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Cooking with Wine | The Wine Virgin
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Cooking with Wine

April 3, 2008

Hi Wine Virgin, I’m planning a dinner and I’ll be cooking with wine. Does the type of wine varietal and quality really matter that much or can I choose something off the shelf and go with it? - Marlene in Burbank, CA

Marlene, simply put, when cooking with wine… it will definitely have an impact on the taste, along with your guests willingness to make the leap of faith and eat what you prepare. When selecting a wine to cook with, unless a recipe calls for it, use a dry wine and not a sweet one.

More often than not, white wine goes with fish, chicken and pork dishes. Where cooking with red wine fits nicely with beef. However, don’t be afraid to experiment. Cooking with white wine provides a wide range of opportunities to go after and doesn’t limit you.

When planning to cook with wine, it’s important to know beforehand what items you want to have a heightened flavor. Say for instance, adding a young wine with high acidity to a dish that is a bit on the mellow side to balance it out. Typically, I add a splash of wine to the meal that I know I will drink with the dinner itself. But this isn’t necessary. Also, since you’re cooking the wine, the wine varietal isn’t a big deal.

Select a good wine to cook with but not a wine that you wouldn’t want to drink and don’t use a wine that you would want to enjoy just by itself either. Definitely, do not use one that has been sitting in the fridge for a while and out of wine guilt, you feel like putting it to use.

Hey, I understand with being a lush myself how hard it can be to pour unused wine down the drain but still… don’t use an old oxidized bottle to prepare a meal with. Believe me, you will see that polite but “I really don’t want to eat this” look on their faces as the end up picking it over like a two year old brat.

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