20 Things To Make With Wine, From The Usual Suspects To Unexpected Collaborations

While nothing will ever beat a generous pour from your favorite bottle of wine, it's possible to have some fun exploring other unique ways to get your wine fix. If you're a wine lover up for some adventure, here are 20 things you can make with wine to incorporate your favorite drink into other areas of your culinary life.

Some territory to be explored by way of Chardonnay and Cabernet are a diverse lineup of sauces that delight the palate while providing that added kick of wine. Lather up some baby back ribs with a spicy barbecue sauce sweetened by Chardonnay. Tart cranberry sauce and sinfully rich chocolate fondue get a special punch from Cabernet Sauvignon. Refresh with some usual suspects like sangria of the red and white variety, or a more novel twist on the gin sour you can upgrade with your favorite Italian red. Tantalize your tastebuds with icier options like Pinot Noir ice pops and Cabernet Sauvignon sorbet. Elevate your savory dishes with a mushroom wine sauce or your own homemade vinegar. Come dessert, give in to decadence with wine-infused cakes. Between the noted go-tos and unexpected collaborations that would make Bacchus blush, here's a roundup worth toasting to.

1. Hot Fudge

Make hot fudge even more deliciously sinful with a little help from Pinot Noir. Something utterly magical happens when chocolate and butter are melted in with wine and cream. Cook up this irresistible hot fudge from How Sweet It Is, then get ready to drizzle it over everything your heart desires, from sweet pastries to frozen desserts.

2. Ice Pops

Cool off with these fruity blackberry pops that are infused to perfection with Pinot Noir. Recipe creator The Kitchn says "the sweet, lightly acidic blackberries highlight the natural fruit notes of the Pinot Noir, leaving a nice, slightly tannic finish." Talk about upgrading your popsicle experience. If a stronger Pinot flavor is desired, the recipe allows for adding the remaining two ounces.

3. Gin Sour

Even Hummingbird High admits it's hard to break her away from a go-to glass of wine. This cocktail is special enough to do the trick, with its perfect balance and tastiness that have the power to take you "somewhere else completely." The gorgeous ombre effect is an added bonus, but it's really the flavor of the elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and your favorite Italian red that will steal the show.

4. Barbecue Sauce

Buckle up for some barbecue with this flavor-packed rhubarb-wine sauce ready for whatever ribs, grilled chicken, or burgers you have in store. Kitchen Confidante turns things up with Chardonnay but says you can also use a Sauvignon Blanc. The sweet wine balances the kick from the spices and works with the natural tanginess of the rhubarb perfectly paired to whatever comes off the grill.

5. Chocolate Truffles

Take your homemade chocolate truffles to the next level with Merlot, following directions from Pastry Affair. This delicacy combines "the aromatic strength of a dry, red wine and the dark tones of a quality bar of chocolate," delivering complex, cocoa powder-covered flavor that will make you weak in the knees.

6. Mushroom Wine Sauce

Natasha's Kitchen notes that cooking with wine "adds wonderful depth of flavor to recipes," and proves it with her take on filet mignon that's drenched in a mushroom and Merlot sauce.

7. Cranberry Sauce

This recipe is Averie Cooks' way of elevating cranberry sauce from a side dish to a starring dish. Adding blueberries, and more importantly, Cabernet Sauvignon (Merlot and Shiraz work too), the sauce is doctored to be "like drinking wine and eating jam all in one, with texture, sweetness, tartness, and juicy berries in full force."

8. Red Sangria

Use any dry red wine to make this sweet Spanish staple. Crepes Of Wrath dips the sliced fruit in sugar, then grills them until each side is nicely charred before adding them to the fruity mix. Ginger ale or lemon-lime soda gives the drink a bubbly kick.

9. White Sangria

If you prefer white wine, take out some Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc for this sweet, but not too sweet concoction by Love & Lemons. The recipe calls for a splash of ginger juice, mint, and basil "for an herby kick" that gets peachy with peaches and Grand Marnier.

10. Merlot: Chocolate Cupcakes

If you're in the mood for a boozy dessert, these "super fudgy" dark chocolate cupcakes are piled high with light buttercream and "just a hint" of red wine. However, recipe creator How Sweet It Is suggests having some extra wine with your cupcakes — "Heck, even dunk it in there."

11. Sorbet

In this sweet sorbet, Adventures In Cooking says "the blackberry and Cabernet Sauvignon make the perfect marriage" as the berries lighten up the full-bodied flavor of the wine. The results are "still boozy enough to make for a great lazy Saturday afternoon" or to "cool down on a hot summer's day." Reds with notes of vanilla, cherries, or blackberries make for the best sorbet.

12. Cabernet Sauvignon: Chocolate Fondue

Once the heavy cream and chocolate are warmed, melted, and bubble to a slight boil, Cabernet Sauvignon and espresso powder are stirred in to make a wine lover's dream come true. Just follow the directions from Half Baked Harvest, and you'll be dipping whatever you want into this heavenly fondue in no time.

13. White Wine Sauce

White wine becomes the perfect glaze for this crispy lemon chicken by The Comfort Of Cooking. The wine "adds the perfect amount of brightness and bold flavor" to the dish and "the aroma is incredible."

14. Chocolate Cake

The Little Epicurean boldly proclaims that "wine and cheese pairing is so trite," admitting it's "delicious, but overplayed." What to do instead? Pair red wines with chocolate, letting the berry notes of the reds mix with the rich and simultaneously sweet and bitter notes of the dark chocolate. Better yet, "this pairing translates perfectly into this decadent and sinful red wine chocolate cake." Not only is the cake batter mixed with red wine, but after baking the cake's layers are lightly soaked in a red wine simple syrup.

15. Mulled Wine

Another favorite variation on the classic glass of wine, mulled wine is a perfect option for colder months. How Sweet It Is offers up recipes for red mulled wine, sweetened with a touch of maple syrup, as well as white, sweetened with honey and ginger.

16. Syrup

Turn your leftover wines into a deliciously sophisticated syrup. Brave Tart offers straightforward directions that require just a little simmering in a medium sauce pot with sugar and salt. Then get ready to pour over anything in need of some syrup with a sinful edge.

17. Beef Bourguignon

This classic French dish promises to please every palate, especially during cold winter months. The stew calls for high-quality wine, as Crepes Of Wrath warns, for the beef, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, shallots, and herbs to come together in delicious hearty perfection.

18. Vinegar

Make your own simple red wine vinegar subsitute right at home with this quick trick from A Pretty Life In The Suburbs that calls for cider vinegar and red wine.

19. Cherry Sauce

This cherry sauce recipe by Kitchen Confidante calls for cherries, a little bit of wine, lemonade, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and a splash of balsamic. Then, of course, a bowl of ice cream to enjoy it with.

20. Swedish Cake

Hummingbird High keeps this wine and dark chocolate pairing "as pure as possible" by combining the two in a flourless Swedish chocolate cake. The result is a gooey chocolate cake that's incredibly moist with a brownie-like center, with a "hint of boozy, fruity goodness" thanks to the wine.

Images: Hummingbird High (2), How Sweet It is (3), The Kitchn, Kitchen Confidante, Pastry Affair, Natasha's Kitchen, Averie Cooks, Crepes Of Wrath (2), Love & Lemons, Adventures In Cooking, Half Baked Harvest, The Comfort Of Cooking, The Little Epicurean, Brave Tart, A Pretty Life In The Suburbs, Kitchen Confidante