Cooking with wine is a great way to add more flavors to a dish and take the dish to the next level. Whether you are a wine coinsurer or just someone who likes wine every now and then, you can easily learn to use wine with these quick and helpful tips on how to cook with wine.
1. Know Which Wines to Use with Which Meat Dishes – As a general rule of thumb, white wine goes best with fish, chicken, shellfish and turkey because it has a more subtle flavor and would be overpowered by red meats. Red wine goes best with beef, game, duck and goose due to the fact that the meats need a more robust flavored wine that can be tasted over the strong flavors of the red meat. Alternately, pork can be paired well with either red or white wine.
2. Adding Wine to Side Dishes – Wines can be great for more than a flavor addition to the meat course, they can be added to side dishes to bring out the flavors more and enhance the dish. Red wines pair well with pasta dishes that have a marinara while white wines work well in cream sauces. With vegetable dishes either wine will work well, just think about how flavorful the vegetables are before adding the wine to consider whether a white wine (i.e. subtle flavor) or a red wine (i.e. strong flavor) is best.
3. Only Use Wines that You Would Drink When Cooking – One of the best tips on how to cook with wine is to only use wines that you would drink. Just because you are adding a wine to a dish doesn’t mean that just any cheap wine will do. You want a wine that tastes good and pairs well, but you don’t have to spend $50 to do it. There are many good wines, both red and white, that can be found for $10 or $15 and used wonderfully in a dish.
4. Stay Away from “Cooking Wines” – Wines created solely for cooking have a great deal of salt or sugars added to them that just can alter a dish’s flavor, making the dish less delicious and a lot less healthy. Cooking wines aren’t as robust or as layered with individual flavors as quality wines and can be a waste of your money and time while cooking.
5. Consider How You Prepare the Dish When Choosing a Wine – Whether you cook with strong meats or subtlety flavored vegetables, you also need to consider how you are cooking them when choosing the right wine. When using heavy spices in a dish, you’ll want a sweet wine to counterbalance it. However, if you are cooking with a light or creamy sauce you’ll want a dry white wine to that isn’t able to overpower the dish, but is still flavorful enough to be tasted through the other flavors.