How to Cook with Wine?

By April 6, 2023 No Comments
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Do you want to cook with wine but not sure where to start? Find out how to improve your wine knowledge.



Improve Your Wine Knowledge


How to Cook with Wine


When you cook with wine the alcohol evaporates quickly in a dish that is being heated, adding wine to a dish before or during cooking will not increase the alcohol content.  The only change is in the flavour.

In stews, casseroles or gravies, red wine, sherry or port can be used to add flavour and complexity to the dish.  A small amount of wine (reds on red meats, whites on white meats and some fish) on the barbecue plate when cooking can also enhance flavours.

Wine is as much an ingredient in cookery as herbs, spices, stocks and other condiments.  Although generally red and white wines produce a general ‘vinous’ flavour in the dish rather than a distinct varietal flavour, the use of some fortified wine styles has a more specific effect on the flavour of the dish.

Port, for example, is frequently used in the preparation of sauces and glazes for meats, game, pate and poultry.  The various styles of port impart quite different flavours in the finished dish.

A good tawny port in a sauce could almost adequately be replaced with a spoonful of sugar. This is about all that remains after the years of developed rancid characters in the port have been evaporated off up the kitchen exhaust!

A ruby port (a young immature tawny style of Australia) will impart some degree of colour, sweetness and fruity vinous quality.  Best of all for enhancing a sauce calling for the addition of port would be a vintage port.  The robust, full fruit character of the vintage port imparts colour and flavour to the resultant sauce.

Rich liqueur muscats, Frontenac, tokays, or an old Oloroso sherry are also excellent in sauce preparation as the full flavours are retained in the dish.  In all cases, reserve about 25% of these fortified wines to add about two or three minutes prior to the completion of cooking (to the sauce, not the cook!).

Simply understanding and appreciating wine will make you aware of certain aspects that can be found especially when it is accompanied by food and when it adds to the overall enjoyment of the occasion.


Have fun with wine!

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