Party Leftovers - Cheese, Wine and Wine Corks

Solving The Leftover Dilemma

When your friends and relatives have finally said goodbye (and left you in peace), there’s the task of clean up, everyone’s favorite. If you have a few pieces of cheese, a bottle or two of wine, and a half-dozen corks remaining…here’s what to do. Any left over Cheese, avoid reusing the original plastic wrap the cheese came in because the fine coating of oil left on the wrapper will prevent an airtight seal. Instead, re-wrap the cheese in new plastic wrap, waxed paper, or aluminum foil.

To avoid mixing of different flavors, cheeses should be wrapped for storage individually, preferably in tight-fitting plastic wrap.

Helpful Tip

How about a Cheese Spread - 1-pound leftover cheese, any type (even mixed cheeses), diced 6 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon dry mustard 3/4 cup dry white wine, saké or dry vermouth 1 teaspoon black pepper In a food processor, mix all ingredients and process until creamy. Remove and place into a tightly covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Wine Freeze leftover wine—white, red, or rosé, in ice-cube trays, then seal in plastic bags so you will always have a few cubes on hand for flavoring soups, stews, or marinades. If you put a large toothpick into the cube just before it freezes, you will have a wine ice-pop to suck on while watching television! (It works for me!) If you have leftover bottles of wine after a party, firmly replace the cork and place into the refrigerator standing up.

This includes, white, rosé, and YES, even red wine. When stored at colder temperatures the chemical processes slow down, including the process of oxidation that takes place when wine is exposed to oxygen. Now, the following day remove the red wine from the refrigerator several hours before dinner, so it will warm back up to room temperature.

Corks, corks are actually the bark of an evergreen oak tree grown principally in Portugal and Spain, although the tree also grows in Algeria, Sardinia, Morocco, Tunisia, and France. Corks are excellent fire-starters for fireplaces or wood burning stoves. To use, take a single sheet of newspaper and line about a dozen corks end-to-end. Loosely roll the paper and crimp the ends so the corks don’t drop out. Add small pieces of kindling and light the newspaper. Then add smaller, thinner logs as the fires takes hold. If the fire appears to be dying down with still some un-burnt logs, add several corks around the log and watch the corks burst into flames. If you don’t have a fireplace or wood burning stove, the corks can be made into a corkboard or be given to friends, who specialize in arts and crafts.

Happy Party Leftover Day! 

Written by Bob Lipinski Bob Lipinski is our International Wine Expert with a Certified Sommelier designation from the Court of Master Sommeliers.