I remember my mom always telling me that if you can’t drink the wine then don’t cook with it. It is funny because I am reminded of her sayings every time I go to the supermarket and see the five dollar bottles of wine in the beer section. I think this saying which is used by many has some truth to it. One of the facts to remember is that when you add wine to a pan, the only thing that cooks out is the alcohol. The flavor of the wine is still in the dish so it would be wise to pick some thing worth drinking. The cheap cooking wines you often find in the supermarket and sometimes the dollar store actually have a lot of sodium which could be bad for your diet.
The unknown rules for cooking
One thing you should do is to think of wine as an ingredient that plays some importance as the other ingredients. For instance, you aren’t going to use an artificial cheese or powder for your mac and cheese recipe and so the same consideration should be taken with the wine.
It isn’t wise to use a really expensive wine but you shouldn’t use a really cheap wine that might spoil your meal. There are some average wines that are priced reasonably and are descent to cook with. Now the main thing to remember and most important is to have fun. Experiment with different varietals.
A little chardonnay in the chicken alfredo or a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon in the lasagna sauce. Choosing a wine is similar to food pairing in that a light bodied wine should be used for light dishes and a dry heavy wine should be used for hearty heavy meals.
Red wines are good for pasta dishes, sauces, and red meats. White wines are gooood for cream sauces or with poultry and seafood dishes. I usually recommend a dry white wine because the flavors or sweetness of the wine might counteract with the seasonings in the dish so to play it safe, I use a nice dry base to start out with.
If you use a wine in your recipe than your wine that you will serve with the food should be the same varietal. So if you make an Alfredo sauce with Chardonnay, then you don’t want to serve a Cabernet Sauvignon with it.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a wine that you are just going splash in your dish and always experiment. The different characteristics of wine can enhance and add character to your food. Have fun and enjoy and save the expensive wines to serve with the food and not in it. As always enjoy!!!
Further reading: What is Noble Rot?
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