Wine, it is what’s best for dinner. Even more than that, it also can be your key ingredient in dinner. Exactly. Cooking with wine makes your food taste the bomb since it brings the additional flavor. When the wine is heated, the alcohol and sulfates found in wine are cooked off, leaving only an aroma and light taste.

Once you know a few ground rules about how and when to add it, you’ll find yourself reaching for a little wine the way you would for lemon juice or good vinegar. It’s just necessary. Here’s how to make it work:

#1 Wine Selection

Source: The Beverage Clique

The first and foremost important rule: Use only wines in your cooking that you would drink! Never – ever use any wine that you would not drink. If you don’t have a wine that you like, better not to use in your cooking because if you don’t like the taste of a wine, you won’t like the dish you choose to use it in. Also, don’t use cooking wines! It’s typically salty and the additives inside may affect the taste of your dish.

Your wine shouldn’t be expensive but a good quality wine that you enjoy will definitely provide the best flavor. Most people would save their most expensive bottles of wine for drinking, and rather use their table wines for cooking. You can start with either a basic red or white wine. A good example yet easy for red is Cabernet Sauvignon while for white is Sauvignon Blanc.

#2 Quantity of Wine

Source: Leaf TV

The function of wine in cooking is to intensify, enhance and accent the flavor and aroma of food – not to mask the flavor of what you are cooking but rather to fortify it. The alcohol in the wine evaporates while the food is cooking, and only the flavor remains. This is why it should not be added to a dish just before serving, as it should simmer with the food or sauce.

Pay attention to the amount of wine you would add to your dish. Think of it as a usual and normal seasoning. Too little wine will be lost, and too much will be overpowering. Here’s the tip: Start with small amounts and add gradually. Remember that you can add more wine, but you cannot take back what you have already put in.

#3 Red or White?

Source: Y Lift

As we said before that you can go with both, or probably rosé, note that young wines with lively fruit notes add the best flavor. Use dry red wines with moderate tannins, like Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chianti, and lighter-style Cabernet are all good. The acidity will punch up other flavors in the dish while add depth and zing to the flavor.

Going with white? White wine is a pantry staple for most cooks, and it’s really versatile. Use dry white wines with higher acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sémillon, or dry sparkling wines – since it’s good of their bright citrus and green apple notes.

#4 Know When to Add

Source: Jamie Oliver 

White wine works best to deglaze the brown bits for a pan sauce for sautéed fish, chicken, pork, or mushrooms. It’s also good touch for risotto, a pot of shellfish, and a court bouillon for steeping salmon, bass or flounder. Meanwhile red wine works to slow-cooking stews or tomato sauces. Use it for pan sauces for seared lamb, duck, chicken or beef. Oh, even for flavoring desserts!

But to get the best flavor and make sure the alcohol is cooked, you have to understand when to add the wine:

- For stews, braises, or long-simmering tomato sauces, add wine early in the simmering stage right after you’ve browned the meat and vegetables.

- For pan sauces, add the wine after you’ve set the meat aside to rest. Reduce the wine to a syrupy consistency, scraping up any browned bits.

- For marinades, add the wine with all the other marinade ingredients. The marinade can also be used as the base for a sauce.

- In risotto, add the wine after the onions are soft and the rice has been added and lightly toasted in the butter.

- In a sauté of shrimp or scallops, add the wine after the initial searing but before the fish is cooked through, make time for the wine to reduce.

If after you read everything you have your mind thinking that “hell yes, I should try to cook one dish now!” Well, go ahead choose a bottle for your cooking ingredient, even better two – to reward yourself and serve to your guests during the meal. There is something fun about having the same wine both in the dish and also in your glass. Be it red, white, or rosé, Boozeat carries all in hand.

Wanna try something else? We’ve got other matching booze and bites here! Note that the more you use wine in your recipes and cooking, the better you will be able to predict the taste and flavor. Practice makes perfect!