Wine can be used for more than just a social beverage. Cooking with wine can enhance the taste of your dish! From dinner entrees to marinades, sauces, and even desserts, wine can take your cuisine to the next level. If this is your first time cooking with wine, here are a few tips to get you started.
First things first: choose a wine that you would want to drink (1). You wouldn’t cook with an ingredient you didn’t enjoy the taste of, right? Also, start off with well-known wines with subtle flavors.
White wines (2)
Go with a chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
Combines well with chicken, turkey, or seafood
Makes for a good herb and light cream sauces
Great add-on for dishes that include melons, apples, pineapples, pears, citrus, vanilla, caramel, olives, and mushrooms
Red wines (2)
Try Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Sauvignon, or Chanti
Cooks well with beef, duck, lamb, wild game meats, and pasta dishes
Great add-on for dishes that contain berries, peaches, currants, plums, cherries, oranges, chocolate, and coffee
Now, let’s get cooking! Wine is best used when simmered along with food or sauces to enhance flavor. While the wine cooks, it reduces and becomes an extract of flavors. If wine is added towards the end of preparation, it can impart a harsh taste and quality to the dish. Here are ways to use wine in your recipes (3).
Replace some portion of the water, vinegar, broth, or fruit juice in a recipe with wine
Add to marinades
Use a splash to flavor soups, stews, and grain dishes
Poach fruit with wine and add spices and nuts for more flavor
Mix wine with oil for basting meats or vegetables
Braise or poach meats and vegetables in wine