The idea of leftover wine may sound mythical (or at least laughable) for some of us. But whether you just had a party or simply can’t soldier through a full bottle solo, at some point you’ll be facing this dilemma: A partially consumed bottle is rattling around your kitchen and the clock is ticking on its drinkability.

Don’t worry. We scoped out some of the healthiest, most efficient, and most fun ways to use up the excess before it’s too late!

First things first: Is wine really healthy?

While doctors won’t be prescribing drinking sprees anytime soon, there are certain benefits to drinking in moderation. Both white and red wine have potential anti-tumor properties and contain substances known to help fend off heart disease.

But since reds boast higher levels of antioxidants, they’re billed as the healthiest members of the wine family. The antioxidants, known as polyphenols, lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and prevent conditions such as blood clots.

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So pour yourself a serving (that’s 5 ounces, BTW) to reap those benefits without going overboard. (The CDC recommends keeping it to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.) And read on to see what to do with the rest of that bottle.

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Once opened, wine immediately starts to oxidize — a process that causes chemical disintegration and results in a beverage that’s faded in color and less potent in flavor and has all-around lost its luster.

The shelf life of wine depends largely on the type you’re using. Is it red, white, or sparkling? Even how dry or sweet your wine is has an impact on how long it’ll last.

Generally red wines hold up better than whites, and aged varieties outlast younger ones, so drink up your pinot grigio before moving on to the malbec. Young wines should hold up for 3 or 4 days and older wines for about a week. The exceptions are dessert wines and port, which can last up to a year after being opened.

The bad news: There’s no real way to significantly extend the life of a bottle once it’s opened. The good news: There are plenty of ways to avoid dumping it down the drain and keep its flavor at its peak during the limited window of freshness.

Ready to use up the bottom of that bottle? If you’re not going to guzzle it, there are two basic approaches: cooking with it and using it for household tasks.

Remember the golden rule of wine: If you wouldn’t drink it (eventually), don’t cook with it! Here are some stellar wine-dish pairings that don’t taste like second choices.

Amount of wine needed: 1/3 cup

Meat and dairy may be off-limits for vegans, but that doesn’t mean wine is off the menu (thank goodness!). This herbivore-friendly dinner uses 1/3 cup of white, along with coconut milk, which offers a dose of infection-fighting lauric acid. Together they form a silky sauce that envelops the oyster mushrooms standing in for scallops.

While robust chardonnays are best for holding up to creamy dishes, really any leftover dry white wine will do here.

Amount of wine needed: 2 cups

Elevate the incredible, edible egg to a whole new level by surrounding it with a rich wine sauce. Using a hefty serving of red whisked into a hearty mixture of veggies, herbs, and bacon, this classic French recipe is a handy way to use up any unfinished full-bodied variety like a shiraz or a malbec.

Serve with a hunk of crusty garlic bread to help sop up all that wined-up, yolky goodness — your daily serving of protein couldn’t get more delicious.

Amount of wine needed: just under 1/2 cup

A touch of cream and a splash of leftover white wine are all you need to create a velvety topping for this easy bruschetta. Stir it in to a saute with mushrooms — some of which could contain nutritionally relevant amounts of vitamin D if they’ve been exposed to UV radiation — and spoon over baguette pieces topped with halloumi cheese.

Result: a wow-worthy appetizer or the ideal meaty-yet-light side for a simple salad.

(Note that this recipe uses metric measurements instead of U.S. standard, but there’s no need to be exact with the cheese slices and cream.)

Amount of wine needed: 1/2 cup

Broccoli is anything but boring when it’s been braised in wine! Flora Foodie’s recipe takes barely 10 minutes and uses just 6 ingredients, letting the fruitiness of the white wine and freshness of the lemon really shine through.

A mere 2 teaspoons of melted Earth Balance give this dish its crunchy, buttery breadcrumb topping. Keep this healthy, fiber-full side dish in mind the next time you need to finish that bottle of sauvignon blanc (or want an excuse to open a new one).

Amount of wine needed: 1/2 cup

Turn the dregs at the bottom of the bottle into the key ingredient for this zippy sauce to be ladled generously over pasta or used as a dip for bread or a base for pizza.

Fresh tomatoes provide vitamin C and calcium, balsamic vinegar adds a sweet and tangy kick, and the vino brings in a sophisticated, antioxidant-enriched depth. Going with a 1/2 cup of a bold red wine like a zinfandel will prove that a little will go a long way.

Amount of wine needed: 3 tablespoons

Caramelized onions are a revelation, but this marmalade takes things up a notch by browning this potentially blood pressure-regulating veggie in a reduction of wine, vinegar, and butter. If you’ve got some uncorked pinot noir — or any other dry red — sitting around, now’s the time to call it into action.

Spoon the sweet and savory mixture onto goat cheese-smeared crostini for a cocktail party in your palm!

Amount of wine needed: 1/4 cup

Although red wine might seem like an unusual ingredient for a dish containing tofu, the small serving used for this one-pot meal not only complements the more traditionally Asian elements of garlic, soy, and Thai basil but also gives them warmth and complexity.

Since it’s competing with other strong flavors, be sure you’re using a heartier wine that can hold its own, like a petit syrah.

Brimming with veggies and made even more hearty with protein-packed tofu, this nourishing one-pot meal is both delicious and comforting.

Amount of wine needed: 1 cup

Ditch the syrupy canned kind and class up your next BBQ with this slightly tipsy version of baked beans.

The combination of tomato paste and red wine gives the classic side a more refined sweetness and a lower glycemic index than if you were to use plain old sugar. Make it a few days in advance to let the sauce further permeate the beans.

Amount of wine needed: 1/4 cup

Channel the flavors of summer, no matter what the calendar says, with this effortless pasta. Tomatoes (let’s hear it for lycopene!) get paired with plenty of flavonoid-filled fresh basil. A quarter-cup of white wine and a squirt of lemon make up the light sauce.

Sauvignon blanc works well here for a fruity, herbal punch that isn’t too overpowering. A dusting of grated Parmesan cheese adds a subtle salty finish without a sodium overload. And if the weather cooperates, have this bowl alfresco.

Amount of wine needed: 1 1/2 cups

Had one glass of wine before bed last night and now you’re faced with almost an entire bottle to use up before it goes bad? Enter drunken pasta. The noodles spend half their cooking time in water and the other half soaking in a bath of red, so don’t scrimp on quality here — the recipe recommends a good chianti or zinfandel.

Pecorino Romano cheese, parsley, garlic, and chiles are the only other ingredients needed to make this nutritious and dramatic dish. Just look at that striking mauve tint — total dinner party (or date night) material!

Amount of wine needed: 1 cup

Risotto is delicious, but let’s face it: It takes foreeeeeever to make. This recipe uses naturally gluten-free quinoa in place of rice to drastically slash the cooking and stirring time.

The rest of the ingredients are familiar risotto fare, including a full cup of dry white wine (leftover pinot grigio fits the bill) to add a deeper, slightly acidic layer to the otherwise creamy concoction. Spinach provides a pop of color and some extra iron and vitamin K.

Who knew wine could get even sweeter?

Amount of wine needed: 1 cup

A cake that contains wine and chocolate and still remains whole-wheat, vegan, and free of refined sugar? Your prayers have been answered. Love Food Eat’s recipe cleverly mixes a cup of red wine with strawberry jam and olive oil for a lightly sweet and slightly fruity dessert. A heavy hit of cocoa powder ensures it’s still super chocolaty.

Whole-wheat baked goods run the risk of being overly dense, but the moisture from the alcohol keeps this one fluffy. It’s the ultimate “have your cake and eat it too” sitch.

Amount of wine needed: 1 1/2 cups

It’s Good Humor all grown up. Containing a double dose of antioxidants from the fruit and wine and just a touch of simple syrup, these three-ingredient pops deserve a spot in your regular dessert rotation.

While this recipe calls for cherries and merlot, it’s got our wheels turning for countless other equally healthy cocktail-inspired combos: blackberries and pinot noir, blueberries and cabernet, peaches and prosecco… go forth and experiment!

Amount of wine needed: 1/2 cup

Paleo people, rejoice: Red wine is generally recognized as acceptable on the “caveman” diet. Honor those ancient urges for wine and chocolate by making these ridiculously easy four-ingredient paleo truffles.

No specific type of red needed here — use whatever you have on hand and the results will still be smooth, rich, and melt-in-your-mouth delectable. Small but filling, they’re also a portion-controlled way to tame a sweet tooth.

Amount of wine needed: 3 1/2 cups

This simple jelly requires a full bottle a wine but only three other ingredients. You’ll also need some canning gear — jars, a canning rack, a jar lifter, and a large pot — because the sealed jars need to be boiled before they’re stored.

A bit of this jelly would make a perfect addition to a cheese board or even a tasty spread for your breakfast bagel. And because the recipe makes several jars, you’ll have enough to enjoy for months (or share with friends!).

Amount of wine needed: 6 tablespoons

When done right, wine plus chocolate is a match made in antioxidant heaven — the intensity of the former highlights the subtle nuances of the latter. But, as this recipe shows, the proof is in the batter.

There’s no skimping on the butter or sugar here, but these treats are made with whole foods and have an ultrafudgy finish. A luscious glaze tops off the whole shebang.

Amount of wine needed: 1 cup

Were you gifted a bottle of dessert wine that’s now collecting dust? Dig it out for a tart-and-sweet sauce to drizzle over this traditional Portuguese bread pudding. Pieces of day-old baguette absorb the liquid beautifully, and coconut milk keeps the dish dairy-free.

The sauce alone is so versatile that you can also use it to jazz up store-bought pound cake or even pour over some ice cream.

Amount of wine needed: 1/2 cup

Splash that remaining moscato from last Sunday’s brunch into this summery blend of fruit and fizz. Taking all of 20 seconds to whip up, this smoothie is great for a buzzy weekend breakfast or as a fun twist on a nightcap.

As with many other recipes on this list, you can make this your launchpad for endless variations. Throw in berries and melons or proseccos and rieslings.

Amount of wine needed: 1/2 cup

These ingredients might sound like an unusual combo, but hear us out. Heart-healthy olive oil gives these cupcakes an earthy depth, and soaked basil leaves infuse them with a savory undertone and lovely specks of green.

Half a cup of fruity white wine is perfect for keeping with the herby theme and providing a complex sweetness without adding more sugar. If you’ve got an unused white zinfandel or sauternes, bring it to this bake-off!

Amount of wine needed: 3 cups

Since this recipe calls for a good 3 cups of red wine, you may need to intetionally save the better part of a bottle for it, but it’ll be well worth it. High fiber Bosc pears spend a full half hour imbibing a bubbling mixture of red wine, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until they’re tinged pink and positively drunk on the sweet and spicy flavors.

Gild the lily by pouring the remaining sauce all over them before devouring. It’s all the fun of wine with none of the next-day headache.

Amount of wine needed: 1 cup

If you thought panna cotta was too intimidating to attempt, this recipe will convince you otherwise.

Nonfat Greek yogurt in place of cream lightens things up, adding a serious boost of protein and calcium while retaining the thick, creamy consistency of traditional versions.

Use organic honey, which offers extra immunity support and digestive health benefits. Dried apricots can be tough, but when cooked down in white wine, they become tender and even sweeter.

Any remaining sauce can be slathered on your morning oatmeal or drizzled on frozen desserts. That is, if you don’t just spoon it directly into your mouth.

Amount of wine needed: 1/2 bottle

Malbec works amazingly well in this chunky, summery granita. While it takes a few hours of prep, the process isn’t difficult. And the result is stunning: Burgundy wine against the off-white vanilla bean makes a dramatic statement, and the icy granules and silky ice cream provide a wonderful contrast in texture.

Got less than half a bottle of wine? Just halve the recipe — or, even better, fill in the gap with inflammation-fighting cranberry juice.

Those wine remnants can be put to much better use around the house than they can down the drain.

Type of wine: white

Is the oil accumulation in your garage or on your outdoor grill grossing you out? Scrub off the grease a mixture of white wine and baking soda. Both are effective at absorbing stains and leaving the area looking as good as new.

For the best results, let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it off.

Type of wine: red

If you opened a bottle of red only to discover that it was simply unquaffable, don’t throw it out. Rinsing off fruits and vegetables with a bit of wine along with water can kill unwanted bacteria on their surfaces.

Type of wine: red

Why blow money on overpriced spa treatments when the answer to your skin care needs is sitting in a bottle of red?

Next time you take a bath, spike the water with a liberal pour (think a cup or two) of leftover red wine. Its reparative resveratrol and exfoliating tartaric acid can soften, disinfect, and regenerate your skin, leaving it looking smoother. Pour yourself another glass to sip while you soak.

Type of wine: white

It’s the dreaded dinner party accident: Someone sloshes their glass of red onto your precious cream-colored rug (or couch or pants… but hopefully not pants — cream is tough to pull off).

Before you blacklist them from future gatherings, know that there’s a quick fix. Fight fire with fire! White wine has been known to help eliminate red wine stains. Pour some over the stained area, let it soak for 10 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water.

Think of this as hair of the dog, but for spilled wine.

Type of wine: red

Turn a vice into a virtue by using wine as an earth-friendly recycling tool. Dump the last few drops into your compost bin, where it’ll activate the bacteria inside and eventually boost the growth of your garden. With one simple move, you can make your thumb greener, your conscience clearer, and your plants a lot happier.

Wine storage tips

Here are four ways you can store your wine to get the absolute most out of it:

1. Buy smaller bottles. It’s a lot easier to polish off 375 milliliters than 750 in one sitting. Another option is just to pour your wine into a smaller bottle if you can’t finish it all. That’ll minimize the oxidation. Remember to re-cork it tightly!

2. Buy boxed wine. While boxed wines started off with an, um, questionable reputation, their quality has improved. Now they boast benefits that can compete with their bottled counterparts, not just in cost and environmental friendliness but in shelf life too. Opened boxes can last as long as 2 months, compared to merely 5 days for bottled wine. See? It pays to think inside the box!

3. Keep things cool. As the existence of wine coolers suggests, it’s important to keep bottles away from too much heat or light, which can ruin the wine’s flavor. The optimal storage temperature is 55°F (12–13°C). If you don’t have a cooler, try a dark cupboard or the fridge.

4. Freeze it. Pour any remaining wine into ice cube trays for short-term storage. While you may not want to straight-up drink it after thawing, it becomes a great pinch hitter when you need an extra flavor boost for sauces, glazes, or stews.

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As wine gets better with age, so does its usefulness. Just because you don’t plan to drink every drop doesn’t mean you can’t get the most value out of it by using it in other ways.

Give one or more of these recipes a try to possibly find some new favorites. And keep in mind some of wine’s other potential uses for around the house.