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Cooking with wine - wheatleyp1 - 10-05-2008

I saw a couple of recipes this weekend that required wine as one of the ingredient's. One called for a dry white wine and the other called for a dry red wine. What type of wines best meet this criteria and are good for cooking?

Re: Cooking with wine - cjs - 10-05-2008

I'll step in and give you what I use - unless the recipes specifies a particular kind of white wine, I use Noilly Prat, which is a vermouth that will keep in your cupboard for long, long time. Some recommend refrigerating it, but I never have and have never had a problem.

For a red wine, if you're not a wine drinker I would suggest the small bottles (they come in a 4 pack)in the wine section of your store. The bottles are approx. 5 oz. and Sutter Home puts out a very good product. You can buy white or red this way.

If you're making something like Boeuf Bourguignon (in other words a high end dish), I would suggest talking to the person in the wine dept. of your store - they are there to help you select. Most of my cooking wines that I buy specifically bottles for run between $6. to $10.

I'll be interested to hear what others do.

Re: Cooking with wine - Gourmet_Mom - 10-05-2008

I am in NO way experienced in the use of wine in cooking. I will share with you what little I know/do. Right or wrong, I have recently been keeping Barefoot Pinot Grigio for a white. What I have learned/been told, DON'T use a chardonney. When I heard this, I had already used it a time or two. Since switching to the PG, I have been able to tell the difference in flavor. I WILL be using Vermouth from now on, since I keep that on hand as well....DUH! Thanks Jean! I don't know why I didn't put that together before.

For a red, I keep a bottle of Barefoot Red Zin on hand. I hadn't though about getting the mini bottles before! Cool idea, Jean! But then, the Zin usually gets gone before it goes bad....LOL! Not necessarily in a cook pot, either!

I also keep a bottle of port and sherry (not cooking sherry) on hand! These spirits are as much a part of my pantry/fridge as ketchup, mustard, or worchestershire! (I can never spell that word!)

Hope this helps and I haven't steered you wrong. If I have, I'm sure someone will be along soon to straighten us both out...LOL! I can use all the help I can get in this department. So thanks for the question!

Where is Bill, anyway?

Re: Cooking with wine - Old Bay - 10-05-2008


I saw a couple of recipes this weekend that required wine as one of the ingredient's. One called for a dry white wine and the other called for a dry red wine. What type of wines best meet this criteria and are good for cooking?

Oh, I would suggest a cooking wine--red, I forget the name, maybe Pompey, but it is cheap--really important!! You can get it in the grocery store!! Be sure and add salt (Morton's table salt with Iodine)--this wine leaches all the salt and minerals out of the dish-- Enjoy

Re: Cooking with wine - labradors - 10-05-2008

Absolutely never use a wine that you would not actually drink. For example, most wines that are sold as "cooking wines" are LOADED with salt.

The simplest rule of thumb, without having to become a wine expert, is to use Chablis as the "dry white" and Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir as the dry red. If you're into the Merlot craze (e.g. YellowTail), that would also work for the red. Be careful of Zinfandel, though, since it can be rather strong.

Also, as much as people may joke about Gallo wines, the Gallo Hearty Burgundy is wonderful for cooking.

Finally, for other, distinctive flavours, things like Vermouth, Port, or (my favourite) Sherry can do amazing things for a recipe. Even something simple, such as adding a splash of sweet Vermouth to sautéed mushrooms, can be fabulous.

Re: Cooking with wine - esgunn - 10-05-2008

Not use a chardonnay? Never heard that. I use what I have in the house for drinking. Always a chardonnay or for a red a Cabernet/merlot blend. I also have dry sherry and either a madeira or a marsalla on hand too, but I only use those when the recipe specifically calls for one. Sometimes a vermouth. My mom keeps Sake.

Re: Cooking with wine - Gourmet_Mom - 10-05-2008

OH, I forgot the Marsala. Another one I keep on hand...but like you said, I only use it when specified.

Regarding the Chardonnay, I was told that it has an oakey, woody flavor that comes through in the food. Maybe I'm wrong, but I save that one for drinking and keep the others for drinking and cooking. Hopefully, someone will correct me if I'm wrong on the Chardonnay.

Oh, Labs, I forgot about the Chablis. I used that in place of the Chardonay until I tried the PG. I went with the PG because I liked it in a glass as well as the pan. I may have to pick up some Chablis tomorrow. It's been a while. I also agree with your Gallo comment. I think they have some really good ones. You just have to pick and choose.

Regarding the Zin, I choose that over the merlot because again, I prefer it to drink...LOL! But I have used merlot. (Also, I'm the only one drinking the Zin, so I can be assured I've got some when I need it. With the merlot, it gets gone so fast, I don't realize it's gone. SOMEBODY is bad about putting bottles back empty.....HMMMM?)

Re: Cooking with wine - firechef - 10-05-2008

At work we use the "box" wines for both red and white on the line for deglazing and moisturizing dishes.

I use drier wines over sweet wines when cooking at home to cut down on the changes the sugars make under heat. If the recipe doesn't specify just play until you find the flavours you like.

Basic rule in my book is quite simple...IF YOU LIKE IT, EAT IT OR DRINK IT!!! Pretty simple stuff.

Re: Cooking with wine - labradors - 10-05-2008

Thought about listing Chardonnay, but tend to think of it as sweeter than Chablis, so I usually use it for drinking, but not that much for cooking. I didn't say NOT to use Chardonnay - just not to use wines that say "cooking wine" on the label.

Forgot Madeira and Marsala, but love them. Great for veal and chicken dishes, of course.

As for Sherry, I prefer the Amontillado, which is a medium-dry Sherry. The Fino is just too dry for me to drink, while the Cream Sherry is too sweet for many dishes. Amontillado balances all of that out pretty well, and is wonderful for BOTH drinking AND cooking.

Re: Cooking with wine - firechef - 10-05-2008

Must agree with everyone on one point being made again and again here...DO NOT BUY THE WINE SOLD IN THE VINEGAR AND DRESSING AISLE OF THE STORE! Buy your wine in the wine/alcohol aisle.