- Posted by The CorkGuru
Every bar manager or restaurant owner has been there: it’s the end of a shift and there you are, standing over a sink, watching hundreds of dollars worth of potential wine sales flowing down the drain, only because the wine is no longer servable to your valued guests.
No matter how much pumping your bartenders do at the end of the night, wine waste is going to happen. But there’s no reason at all you should be tossing your tasty wine (and money) out the window. Especially considering there are so many delicious and creative things you can be doing to maximize your restaurant’s profit, by minimizing your wine waste.
Let’s take a gander at some ingenious recipes and ideas your management team could be implementing to decrease your losses and get more bang for your buck!
Put your old red wine in a spray bottle and use it to clean vegetables, or as a general disinfectant!
“According to a study by microbiologist and food scientist Mark Daeschel of Oregon State University, there are several properties in wine that are antimicrobial and can be used not just to clean fruits and veggies, but as a general disinfectant. Different varietals performed differently, but most wines are alike in that using them to rinse off an apple or bunch of grapes will kill most bacteria on the surface. Daeschel tested red wine-based disinfectant and hydrogen peroxide on samples of Formica that had been coated with a test microbe, and both substances showed similar antibacterial properties. Now fruit is a bit more porous than Formica, but the study—while old—led to the hope that bad, unwanted, or otherwise unpalatable wine could be used as a cleaning agent.”
Cook with it, duh!
Chef Julia Child once said she would never cook with wine she wouldn’t drink herself (and she loved drinking wine!), but the New York Times disagrees with that line of thinking. They actually did a whole experiment proving that cooking with old wine is just fine!
At CorkGuru, we’re partial to this beef bourguignonne recipe that would be a perfect addition to your restaurant’s fall offerings, and this (vegan) red wine chocolate cake that would deliciously round off any dessert menu. And, if you have some leftover chardonnay or pinot grigio, maybe try adding white wine poached eggs to your brunch options!
Red Wine Vinegar!
Red wine vinegar is a staple of every restaurant’s pantry, and there’s absolutely no reason why your restaurant or winebar should be buying it! Especially if you’ve got leftover red wine.
Mulled Wine or Sbiten(?)
Why not incorporate that old wine into another wine-based libation for your guests? The cold nights of fall and winter is the perfect time of year for mulled wine or sbiten.
You’ve probably heard of mulled wine and here is a delicious recipe from Danny Boome. But have you heard of sbiten?
Sbiten is a old traditional Russian drink, similar to mulled wine, that’s a little lighter, healthier and similar to a fruity tea. And why not offer your guests something that they more than likely haven’t tried before?
There are many other ways you can use your leftover wine instead of throwing it out. Everything from freezing it for marinara, to using it for your skin! And hopefully these ideas and suggestions will inspire your team to help you reduce your overhead. And if all else fails, we’re confident that your staff will be more than happy to take home some of those old bottles after a long shift.