Using wine in your cooking can add a richness, depth and wonderful flavor to your dish. Here’s the best tips on how to.
DRY WINE vs SWEET WINE
Unless the recipe specifically states otherwise, cook with dry wine rather than sweet wine. Sweet wine is more commonly used for desserts.
WHAT WINE GOES WITH WHAT DISH?
In general,goes well with red meat and red sauces. Red wine also works well in hearty, red-based soups such as vegetable and beef stock soup. White wine goes with fish, pork, chicken, shellfish, light and cream sauces and seafood soups and bouillabaisse (a bouillabaisse is a delicious, filling Mediterranean soup containing several kinds of fish and shellfish with tomatoes and onions or leeks and usually flavored with saffron). Although this is a general guide, feel free to experiment. White wine tends to be more versatile than red.
WHAT WINE SHOULD I PICK FOR COOKING?
You don’t need to pick an expensive wine as much of the finer taste and features of a wine disappear in the cooking process. At the same time, do not pick a wine that is absolutely horrible but cheap. A rule of thumb is not to cook with a wine that you wouldn’t want to drink, but don’t cook with a wine that you really want to drink either.
AVOID SO-CALLED ‘COOKING WINE”
Do not use the cooking wine that you can find in most supermarkets. These typically have added salt and other additives and so-called ‘flavor enhancers’. The worse features of cooking wine are lightly to come out during the cooking process.
GRAPE VARIETY IS NOT IMPORTANT
You do not need to use the same wine in the sauce that you are planning to serve at the table. Simply use a decent, but not overly expensive wine that you have at hand.
WINE IN COOKING SHOULD ENHANCE THE FLAVOR
There are three main purposes for using wine in cooking. As a cooking liquid base, as a marinade and as additional flavoring for a finished dish. The wine should enhance the overall flavor, not mask or over-power it. Many people make the mistake of using too much, or not allowing the wine to cook for long enough. Generally, wine is best simmered, rather than added at the last stage. If added at the final stage, the harshness of the wine tends to come through too strongly.
HOW MUCH ALCOHOL IS LEFT AFTER COOKING?
The amount of alcohol left in your dish after cooking depends on the time and the manner in which the dish was prepared but in most cases if the wine was not simply added at the end, most of the alcohol will have evaporated away in the cooking process.