If you're drinking good wine, there shouldn't be any left over, but we all forget to finish a bottle from time to time, or open a bottle we didn't particularly enjoy. Before you toss it out, use it as a rinse for fruits and vegetables. The acids in the wine serve as a great cleaner to get dirt and other impurities off of tomorrow night's dinner.
Photo by Ralph Unden.
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. Each variety 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 and hydrogen peroxide on samples of Formica that had been coated with a test microbe. 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.
While we don't suggest you soak your fruits and vegetables, running an apple under a little leftover wine after rinsing it off with water will definitely result in a cleaner apple. If it tastes a little like wine, consider it a bonus.