Solving The Leftover Dilemma

Solving The Leftover Dilemma

When your friends and relative 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.


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.

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.


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. Air is the number one enemy of wine and by keeping the wine refrigerated, it will slow the oxidation process. 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 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, simply 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 some small pieces of kindling and light the newspaper. Then add smaller, thinner logs as the fires takes hold. If for some reason 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 Leftover Day!

Bob Lipinski, Executive Director of High Impact Business Solutions and author of nine books, writes, consults, and conducts training seminars on many subjects. He can be reached at OR


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