Okay, so you know how to drink wine, but you’re not sure how to cook with it. No problem. We’ve got you covered with these few simple rules to follow to make the process more approachable.
USE WINE THAT YOU’D DRINK.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when cooking with wine is using cheap wine that they would never drink a glass of. Now, we’re not saying you should pour half that bottle of Romanee-Conti into your stew, but you absolutely should cook wine that you would enjoy drinking. Using wine that doesn’t taste good to you will give the dish nuances of that wine. This is the most important rule of cooking with wine!
DON’T USE “COOKING WINE.”
Another common thing to avoid is cooking with wine that is specifically labeled for cooking. This is bad quality wine that usually has food coloring and salt added it to make it “suitable for cooking.” The quality of the wine will reflect in your dish, so use regular, good quality wine. This rule follows the first rule. If you wouldn’t drink salty cooking wine, then it’s probably not a good idea to cook with it.
ADD LITTLE BY LITTLE.
What we mean by this is to think of the wine as a seasoning. It’s there to add flavor to your dish the same way salt does. Too much salt can ruin a dish, which is why you add a little bit, taste, and then add more if needed. Using this strategy to cook with wine will help you use just enough to perfect your dish.
PAIR THE WINE YOU’RE COOKING WITH.
Try pairing the food you’re going to make with a wine that complements it. For example, if you’re going to make duck with a red wine sauce, Pinot Noir would be a good match because Pinot Noir is a beautiful pairing with duck. If you followed the first rule, the wine you’re cooking with would be a perfect wine to drink with the dish you’re making.
NOT ALL OF THE ALCOHOL COOKS OFF.
Contrary to popular belief, not all the alcohol cooks off when you’re using wine in the kitchen. It takes about two-and-a-half hours to cook off 95% of the alcohol. Keep this mind when cooking for people. It’s generally a good idea not to serve dishes with wine in them to children or non-drinkers.
By following these rules, you’re sure to create a delicious dish to share with friends and family. Familiarizing yourself with wine will also help cooking with wine seem less intimidating.