Wine has been around for centuries. It can be used to dye fabric, disinfect your kitchen, clean veggies and, of course, enjoyed as part of a meal. But, what about cooking with wine? Are there any secrets you should use for better tasting foods? Not surprisingly, there are. So, if you love to cook – or perhaps just want a new way to add life to one of your old recipes- then these tips from renowned chefs will provide just the flavor you are looking for.
Cooking with Wine like a Pro
We all know that there is more to wine than its color, age, or taste – yet all of those are part of using them to cook with and not just drink. These tips can help you take that “basic” bottle of wine and use it to turn a so-so dish into something spectacular.
· Braising meats – You don’t need to use an expensive wine for braising for meats because the wine is going to cook low and slow and the flavor will cook off anyway. Save the expensive wine for the meal, and use some inexpensive for the braise.
· Let it cook. – When cooking with wine, take time to let it cook down before adding in another liquid.
· Too much wine – If you add wine to a dish, and realize it was too much, you can minimize its flavor by adding in some butter or olive oil to balance the flavor. Another option is to add some pureed cooked onions for a savory dish, or pureed, cooked apples for a sweet dish.
· Red or White – If a recipe simply list a wine color then it typically means a medium to dry wine. For a red, a good choice is a pinot noir, and for a white that means a pinot grigio.
· Cooking wine vs. wine – A rule of thumb is if you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it. Cooking wines have more salt and often stronger acidic content so they will taint the flavor of the dish.
· Sautéing veggies - Instead of sautéing veggies in butter or oil, sauté them in a smaller amount of oil plus some wine for flavor and moisture.
· Marinades – Rather than making a marinade with 1/2 cup of oil, decrease the oil to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup wine.
· Decreasing the amount of fat - Instead of adding 3/4 cup of oil to a cake mix recipe, add 3/4 cup of white or dessert wine to the batter.
· Water to wine – Wine can be used in place of water in any recipe– just use the same amount.
· Left over wine – If you should happen to have left over wine, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Later it can be used to enhance sauce, punch, sangria, veggies, etc.
The next time you reach for a bottle of wine for dinner, ask yourself what you will be using it for? Cooking or drinking and then purchase accordingly. Be it a red or white, there are many great ways to make your next meal special. The Bear Claw Vineyards white wines will be ready in 2017, and our reds will be ready in 2018. We look forward to our wines being a part of your dining experiences. Keep watching for news about the happenings at Bear Claw Vineyards. We can’t wait for you to indulge your taste buds with our wines!