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Tips For Cooking With Wine


Wine! It is so versatile – in the glass and on your plate!

Cooking with wine can definitely  bring about it’s own pleasure. This goes way beyond food and wine pairings.

In fact, using wine in the kitchen can be even more creative.

To achieve the culinary glory of wine requires one simple thing: experimenting with wine as an ingredient in a recipe.

Some chefs – especially those versed in European recipes – use wine as a cooking ingredient liberally and for more types of recipes than one might expect…

Ingredients all play a specific role in cooking. Some add spice to a food, while others tone down heaviness. Whatever you add to or use to create a dish has a purpose.

Butter, spices, milk, flour, baking soda, eggs, meat and fish all bring something (if you pardon the pun) to the table.

This is also true of wine.

As an ingredient, the purpose of wine is to fortify existing aromas and flavors. Adding wine can increase, augment and even accent the flavor of the other ingredients.

For example, wine adds flavor to seafood without smothering it in fatty batter. In fact, some cooks replace fat, shortening, butter and related ingredients with wine. (It not only sounds healthier, it sounds tastier, too!)

Uses Of Wine

Wine typically serves three major roles in the kitchen. (That being said, do not let this stop you from experimenting to your closet-chef’s content.) The most common uses for cooking with wine are the following:


Cooking liquid

Flavoring – usually in a finished dish 

The usage, the food, the type of cooking wine, and the type of wine served, will all dictate the amount of cooking wine added in the recipe.

Yet, in all cases, be sure to avoid extremes. Too little wine is wasted, drowned by other ingredients and lost during the process of cooking; too much wine is overbearing.

And for those who are wondering about adding alcohol in their recipes, rest assured: the alcohol does evaporate during the cooking process, due to the high temperatures.

This leaves a highly concentrated flavor. Perfect for the taste buds of foodies!


Tips For Cooking With Wine

These simple rules apply whenever wine is used in cooking. No matter how elaborate the dish, or how expensive the wine, consider the following as gold:

Never, ever use an “off” or tainted wine – the flavor will saturate or at least affect the taste of the dish you are preparing

Never use any of the so-called “cooking” wines you find at a store – they’re diluted and oftentimes flavorless, and from questionable wine sources. 

Avoid tart white wines – the acidity may be too concentrated

Use white wines, but always add to any recipe with care

In some wines, the sugar may become concentrated during the cooking process. Add any sweet wine with a very gentle hand to not overly sweeten the meal

If the wine has been aged in oak barrels and has a heavy oak flavor, it may aromatically over saturate the cooking

Remember, if a wine’s bouquet is fruity, lightly aromatic and/or flowery, this characteristic will not survive the cooking process.

Among the best wines for food are those that are full-bodied – white, red or rosé

Never add wine to a food just prior to serving. Wine needs time to simmer and be absorbed into the food. It needs to become a part of the overall flavor experience. It can only do this if it cooks slowly with the dish it is to influence.


***Grabbed from: