Although wine is obviously excellent for drinking, it can also serve another amazing purpose – as a cooking ingredient. Although a little bit of wine applied in the right way can really bring out the flavour of a dish, there are actually quite a few ways that people fumble when they use wine – whether red or white – as a cooking ingredient. There are quite a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you don’t ruin your special dinner, so in this article we take a look at what you should be doing (as well as what you shouldn’t) when you’re using wine a s a cooking ingredient.
Make sure to cook with good wine
If you think that buying the cheapest possible bottle of Australian white wine or red wine at the supermarket is a good way to introduce this amazing drink into your meal, you couldn’t be more wrong. Generally, if you’re cooking with cheap and nasty wine, or wine that has long past its use by date, then you will usually end up with mediocre food. This isn’t to say that you should run out and grab a $30 bottle of good red wine for your spaghetti Bolognese, but finding a good middle ground can really help your dish not get ruined by a poor quality wine. And if you do have some leftover wine, make sure to try a little bit first – if it has gone bad, it obviously shouldn’t find its way into what you’re eating. Getting a random bottle of wine is also not always the best idea – if you don’t want your dish having any unexpected flavours, go out of your way to choose a wine you already know you like the taste of.
More doesn’t necessarily mean better
Although it may at times feel like a secret ingredient, liberally dousing your food with wine doesn’t necessarily translate to better quality food (especially if you’re using it to mask a fudged up recipe). To prevent the entire dish tasting like wine, try to only put in as much as the recipe demands – if it’s a bit sketchy with details, then just add a splash and taste the food you’re preparing – if you feel like it needs a little bit more, you can add some. Its often important to understand how certain wines complement certain foods – white wines are excellent with lighter fare like chicken, pork and seafood dishes, but that doesn’t mean all white wines are ideal. Sauvignon blanc, for instance, can very quickly overpower a delicate dish, making Riesling and chardonnay better picks. If you’re needing to use white wine in a recipe, it’s also a good idea to not discount sparkling wine that has gone a bit flat. Although it might no longer be fun to drink, don’t throw it away – It’s an excellent way to introduce white wine into your cooking.
Use more wine in your cooking
Using wine in your cooking has the potential to make standard fare to become sublime, but to ensure this is the case, remembering the above points will help considerably. Despite our advice to use high quality wine, don’t raid your wine cellar – finding bottles that are around $10 to $15 will ensure you will get a higher quality wine without breaking the bank (or using up special drinking wines, for that matter).