Tag Archives: cooking wine

What’s the Best Cooking Wine?

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” W.C. Fields

Question from Marla: What kind of wine makes good cooking wine?

Reply: Hi, Marla. Thanks for writing!

I think I’ll start with what not to use: “Cooking Wine” that you buy at the grocery store. It’s usually very cheap wine with added salt. 

I don’t know who was first with this advice, but it’s right on: “Never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink.” I’ve never actually tasted cooking wine, but a quick search revealed that anyone of any age can buy cooking wine because it’s considered unpalatable.

Think of the wine as an ingredient, just like any other. If you’ve gone to the trouble of buying lovely fresh herbs, vegetables and meat shouldn’t you also use a good-quality wine? You don’t need to spend big bucks, since the wine will be cooked down and mingled with other flavors, but it should be clean and pleasant and the flavor should enhance your creation.

Using the wine you plan to serve with the dish is a great way to go. It’s a time-honored way of creating a happy pairing. 

Using left over wine is a great idea. The problem there is that wine doesn’t keep well once it’s open, so be sure to taste it before you use it.

When the recipe calls for white wine, I usually reach for an un-oaked Sauvignon Blanc. It’s crisp, lively and brightens the dish. I avoid heavily oaked wine in general because the reduction accentuates it. Continue reading

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