The Weird Ingredient That Will Rescue Cheap Wine

Thanks to the vast selection of wine on shelves, you may have to do a lot of taste testing to find the ones you like. But the good news is if you happen to head home with a cheap bottle of wine that doesn't quite do it for you, there may be a way to save it.

In an interview by Punch with food writer Matt Lee, he revealed that his go-to wine is, well, cheap. His everyday white is none other than a bottle he snags from Costco for $6.99 — the Kirkland Signature Ti Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Although he isn't remiss when it comes to knowing his wine choice may lack a bit of allure, Lee has found a way to stir up the aromas of his sauvignon blanc and add a special kick to an otherwise "pretty boring white wine or rosé." His secret ingredient? A bit of pickled pepper with a splash of the brine. Yes, really.

This flavor combo helps to add a bit of "zing," just like salt on the rim of a cocktail would, which is why, Lee says, the unique, slightly weird combination is not far fetched. "Dirtying something up with a little salt, a little heat comes from cocktail culture," he explains. Shelley Lindgren, a James Beard Award-winning sommelier out of San Francisco and a pickled veggie lover herself, applauds Lee's wine tactic. Not only for the aromatic benefits, but also she says, "With so many health benefits in pickles, why not?"

Lee encourages wine enthusiasts to not be afraid to test the waters when it comes to adding ingredients into wines — he's even tossed shelled peanuts into his glass. Spicing up your wine by simply adding a unique flavor will not only help save the once boring low-cost wine, but Lee also says it can be a great conversation starter at gatherings. "Float a pickled jalapeño slice and see whether it attracts attention," he says.

The next time you head to the store for a bottle of wine, know that you don't have to break the bank, you just have to get a little creative with the cheaper stuff. And don't forget — a daily glass of wine has some great benefits, and when you're adding pickle juice on top of that, it's practically a health drink, right?