No more cooking mistakes with wine


The use of wine in cooking can enhance the flavour of a dish, whether it is a risotto or a slow-cooked meat sauce or marinade. For this reason, the following question arises: If we take great care in choosing the wine to accompany our dish, shouldn't we be just as careful in choosing the wines with which we cook it?

Which wines can be used in cooking?

The basic rule of thumb around the wine industry is that if you wouldn't drink wine, you shouldn't cook it. Experts stress that you should avoid cheap "cooking wines" and choose a wine from those you choose to drink while cooking.

Pete Dreyer, the author of Great British Chefs, points out that cheap "cooking wines" will at best add nothing to your final dish, and at worst make it unpleasant. Of course, you don't have to use the most expensive wine, Beckett adds, who is a food and wine expert, a bottle of the round for €8 will do the job properly. The only reason to use expensive wine is if you need to put a minimal amount in the food or if there's a small amount left in the bottle. If you wish to use a separate wine for cooking, opt for a style of wine that matches the one you will be drinking with the dish.

If you're still worried that you'll open a wine exclusively for cooking and the rest will be wasted, try the following trick: Freeze the leftover wine as ice cubes, then keep the ice cubes in a freezer bag to add to subsequent cooking.

Cooking with White Wine

The dishes in which white wine could be used are mainly risotto and white wine sauces. Crisp, dry, barrel-less whites work well. Pinot Grigio is very versatile, as is Sauvignon Blanc. According to Dre,yer these are the two wine varietals he would choose first.

When cooking a sauce, the most important thing to consider is the sweetness and acidity. During the cooking process, the alcohol content of the wine is reduced, which results in both becoming more intense. For this reason, go for a dry white with a reasonable amount of acidity. Of course, you could also use a more aromatic variety.

Wines with a strong aromatic character such as Gewürztraminer or Riesling are less versatile however they can bring out the flavour in a creamy sauce. However, you can experiment without fear.

Cooking with Red Wine

The ideal red wines for cooking are those that are medium-bodied and not too tannic, such as Merlot or Grenache. As the wine cooks, the tannins build up so a tannic wine can dry out the dish or cause astringent flavours. Red wine is not only used for rich sauces.

Σύμφωνα με την Beckett το κόκκινο κρασί με το παντζάρι λειτουργεί υπέροχα. Ο Dreyer αναφέρει επίσης, πως όσο περίεργο κι αν φαίνεται το κόκκινο κρασί μπορεί να λειτουργήσει με γεύσεις που παραδοσιακά το συνοδεύουν, δηλαδή το ριζότο μανιταριών μπορεί να λειτουργήσει τόσο με κόκκινο, όσο και με λευκό κρασί.

Κάποια ενισχυμένα κρασιά, όπως το Sherry, η Μαδέρα και η Marsala είναι επίσης κατάλληλα για μαγείρεμα. Έστω και η ελάχιστη ποσότητα μπορεί να προσθέσει, βάθος και δύναμη στην γεύση. Κάποιοι προτείνουν για το ριζότο και το Βερμούτ.