws onto the wine bottle and aerates as it pours.
A decanter is another way to aerate the wine. It is a vessel that holds the entire bottle of wine and is designed for this purpose. Third, swishing the wine back and forth between two containers can do the trick, or swirling it around in the glass. And finally, pulsing it in a blender works too.
2. Chill the wine
Red wine is generally served slightly less cold than white wines or rosé. This is because the slightly warmer temperature allows all of the flavours to come out in full force. If a red wine’s flavours aren’t particularly agreeable, chill the wine to soften them up a bit.
On a hot summer day, you can even turn the wine into a refreshing slushie! By freezing it and then blending it, or blending the wine with some ice, it will become a nice slushie treat for a hot summer day – or any day!
3. Combine the wine
Combining a bad tasting red wine with another one (preferably one that tastes better) is another way to improve the flavour of a bad red. The danger here is that it may not actually improve the flavour and then two bottles of wine will be ruined. A good tip is to try to buy high-quality red wines that are similar in character.
Similarly, adding something bubbly to red wine will help to dilute some of those stronger flavours. Anything from sparkling water to Sprite, ginger ale, or even Coke are good bubbly beverages to add.
4. Mix the wine with other ingredients
For wine that is boring and watery, add a squeeze of lemon. This will brighten up the acidity and balance it out a bit, giving the wine a little more character.
In addition, mixing different juices and fruits into the wine can also make it taste better. It will make the wine much sweeter, but the combination of juices and fruits will undoubtedly mix into a tasty sangria.
5. Cook with the wine
In general, most people will say not to cook with wine that isn’t drinkable. And that is true, especially if the meal is for a special occasion. However, if the bottle is just going to waste, it doesn’t hurt to bake it into a dessert or cook a meal with it. The flavours from the food might help cover up whatever it is about the wine that isn’t enjoyable.
6. Turn the wine into a dessert
Granitas are an Italian iced dessert kind of like a mixture between a slush and an ice cream. Mix wine with a bit of simple syrup and then freeze it to make this delicious treat.
7. Use plastic wrap
If the wine has been corked – that is, if it smells kind of like mildew – it is ruined. If that is all that is available and it is necessary to drink it, swishing a ball of plastic wrap around in the wine will help remove that smell and flavour of mildew. The wine will still be ruined, but it will make it possible to mix it with juice or other beverages in a punch, sangria, or cocktail.