Gifted a Bad Bottle of Wine? Here’s What To Do With It


Generally speaking, when at a holiday gift-swapping party, reaching for that cylindrical bottle wrapped in silver foil is a pretty safe bet. We know it can only be one of two things: a bottle of red or a bottle of white — and we certainly don’t discriminate. But there’s nothing worse than reaching for your safe-haven selection, ripping off the paper, and discovering that the same bottle you put your trust in is actually that terrible, horrifying, name-brand wine that you avoid at all costs during your weekly wine- buying run. In fact, it’s so awful, you can’t even stomach the embarrassment of re-gifting it to someone else. So what are you to do with said offensive bottle? Here are seven ways to salvage that gag-worthy gift into a more salutary situation:

Bring it to Your Next Girls’ Night

You know how wine nights go — crack into the good stuff first, save the garbage for when your taste buds (and head) are too loaded to care. We all need that “last bottle of the night,” the one whose only requirement is to have alcohol in it. Trust us —  you’ll be happy you brought the offending bottle along.

Make a Delicious Sangria

In our humble opinion, sangria is always in season. Use that bottle of red to make a delicious, homemade sangria, crafted with brandy and various fruit. White wines make interesting sangrias as well; explore some seasonal creations, like an apple cider sangria for the fall or a crisp coconut sangria in the summer.

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Drink it With Your Mother/Grandmother

Because really, don’t they usually serve you mass-produced wines out of a magnum anyway? When it comes to mom and grandma, it’s the quality time, not the quality wine, that really matters. Regardless of what you’re sipping, you’ll be pleased at the wine night you had together.

Do as the Spanish Do

And make a kalimotxo! What the hell is that, you ask? Simple: half red wine, half cola. It’s that easy! This popular Spanish drink is sweet, simple, and all the rage in Spain. Plus, the sugar in that soda is certain to mask the nasty notes of the unwanted bottle.

Give it to a Younger Relative

You’ll be their hero, seriously — especially if they’re still in college. We all remember what it was like to go to the liquor store at a ripe old age of 21, seeking out the cheapest bottle we could possibly get our hands on. Nothing tastes better than free, and really, their palates are most likely fine with the lesser-quality stuff anyway.

Make Experimental Cocktails

There is a plethora of cocktails out there that require wine as an ingredient, ranging from the classic French 75 all the way to frosé. Throw your undrinkable bottle onto your bar cart for a night of experimental cocktail crafting — who knows what gems could possibly come from your rotten bottle?

And if it’s really that awful…

Use it as a gag gift! Save yourself the embarrassment of re-gifting at your next Secret Santa party and just embrace it for what it is — a terrible bottle of wine. There’s sure to be a wine lover in your life that will laugh at the preposterousness of said bottle.