How to Cook with Wine

Any real foodie knows that there’s more to a dish than meets the eye. A meal should be planned and prepared carefully, and there should always be a few key secret ingredients that add charm and flavor. If you would like to start experimenting in the kitchen a bit more and try cooking with wine, you should know that adding wine to a dish is a form of art that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. There are a few rules you should abide by, and if you’d like to learn more, read on.

Adding flavor to a finished dish

You can get the best results, and by far the best taste, if you add wine to a dish during the preparation instead of near the end of the cooking process. It’s important for the wine to simmer together with the ingredients so as to enhance the flavor of the dish. If you forget to add it at the right time, don’t just pour in a glass near the end and think that it’s the same. Adding wine late will impart a harsh quality and if you add it early, it allows the alcohol to evaporate thus turning the wine into an extract which adds flavor to the dish or the sauce. 

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The best wine for cooking

This is one of the simplest rules when it comes to cooking with wine – never use a wine that you wouldn’t drink on its own. There are different “cooking wines” but these have added chemicals and salt, and you should avoid them. Better to get a bottle of good burgundy, use some for the dish, and pour yourself some after that, than to experiment with unknown cooking wines. You don’t need to add a lot – a small quantity will bring forth the flavor of the dish, as the alcohol evaporates during the cooking, leaving behind a wonderful flavor.  

Marinate with wine

You don’t have to add wine to a dish while you’re cooking; instead, you could try marinating the foods in wine before you put them in the pan or in the oven. It’s important to point out that you shouldn’t use cold or cool wine for the marinating process, as it should be at room temperature. This way, it can tenderize different meats and add flavor. It’s not just meats that you can ‘dip’ in wine – vegetables can also benefit from a wine-infused marinade before you sauté, grill, roast, or bake them. An interesting thing is that you can also use wine as a substitute for water in any recipe as it will provide the moisture while simultaneously adding a nice flavor.

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Be careful with wine

As delicious as your dishes are going to be when you add wine and as confident as you are in your cooking abilities, you need to be careful, otherwise, you’ll ruin the dish. Remember that you can always add more wine, but you can’t take it out once you add it, so start with smaller quantities and keep adding more until you’re satisfied with the result. The flavor of your dish shouldn’t be lost but rather fortified with the addition of wine, and you don’t want its taste to be lost or overpowering. 

The food you are preparing is going to be tastier if you add some wine, but this doesn’t mean that you should go around pouring glasses of wine into every dish you’re preparing. The best thing is that you can use all types of wine to cook, no matter what sort it is and how much it costs. Experimenting with different dishes and sorts of wine is recommended, and once you familiarize yourself with the tastes, you’ll be ready to improvise and create something new.