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Tips For Cooking With Wine

Jun 26, 2008
Wine can be an essential ingredient. It can enhance the meal, not only by drinking it with the meal, but as an integral part of the food itself. The French cooking sauces, beurre rouge, and beurre blanc both contain wine. Both French and Chinese cooking make use of wine as an ingredient, as well as many other types of cooking. Wine can be used as an ingredient in sauces, soups, marinades, and more. It combines well with other flavors and ingredients, such as vinegar, fish paste, soy sauce, and many others.

There are questions that people have in cooking with wine. You yourself may be tentative about using wine in your cooking. Well, here are some answers to some common questions about cooking with wine.

Is the cooking affected by the wine quality?

The quality of the cooking is definitely affected by the quality of wine. Cooking with wine, tends to concentrate the flavor, since the alcohol evaporates out, leaving the flavors. You'll want to use a good quality wine, but you also shouldn't spend $100 for a bottle of wine for cooking. You can find some good wines for under $20 that will work just fine for cooking. In general, you don't want to cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink.

What about the alcohol content of the wine?

Most but not all of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process. Since alcohol evaporates at 172 degrees F., most if not all of the alcohol will be gone by the time the food is done cooking. Also keep in mind, that most recipes do not call for a lot of wine, so there would not be very much alcohol in the first place. Even if you don't drink wine for personal reasons, then you should be safe using it for cooking.

What if I put too much wine in my dishes?

Don't put too much wine in. If you're using a recipe, just follow the recipe, and don't add more wine than it calls for. If you think the recipe calls for too much wine, then you can simply use a little bit less wine. If you're experimenting with your own recipes, start with a little bit of wine, and add more as needed. Add a little bit of wine at first, and let the recipe cook. Taste it, and decide if it needs more wine. If so, then add some, if not, then don't. If there is not enough wine in a recipe, you can always add more. If there is too much, you can't remove it.

Is there a difference between cooking wine and regular wine?

Yes, there is a difference. Cooking wine contains salt and chemicals that make it okay for cooking, but not for drinking. Some recipes call for cooking wine. In this case, go ahead and use it. For the most part however, you should use regular wine. As stated above, you shouldn't cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink. In most cases, regular wine will work much better than cooking wines for your recipes.

If you just follow these simple tips, you'll be able to enhance your soups, sauces, marinades, and other recipes with the proper use of wine.
About the Author
For more information about wine and wine growing regions, visit Wine Country Guide.
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