Good Friends. Great Wine.

Cooking With Wine 101

cooking with wine

Ah yes, wine. We love to drink it. We love to mix it. We love to sip it after a long day’s work, enjoy it in a spritzer for an afternoon treat and pair it with a delicious dinner. But wine is versatile, you can have it with dinner, but also in dinner. Cooking with wine, or any alcohol for that matter, can feel a little intimidating. We’re here to help you make the right choices when cooking with wine.

Which Wine Should I Choose?

Cook with wines that you would drink. If you’re not a cab person, then don’t cook with a cab. Use another red wine that you love. If you choose a wine that you don’t personally like, then you may end up with a dish you’re not thrilled with.

You may see “cooking wine” as an ingredient in many recipes. We advise you to not use those! Cooking wines typically have more sodium and include other additives that may affect that taste of your food that you worked so hard to cook. Would you drink cooking wine? If not, don’t use it!

What should I know before I cook?

The function of wine is intensifying, enhancing, and accenting the flavor and aroma of food. There are three main uses of cooking wine in the kitchen:

  1. Marinade ingredient
  2. Cooking liquid
  3. Flavoring 

While you’re cooking, the alcohol portion of the wine evaporates and only the flavor remains. The flavor is more concentrated, including the acidity and sweetness. With that in mind, try not to overpour or you’ll get a dish where the wine overpowers the other flavors.

How much wine should I use?

How much wine you cook with depends on the flavor intensity of the wine and the dishes you want to use it in. The suggested amount of wine depends on what you’re going to cook. Here’s a good rule of thumb:

Soups – 2 Tbsp per cup

Sauces – 1 Tbsp per cup

Gravies – 2 Tbsp per cup

Stews & Meats – 1/4 cup per pound

You should also only cook with one wine at a time. Adding more than one wine to a dish can cause a dish-aster.

When should I add the wine?

You’ll want to add the wine while the food is simmering. If you add the wine just before serving, you won’t receive the results you want. The alcohol will come out strong and the other flavors of the wine won’t have time to come forward. When the wine simmers, it adds the right amount of flavor. Thus, you have a glorious dish that you’ll want to serve to family and friends over and over again.

Now you’re ready to conquer the world of cooking with wine! With your new found knowledge, go forth and create something delicious! Explore our selection of delicious wines in our wine shop. 

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