Thanks to shows such as Gordan Ramsey’s Master Chef, Top Chef, and Iron Chef, it is safe to say that households in America have fallen in love with the art of cooking. Cooking is a staple for most households, and many times, it is done as a necessity. However, finding new dishes to make and incorporating new recipes can make the task more enjoyable. And what could be more enjoyable than cooking with wine?
Before you toss on your apron there are a few coveted rules when it comes to cooking with wine. Let’s dive into the basics.
Cooking with the Right Wine
Choosing the right wine to cook with is the first path you must cross to elevate your dish. While there are wines specifically make for cooking, many chefs have sworn off cooking wine. This is because cooking wine is made from wine that is not seen as suitable for drinking. Therefore, it is inferior to wine that is made for drinking and will not provide the full flavor of the wine.
It is not necessary to buy expensive wine. However, a good quality wine that you enjoy will bring out the flavors that your crave in your meal.
Deciding Between Red or White Wine
A good rule to follow when deciding between red and white wine is to choose what you would typically pair with the meal.
According to Food & Wine, there are 15 rules to follow when pairing wine with food. For example, Pinot Noir is known to pair well with dishes that have an earthy flavor. Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, and Bordeaux-style blends are excellent with red meat. If you would like to try your hand at some good ole sweet barbecue, then Malbec, Shiraz, and Côtes-du-Rhône are the way to go.
Cooking with a wine that comes from the same region as the herbs and vegetables used in the dish is another rule of thumb that chefs often follow.
“I like to stick with wine that comes from the same place as the ingredients or recipe I’m using. Food and wine have always evolved in harmony with one another, so they’re naturally matched.” –Josh Adler, wine buyer for San Francisco’s Bi-Rite market
Adding the Right Amount of Wine
The amount of wine that you should add to your dish depends on how intense you would like the flavor. It also depends on the type of food that you are cooking. Therefore, this amount is up to the discretion of the cook. However, there are suggested amounts to add:
- Soups – 2 tablespoons per cup
- Sauces – 1 tablespoon per cup
- Gravies – 2 tablespoons per cup
- Stews & Meats – 1/4 cup per pound
- Poaching liquid for fish – 1/2 cup per quart
There are other rules to the art of cooking with wine, such as sulfites in wine and wine reduction. Nonetheless, these three simple rules will assist you in creating a fun meal with your favorite glass of wine.