We have touched on this before in our blog ‘6 secrets to cooking with wine.’ But now, since you are probably spending A LOT more time in the kitchen, we bring you more! Adding wine to a dish isn’t just for experienced chefs to pull off, everyone can try a delicious wine-infused recipe at home. We’re here to show you that wine has its place in the kitchen, and not just in your glass!
1. Storing Leftover Wine
You probably don’t want to use that prized bottle of wine that was gifted to you in your wedding by Aunt Karen, but those less expensive bottles you have waiting for a rainy day, yes, make sure you put them to use! With that said, make sure that the wine you use is still wine you like. Keep in mind that if you don’t like the taste of a wine, you will probably not like it in your food either. We would also stay away from the types of wines labeled “cooking wine”. These are usually very salty and contain other additives that can affect the taste of your dish.
2. Red or White
There is a simple trick to figuring out which type of wine to cook with which type of dish and protein. As we have mentioned in our previous blogs, the rule of thumb is: white meat or lighter dishes call for white wine, red meat or more robust dishes call for red wine. However, you shouldn’t be scared to try your own thing.
3. Develop Flavors
Every wine has its own flavor and aroma profile. Use this to your advantage! Before adding wine to any dish, think about the flavor characteristics of the wine and if it indeed goes well with the dish you are preparing. For example, a nice Pinot Noir usually has deep notes of mushroom. This may pair perfectly with a meat ragù sauce. On the other hand, a bright dish that contains lemon or lime may benefit from a Sauvignon Blanc.
4. Allow the Alcohol to Cook
If you ask celebrity chef, Alexandra Guarnaschelli, the biggest mistake people make while cooking with wine is not letting the alcohol cook. You must allow the alcohol in the wine to evaporate, or the dish will end up tasting like raw wine. After you add the wine, make sure you cook uncovered until about half is reduced. As the raw alcohol evaporates, the liquid will thicken, creating a delicious and aromatic sauce.
5. Cheap or Expensive?
Once a bottle of wine is opened, oxygen begins doing its job. Slowly, but surely, that wine will start turning sour. To elongate the life of opened wine you intend to cook with, refrigerate it. This technique will keep wine for 1 – 2 weeks. To truly assure that your wine will keep, don’t open the bottle.