Wine Wednesday: What Kind of Wine Do I Use for Cooking?

Wine Wednesday: What Kind of Wine Do I Use for Cooking?

If you’ve ever contemplated sneaking a little wine into your meat sauce or stew, you’re not the only one. However, many people are unsure as to how to cook with wine, and don’t always know which wines to choose for use in their meals. A common question for newbies to wine is, “what kind of wine do I use for cooking?”

You may have heard others say that you can use up a bad bottle of wine (one that you just don’t care for or like the taste of) by using it in your meal. Wrong. This is horrible advice. Why? Because when wine is heated up and used in cooking, the alcohol is burned out, not the taste. Using a bad wine in a recipe will only intensify the flavor that you already dislike, and will ruin the entire meal. Using wine in cooking is not quite the same as using a wine in, say, sangria. Making sangria is one way to use up a bottle of wine you don’t care for, because the flavors of the fruit and other alcohol you use to make it will help mask and disguise the taste. Cooking with wine, however, is different. It is key that you only use wines that you like. If you wouldn’t drink it from a glass, don’t add it to your meal–you will be highly disappointed.

When deciding whether to use red wine or white wine in your cooking, you will find it easiest to match the color with the food. If you are making a sauce for chicken or seafood, stick with a white wine that you enjoy, like a chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc. For beef or heavy stews, consider red wines. A splash or two in your favorite sauce will spice it up and add a little more dimension to even the simplest of recipes. Although some of the alcohol remains after cooking, it is completely fine to serve to your family (children included). The longer you cook the sauce, the less alcohol will remain.

So before you go popping the cork off that two dollar bottle of wine, think again and grab one of your favorite wines to add to your sauces in the kitchen!

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