I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food! – W.C. Fields
Do you feel comfortable cooking with wine? Are you more of a recipe-follower or do you like to experiment? No matter what your experience, cooking with wine can add a whole new level of flavor to your favorite recipes. Read on to learn a few basic rules for adding wine to your favorite recipes…
Don’t Cook with Anything You Wouldn’t Drink
When it comes to cooking with wine, this is the most important rule! A good wine will elevate your cooking; think of it as a key ingredient. Don’t buy cooking wines, which often contain salt and preservatives. Whatever flaws you find in a wine will be magnified as the wine reduces during the cooking process. So start with a delicious wine for best results!
Do you have a wine in mind that you want to drink with dinner? Then use the same wine (or similar tasting varietal) in the dish you are cooking. There’s no better way to make food more wine friendly than to use it in the preparation of your dish!
Try a New Technique
Cooking with wine generally employs a few simple techniques like deglazing, marinating and poaching.
Sauces and gravy are made by deglazing a roasting pan with wine to capture the color and flavor of the caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. For added flavor, marinate meats in wine and aromatic vegetables overnight. Sweet wines are particularly suited for poaching pears and plums.
Reduce & Enrich
When cooking with wine, be sure to let it simmer for a few minutes to cook out the alcohol and concentrate the flavor. If a recipe calls for more than 2 cups of wine, reduce it by half before adding other ingredients for best results.
Soups and stews taste even better with a little Sharrott wine in the recipe! Try Eileen Sharrott’s recipe for Red Wine Chili.
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chopped bell pepper
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp red pepper
- 16 oz can diced tomatoes
- 16 oz can pinto beans
- 16 oz can kidney beans
- 2 cups Sharrott red wine
- Salt to taste
Sauté onions and peppers in olive oil. Add beef and brown. Add garlic and cook thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for 3 hours. Serve with a glass of your favorite Sharrott wine!