what to do with old unopened wine

If you have noticed that the bottles in your wine rack are looking a little dusty, you might start thinking about what to do with old unopened wine?

There is a point when bottles of wine are no longer good to drink. When the wine you have on your wine racks is old, out-of-date, and unopened, you don’t have to just toss it out.

There are several things you can do to give these old bottles of wine another life. You will be surprised at the number of things that can be done with unopened bottles of expired wine.

Creative people have found what to do with unopened old wine.

You will learn how to create everything from health and medicinal remedies to food items, to pest control products, so don’t throw your old wine bottles away just yet.

How Can You Tell if a Bottle of Unopened Old Wine is Bad?

unopened bottle wine

The first thing you should do when you find an unopened bottle of old wine is determined whether it is still good or definitely past its prime.

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Wine is already an alcoholic beverage that gets better with age.

That being said, it can still be past the time when it is safe to drink. But how do you know?

There are ways you can tell if a bottle of unopened wine is old or not.

Type of Wine

The rule of thumb is most white and rose wines that are still unopened can last from one to two years.

Red wines are still okay to drink for two to three years.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines last a little bit longer – non-vintage bottles are good for three to four years and vintage anywhere from five to 10 years.

Color – You can tell right away, even before opening it, if a bottle of wine is good by the color of it. White may look yellow and red wine might look more on the brown side.

Smell – Once you open the wine it will be apparent that it has gone bad because it will smell like vinegar and you’ll know it’s already spoiled.

Note: If you look at the unopened bottle of wine and you already know it is old, you can probably tell by looking at it that it is not good.

What to Do With Old Unopened Wine – Top 8 Things!

eight ways to reuse

Once you know that you are definitely not going to be raising your glass with the contents of your old wine, it is not a total loss.

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There are several things you can do with the old wine before you pour it down the drain.

1. Make your Own Vinegar

When you open up your old bottle of wine you may notice that it already smells like vinegar.

You can let it sit in the now open bottle for a week or two until it completely ferments. Strain it and it is ready to use.

2. Use it as a Marinade

Even if you have no desire to try to drink the wine from an old bottle, you can use it to cook with.

Pour red wine over beef and white over chicken or fish and you have a quick and easy marinade.

3. Get rid of your Wrinkles

You can make your own natural facial by mixing 2 tablespoons of old red wine, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and a tablespoon of honey.

Combine it well then spread it on your face, let it stay on for about 15 minutes, then wash it off.

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4. Turn your T-Shirts into tie-dye works of art

wine tie dye

You can use old wine to tie-dye your shirts the same way you would use regular dye.

Heat the bottle of wine on the stove, wad up your t-shirt into a ball, and put rubber bands all around it.

Take the wine off the stove, drop the shirt into the wine. You can let it stay in the wine for as long as you like.

When you take it out, take the rubber bands off and admire your cool new shirt.

5. Add it to your tomato sauce

The next time you are making a pot of homemade tomato sauce, see if you can find an old unopened bottle of red wine.

Open it up and put a good splash in your sauce. The wine will add a richness that will become your new secret ingredient.

6. Can up some homemade jelly

The recipe for wine jelly is one part wine, two parts fruit, two parts sugar, and a half-ounce of pectin every two cups.

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7. Use white wine as a disinfectant

Put your old white wine in a spray bottle and you can use it to clean and disinfect your kitchen counters.

Make sure you are using white wine – red wine will stain your counters.

8. Make your windows sparkle

You can use the spray bottle of wine you used in your kitchen to clean your windows.

Wipe with microfiber cloths or newspaper and you’ll soon be looking out of clean, streak-free windows.

As they say in the commercials, but wait, there’s more! Don’t throw those old bottles away. Here are ways to recycle those formerly unopened old wine bottles.

Note: After seeing all the things you can do with old unopened wine you might want to check your wine racks more often!

How to Give Old Wine Bottles a Second Life Once They Are Opened

opened bottles of wine

Feed the birds

Drill a hole at the base of the bottle, and attach it to a small dish and you have a home-style bird feeder.

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Fill it with bird seeds and wrap a hanger around the neck so you can place it on a tree limb to provide food for the birdies.

Light up your driveway

You can fill the bottles with solar lights, turn them upside down and push them into the dirt that lines your driveway – or any other place outside you’d like a little light.

Use them as flower vases

You can put real or silk single stem flowers in your old wine bottle. Put them around the house or group them together.

Make a fancy herbed vinegar dispenser

You can get pourers that will screw into the neck of the bottles and fill them with the homemade vinegar you made from the wine.

Water your plants while you are away

This is an easy one. Wash out the old wine bottle thoroughly. Fill it with water, hold your finger over the top of the bottle, turn it over, and put it at the base of your plant.

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It will keep your plant hydrated for about three days.

Tip: There are so many ways to use your old wine bottles over again. Most do not need any special equipment and you can complete these projects in minutes.


Now that you know what to do with old unopened wine, you can take advantage of all the different ways you can keep enjoying them over and over.

You can use them when cooking when cleaning, and even use the bottles to decorate with.

One thing you won’t have to consider doing with your old bottle of unopened wine is throwing them away!