Most people are curious when it comes to cooking with wine. While it is a great way to enhance any meal, many people remain apprehensive about how to do so properly. Cooking with wine can decrease cook time, keep leaner cuts of meat tender and juicy, and bring out the flavor profile of more subtle ingredients. There are a few basics tips to familiarize one’s self with when it comes to cooking with wine. Following are several ideas which any home chef can use the next time they consider cooking with this versatile ingredient.
Be Selective When it Comes to Choosing Wine Quality
When it comes to cooking with wine in the kitchen, there is one basic guideline that must first be addressed. When choosing which wine to cook with, always go with the better quality option. There is a reason why some wines are more expensive than others. More expensive selections are often higher quality, and it is readily apparent in taste and mouthfeel. Higher quality wines, such as selections from San Simeon Wines, will deliver a better-tasting dish than a bottom-shelf choice. The lower quality choices often have a bitter, strong flavor, and will likely overpower any other flavors present. When in doubt, always go with the higher quality selection.
The Main Uses for Wine While Cooking
There are a few primary reasons why one would want to cook using wine. The first reason is to infuse the wine flavors in the dish in the form of a marinade. Another reason would be to bring out the underlying notes and flavors within the dish. When cooking with wine, most of the alcohol does burn off during the process. However, a slight bit does still remain. The final reason to incorporate wine into a dish is to use it as a simmer. It is best not to add wine during the final steps in the cooking process, as its flavor will be too overpowering, and there will not be enough time to reduce the alcohol.
When Opting for a White Wine, Choose One With Lighter Notes
White wines, as a general rule, tend to be the first choice of many home cooks when preparing a dish infused with wine. It is best to opt for a Pino Grigio or even a Sauvignon Blanc, as these wines tend to be more airy and less dense. There are some other fantastic white wine blend options on the market as well.
A Word of Caution When Choosing a Red Wine
Some people may have attempted to cook with wine in the past and felt that the flavor was too intense. This, unfortunately, tends to occur when a person doesn’t carefully consider which option would be best for their dish. It is best to steer clear from darker, fuller-bodied wines, which tend to have increased amounts of tannins in them. Typically, when choosing to cook with red wine, a high-quality Merlot is a perfect option, as it gives dishes a great flavor, without the risk of overpowering them.
Delicious Options to Prepare with Wine
Italian or French-inspired cuisine often comes to mind when considering what dishes would be great to cook using wine. Typically, pasta and poultry dishes are the most popular choices people tend to make to start off with. Another fantastic idea would be to infuse a classic Mississippi pot roast with a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The main idea is to give the wine time to simmer long enough to where the flavors infuse properly.
Another option, is to condense the wine into a sauce and use it in a veal dish. Some wines can also be used in dessert dishes, such as a decadent chocolate cake baked with red wine. There are even a few chocolate infused red wines available, which are perfect for whipping up a delicious ending to a savory four-course meal.
Wine can be a fantastic ingredient to use when cooking a perfect weeknight meal. Whether one is a seasoned pro in the kitchen, or is just getting started, cooking with wine is simple, and fun. Not only does wine bring out the natural flavors of the dish that is being prepared, but it can also brighten up an otherwise ordinary or mundane weeknight dinner.