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Learn on How to Marinade with Wine


Adding wine as an ingredient to your food may enhance and intensify the flavor of food. Wine can reveal flavors in food that otherwise would not be experienced. For those who love to cook and enjoy the taste of wine, here are some tips, from RecipeTips, to guide you through a delicious way of cooking with wine.

Marinating with Wine:

A liquid, such as vinegar, wine or oil, with spices or other flavorings added to it, which is made for the purpose of soaking a food in it to add flavor or to tenderize. Marinade that has been in contact with uncooked meat should never be reused. If the marinade is to also be used for basting or in a sauce, be sure to set aside some from the batch before the uncooked meat is added.

Using wine as a marinade:

The tannins in wine helps to break down the toughness of meat, while the acidity helps to cut fat and oil. The moisture of the wine prevents the meat from drying out while cooking.

Creating Sauce with wine:

  • Deglaze: The process of loosening and reducing the residue left in a pan after meat has been sautéed. After cooking, the meat is removed from the pan and a liquid such as wine, vinegar, stock, or juice is added to the remaining meat juices and bits. This flavorful residue combines with the liquid to produce a sauce or gravy for the meat. The longer the liquid is cooked, the thicker the mixture gets as the liquid evaporates and reduces. Cream or butter is often added to create a smoother sauce.
  • Reduce: To thicken and intensify the flavor of a liquid by boiling, uncovered, to evaporate excess liquid. This process is used generally on soups and sauces.
  • Reduction Sauce: A sauce which uses the juices that are created from oven roasting or stove top cooking foods, such as meat, poultry or vegetables, as its base and then thickens and intensifies the flavor by reducing (boiling to evaporate the excess liquid) the juices. This liquid is strained and used as a base for sauces, soups and stews.
  • Using wine in deglazing and reducing: Using wine in deglazing and reduction creates an intense and complex sauce.
  • Do not use light/fruity wines when making sauce. The fruitiness is destroyed during the cooking process, leaving a highly acidic sauce.
  • If wine becomes overly acidic during deglazing or reduction, add fresh/dried fruit to counteract.
  • The amount of time spent reducing the wine, may be dependent on the color of the wine. White wines are cooked for a shorter period of time, long enough to burn off the alcohol. Red wines are normally cooked for a longer period to turn the typically rich purple color of the red wine into a rich red color. The rich red color blends beautifully with the deep brown color of meat.

Simple Ideas:

  • When a recipe calls for water, replace the water with a favorite wine.
  • Add a light, dry white wine to melted butter and baste grilled, broiled, or baked fish
  • Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of a full-bodied red into brown gravy. Let simmer to create rich brown gravy for red meat.
  • Mix wine with your favorite oil to baste meat and poultry.
  • Freeze leftover drinking wine in ice cube trays for future cooking use.
  • Serve the same wine with dinner that you cooked with, they will balance each other. If you prefer to use a fine wine during dinner, stay within the same wine family.