How to make good use of bad wine

That lonely bottle of chardonnay pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten. Or a post-party merlot that was left open, for far too long to consider salvageable. Then of course, there’s that tragic occasion when a bottle, brand new and freshly poured, simply … stinks and taste awful.

Don’t worry, all’s not lost! As long as your wine isn’t growing fur or smelling like something long since dead, you still have options. Here are a few ideas, courtesy of Mother Nature Network:

1. Cook with it

The quality of the wine isn’t all that important when it comes to cooking. Add it to a slow-simmered stew or a from-scratch pasta sauce. Try an on-it’s-way-to-vinegar white for cooking down onions or mushrooms.

2. Bathe in it

Yes, really! It’s called vinotherapy and it’s a great way to make use of a bottle you opened but didn’t care for. Celebrities such as Teri Hatcher pour a glass of red wine into the bath each day. The treatment is purported to soften the skin, as well as firming it up and adding elasticity. The magic is apparently in the resveratrol, a compound found in wine that’s a powerful antioxidant.

4. Use it as dye
We’ve all spent our fair share of time trying to remove red wine stains from tablecloths, so there’s no doubt that the stuff has powerful staying power. This is a great project for a bottle that’s gone well past its prime, since there’s no ingesting or immersing involved. Wine-dyed fabrics have a lovely “crafty” quality, much the same as the popular tea-dyed look. Try it on linens or comfy cotton, Boho-style garments, and anything else that you want to endow with an earthy, natural vibe.