Wine has three main uses in the kitchen – as a marinade ingredient, as a cooking liquid, and as a flavoring in a finished dish. Here are 8 specific ways to use wine in your everyday cooking.
- Cook with a wine that is drinkable. Never use a wine that is corked, too old, or tastes like vinegar. Only use wine that is fit for drinking (which means don’t use so-called cooking wine!), even if it’s not a style of wine that you yourself would normally enjoy.
- Add a splash of wine to finish a dish. A little wine after a long braise will brighten the all the flavors. Also try adding a few tablespoons to with gravy and sauces.
- Reduce wine slowly to concentrate it’s flavor. You can make a wonderful sauce by slowly simmering a wine until it’s reduced. Be aware, however, that the wine’s dominant flavor will be accentuated, so choose wisely.
- Tenderize meat with a wine-based marinade. Room temperature wine will tenderize meat but don’t let it marinate longer than a few hours.
- Sauté food in a mixture of wine mixed with oil. Use with both meat or vegetables but don’t boil the wine lest it lose some flavor.
- Use a sweet wine in desserts and baked goods. Dessert wine in the batter works well, but don’t forget to use it after the baking is done. A splash of wine is a great way to finish cheesecake or pour over ice cream.
- Use dry white wines with higher acidity. Any young, crisp white wine will do: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sémillon, and dry sparkling wines. Avoid whites with strong oaky flavors, like some Chardonnays.
- Use dry red wines with moderate tannins. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and lighter-style Cabernet are all good. A young red’s fruit flavors add depth and zing.