If there’s nothing you look forward to more than a fun-filled Friday of sipping your favorite red or white, you know how important it is that wine-o-clock matches the vision you’ve clung to all week.
There are a few pitfalls that threaten to prevent you from reaching that grape-flavored bliss. Maybe you don’t have the cash to drop on a $35 bottle, your guests arrive early to lukewarm wine or you’ve misplaced your bottle-opener.
Or maybe your wine is fine and you’re just looking for creative ways to spice up your favorite flavors.
From keeping your drink cool to beating those tough wine stains, here are ten hacks to enrich the lives of all wine-lovers:
1. Quick Chills
If the nine-to-five didn’t let you run to the winery in time to be prepared for your Friday-night entertainment, don’t worry. You can transform your room-temperature wine in 10 minutes with a bucket of cold water, salt and ice. Just pour the water into the bucket, dump in some ice and add salt to regulate the temperature, then give your bottle a little bath. You’ll greet your guests with a nice, chilled welcome.
2. Wrap It
If you don’t have a bucket on hand and still need a quick way to cool down your wine, try an even easier solution. Dampen a paper towel with some cold water, wrap it around your bottle and rest it in the freezer for about 20 minutes. When you pull it out, it will be chilled and ready to serve.
3. Cubed Wine
Ever realized you enjoy the extra chill in your wine when you add a few ice cubes, but you’re not so much a fan of the watered-down taste when the ice melts? You can have the best of both worlds if you add iced wine instead. Grab an ice tray and fill it with wine, then freeze for 48 hours and pop the cubes in your glass to enjoy long-lasting flavor.
4. Key It
If you can’t seem to find your corkscrew or you forgot to pick one up, no worries! The materials needed to pop a bottle open are right at your fingertips. Grab a key from your key-ring and get to work. All you have to do is stab the wine cork at an angle and twist it clockwise around the rim. Just pull the key to set the cork free.
5. Cheese, Please
If you love the taste of wine with a savory snack, maybe you should try your hand at crafting a delicious side of red wine grilled cheese. Add 2 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. flour and ¾ cup of red wine to a small pan and stir over medium heat. When your mixture is thick, spread it on your favorite bread, add some cheese and fry it up! If you’re feeling extra mischievous, you can even enjoy your sandwich with a glass of your favorite wine.
6. Cork Filters
Ever run into the trouble of cork shards clogging your drink? No one likes that kind of surprise in their wine. To keep it cork-free for you and your entertainment, strain the wine through a coffee filter when you pour from the bottle into the glass. It’s easy, cheap and clean.
7. Side Storage
If you want your wine to last longer after the weekend, stop standing it upright in the fridge. Storing wine sideways will preserve a fresh flavor by preventing premature oxidization, and it saves on shelf space if you have multiple bottles to stack.
8. Very Berry
Not into putting your whole paycheck towards a pricey bottle of weekly wine? We understand. You can balance your budget without sacrificing flavor. For a fresh, fruity addition to any glass of cheaper wine, try cutting up strawberries, blueberries or raspberries and adding them to enhance taste. Your indulgence will be cute and colorful, as well!
9. Icy Grapes
For a fun twist on both wine cubes and a berry blast, grab a cluster of red or green grapes and store them in the freezer overnight. When it’s wine time, plop them in your glass for a chilling effect and a tasty treat when you’re done drinking.
10. Stain-Free Solutions
After a night of fun with your favorite wine, you can sometimes find yourself with a stained shirt from a careless splash. To keep your clothes clean after a slip, make sure you have the best solutions for removing wine stains on hand. Try to treat the stain as soon as you see it. Blot the spot with a paper towel, add some table salt, let it sit for a bit and dab the remaining residue with water. For blemishes that don’t come out so easily, keep stain-removal products handy.
Try out these easy ideas to optimize your drinking experience. I hope these hacks help you find creative ways to indulge in your ongoing romance with wine.