Every wine drinker (or someone who offers wine to others) will experience this situation at least once: you have leftover (red) wine. What to do with it? For the sake of the argument, disregard the option of just drinking it for now! Of course you can turn wine in to vinegar but I wanted to try something else. Just recently I came across the concept of wine salts: salt infused with wine and herbs.
I tried it out, with a full bottle of wine and not a leftover, and have to say: it is really delicious! It is easy to make and results in an end product packed with flavor. Wine salts can be used on top of meats, in salads or in any dish where you want a light wine accent. As the end result is 95% salt, it can be stored for quite some time without spoiling. In terms of taste, it comes closest to the taste of a red wine sauce you make after searing meat.
So, when you have some wine left over or want to have a new ingredient at your disposal: try this wine salt recipe!
- Red wine
- Preferably one you like to drink yourself, a full bodied wine will work best.
- I used an Argentine malbec, a Trivento, Malbec Reserve, 2014.
- Coarse sea salt
- The grains should be large, this will ensure that the salt does not dissolve in the wine so easily.
- I used Maldon salt for its irregular large texture.
- Fresh herbs, e.g. thyme (optional)
- Lemon zest (optional)
So how much do you need? I’ve used roughly 600ml of wine on 125 grams of Maldon salt.
- Pot with a thick bottom (to reduce the wine)
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or something else on which you can dry the salt)
Time to make
1 hour, 10 minutes active time.
Step 1: Reduce the wine
Add the wine to the pot and put on the stove. On medium heat reduce the wine until it gets the consistency of a syrup. This can take around 40 minutes.
The wine should reduce to roughly 2-3 tablespoons. When the wine has reached the correct consistency, remove from the heat (you don’t want to burn the wine).
Step 2: Combine
Ground the herbs in a mortar or finely cut them into small pieces.
Combine the salt, the herbs and the lemon zest. Add the salt in batches, stop when all the wine syrup has combined with the salt.
How much herbs and zest you use is purely based on taste. Don’t overdo the lemon zest; you want the salt to smell like wine, not lemon! You can also make a version with just the wine and salt.
Step 3: Dry
Spread out the salt on some parchment paper, cover it loosely with another sheet, and let it dry. Depending on how moist the salt is this can take 1-2 days. Optionally, you can also dry the salt in the pot (make sure you stir it from time to time) or in the oven (on a very very low temperature).
After drying, store in an airtight container. The wine salt is delicious on top of red meat or salads. Enjoy!
Small note: This is of course almost 95% salt, so make sure you don’t use to much in your dishes!