We know you love to drink wine, but do you cook with it? As Julia Child used to say, “I love cooking with wine – sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.”
Not only does drinking wine with a meal taste great, but cooking with it can enhance the flavor and aroma of your dishes. You can even use wine when cooking to add more flavors without adding fat. Don’t worry, cooking with wine won’t turn your food into drunken dishes. As you simmer your ingredients in wine, the majority of the alcohol will evaporate.
Get creative when cooking with wine! Experiment by adding it into your favorite recipes to add spice or tone down heaviness. While wine doesn’t belong in every recipe, it is a fun ingredient to work with. Here are five tips for cooking with wine that can help you in your next recipe.
- Add some wine when making your own marinades. Wine is an acidic ingredient, which can help tenderize the outside of meat. A wine-based marinade can add flavor to meat, poultry and seafood as well as keep it moist while it cooks.
- Avoid “cooking wine.” Stay away from anything labeled “cooking wine,” it usually contains many additives and salt. It’s also not necessary to use an expensive bottle of wine for cooking. Look for a middle-of-the-road bottle that is still good quality and you would enjoy drinking. This flavor that you like will be the same flavor brought out in the dish you’re cooking. If you wouldn’t drink a glass of it, don’t cook with it.
- Wine needs time. When you heat up wine, it concentrates the flavor and therefore enhances the flavor of your dish once you simmer it with other ingredients. But give it time to show its flavor. Simmer the wine with your ingredients for at least 10 minutes before tasting it and deciding if you need to add more. Adding too much wine will overpower your dish, while adding wine right before serving will leave you with a harsh flavor.
- Serve the wine you cooked with for dinner. By serving the same wine, they will balance each other. If you want to drink a more expensive bottle with dinner, try to stay within the same wine family when making your choice.
- Avoid extremes. If you add too little wine, you won’t be able to taste it, but if you add too much, it will overpower your dish. Know the impact your wine will have on the recipe; you’ll want to use a dry wine in a savory dish and a sweet wine in a sweet dish.