There is no doubt that the addition of a great wine to a well-loved recipe can make all the difference, but using the wrong type can bring disappointment come dinnertime. Fortunately, there are some great tips available to help make sure that does not happen.
Assess Your Ingredient List
Every wine is made up of acidic notes, sugar and tannins that will make their presence known in any dish that incorporates them. However, a wine’s more subtle traits are likely to cook out in the heat. In order to achieve the right effect, review the recipe to be used in advance. If there is a great deal of citrus juice, vinegar or other acids in the food, take that into consideration when choosing wines. This tip is particularly important when using white wines. Drier whites are great to use with vegetables and light fish. Foods containing carrots, onions or tomatoes will benefit from the use of a full-bodied red, due to the sugars those foods contain.
Which Color To Choose
When cooking with wine, it is always wise to use something you would be happy serving with the meal. If you are planning to drink a wine that is not extraordinarily rare, consider purchasing a second bottle to use in food prep. If red wine is involved, however, be aware of tannin levels. Wines that are high in tannins can taste a bit harsh when reduced for a sauce. The good news is that tannins can be greatly tempered by the protein found in dairy and meat.
Bi-Rite Market wine buyer Josh Adler simplifies the process by suggesting that those wishing to cook with wine choose something that originates from the same geographic area as the recipe or ingredients that will be part of the meal. There is a synergy between food and drink that cannot be denied, and it will come through on the palate.
Keeping An Eye On Quality
While it may not feel right to cook using a pricey bottle, it is wise not to use especially cheap wines. Wine that is not good enough to stand alone as a drink is not of sufficient quality to use in cooking. Go for an everyday wine of respectable quality.
Cooks interested in developing even deeper layers of flavour in their dishes can utilize fortified varieties including Medeira, Port, Marsala and Sherry.