Cooking With Wine

Cooking with wine, and not cooking wines, is a growing trend. Have you ever noticed how many recipes include cooking wines? The better substitute is to use real wine, fine wines. There are actual benefits of using wine in recipes and what better way to enjoy the aromas and flavors a wine has. In fact, some flavors only come out when you add alcohol to it. Let’s explore further about cooking with wine, I am also going to include a few recipes and ideas of how to use wine while cooking.

Cooking with wines can be for all courses of your meal, including dessert! Why not a wine float?

Benefits of Cooking with Wine

Use wine to marinate meats – it helps to tenderize it, adds moisture, and it adds flavors from the wines

Enjoy it as a Fat substitute in recipes.

Saute veggies in smaller amounts of oil and add wine for flavor and moisture

Baking! Replace the oil in a cake recipe with the same amount of a white or dessert wine in the batter.

Sautéing fish just got amazing and healthier. No tartar sauce needed! Add wine while simmering or add it to the foil pack when you bake the fish. 

Cooking Wine vs Regular Wine

When it comes to using Cooking Wines, someone once told me if you can’t drink it why bother cooking with it? Very wise woman that Tanya is. Because the reality is that Cooking Wines are quite salty on purpose so that you cannot just drink them. It is so they can sell it at a lower cost and doesn’t fall under “alcohol”.

Choosing the Perfect Wine for Cooking

Let’s think about the aromas and flavors we tend to enjoy in white wines. Melons, apple, pear, citrus, vanilla, caramel, olives. Well when making a dish with these same foods, choose that wine!  Example, the Tanya Pinot Grigio has hints of Pear, citrus, so imagine making an upside down pineapple cake, 

Next what flavors and aromas do we typically smell and taste in red wines. Currants, chocolate cherries,plums, oranges, peaches, berries. Mmmmm complete heaven. Yes, I am a red wine lover. Pinot Noir and Merlot are my favorites. Can you imagine brownies made with a bit of merlot? That extra flavors making them more moist and decadent. Yeah, I think I need to add ingredients for brownies to my shopping list now.

Are you ready to expand your weekly menu?

Have you ever thought about why they serve lemon wedges with fish? It actually is to help bring out the natural flavors of the fish. We all know lemons are acidic, this is what is bringing out the flavors. Now, most people do not eat lemons straight up. There is usually something with it to make it less of a bite. Think of Lemonade, sugar gets added to sweeten the taste and lessen the tart bite. Well, when it comes to wine, that sharp bite in the wine is “acid”, so when you pair it with a food to offset the bite, the flavors and aromas are opened up and the whole meal is more enjoyable. This goes for cooking with wine as well. Another acid we all commonly use in cooking is vinegar, especially in marinades. I cover Marinades in a section below, so keep reading.

Red Red Wine….You may my meal so fine!

Additionally, red wines contain tannins or the bitter part in the wine.  Relatively, some find strong tea very bitter, that is the tannins in the tea. So when you have a hearty food or strong flavored dishes with high protein, like a beautiful, thick juicy steak, the tannins in the red wines take action and clean the palate. Our wines have some incredible reds that go amazing with high protein foods such as steak. Now marinating that steak in the same wine you are going to enjoy it with in the meal will just enhance all the beautiful meaty flavors of the steak. Combining the aromas makes it an incredible enhancement in the meal. For those of you who do not consume alcohol or wine out of the glass, cooking with the wine allows you to enhance your foods as well.

Additional Tips When Cooking with Wine

1. Sparkling wine that is flat is still great to cook with

2. Wine that’s been open too long for drinking is still fine for cooking 

3. Use whites to cook with tomato

Marinades Made Better with Wine

In its most basic form, a marinade consists of oil, herbs, spices and acid (vinegar). When using wine, use it as the acid in the marinade. Equal parts with the oil. In researching on several different cooking sites and cookbooks, it is important to note that the right amount of wine combined with giving the meat the proper time to marinate in a refrigerator is not a fast process.

Plan for an overnight, 24 hours is better for beef and pork. If it is a tougher and stronger meat, marinate it more to make it more tender and juicier. Just do not over power the flavor of the meat with an overly strong wine. Finally, be sure to taste your marinade. Making sure it isn’t too acidic or too sweet. Additionally, do not use salt in your marinades. Salt tends to overcook the meat and tighten the fibers, which causes the meat to not be tender.

Cooking with Wine – Recipes

Check back soon for the recipes!!

Desserts – We start with them because we can

Red Wine Dark Chocolate Fondue: Looking for a special chocolate fondue that your sweetie will truly love? This is a recipe you need to check out. Perfect for all the strawberries, Angel food cake and whatever else your heart wants to dip into the fondue.

Main Entrees

SPAM Recipes Your Family Will Love: Truly if you have never had Spam before, you have not enjoyed a relatively simple but flavorful meal. Check out the several recipes I have loaded up so far! And yes, I am originally from Minnesota, home of Spam.

Merlot & Masterpiece Meals: Every amazing Merlot needs to be paired with an amazing meal. Don’t miss out on these tips and recipes here!