Cooking with Wine
by Liana Bennett
Adding wine to your recipe adds flavors and zest that can change any dish from just “ok” to “wow!” Make sure to only use wine you would drink and avoid wines labeled “cooking wine.” These tend to be full of salt and not very tasty. Any wine that isn’t good enough to drink won’t be good enough to add flavors to your recipe; as well, you probably want to have a glass while cooking! Just like you match wine with the food you eat, match the wine with the food you are cooking. Don’t marinate steak with a Riesling, use a heavy red like a Cabernet Sauvignon just like when the meal is cooked. Adding wine is like adding salt - a little is good, too much will spoil the recipe. If you are adding wine or another beverage alcohol, add a little in first, try it and then add more if needed.
Use wine that will compliment what you are serving with the meal. If you are planning on serving a Washington State Merlot, then cook with a Washington State Merlot or at least a Merlot. The flavors will blend together. You want them to compliment each other, not knock each other out. Always keep any wine left in a bottle. Store it in a dry, cool place and you can use it later for marinade or salad dressing. Be careful though, it will turn to vinegar. When adding an alcohol to a hot pan, remove the pan from the heat and add the alcohol in slowing. Swirling the pan keeps the alcohol from heating too quickly. Remember that not all the alcohol will evaporate and by using a product high in alcohol you will keep some in the pot. Remember these points to make all your recipes a little yummier.
Marinating meat with wine is beneficial not only in adding flavors but the tannins in wine will break down meat’s toughness while the acidity will cut the fat.
From: The Beverage Alcohol Report - March 2006, Liana Bennett
The Beverage Alcohol Report (The BAR) was published on a monthly basis until May, 2006 compliments of Liana Bennett. Its main purpose was to further the knowledge, appreciation and general enjoyment of all alcoholic beverages. Your comments, questions and tasting stories can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org