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Old 01-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #21
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Wine is also acidic so make sure if you omit the wine from the dish that you balance it with another acid, and not just replace with water or stock.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:20 PM   #22
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I think it's been hinted at above, but you can always try a different wine. If you've tried merlot and didn't like it you can always try sweeter wine, or a blush, or a white wine. If you have tomato in your sauce, you can also just use a splash of vodka. Tomato has some alcohol soluble flavors and vodka will have a very neutral flavor in the recipe.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:24 PM   #23
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I can understand adding wine to a stew to add the flavor of the wine, in spite of any alcohol the wine contains (I've always presumed alcohol evaporates from the heat of cooking). I'm curious what adding alcohol without flavor (vodka) brings to the recipe. Does the addition of alcohol change any of the cooking or flavor parameters?

No mayo, I'm not sure if I agree with replacing wine with "another" acid (I'm not sure wine is acidic at all), but if anybody wants to do that I'd suggest using balsamic vinegar. I've often enjoyed the flavor complexity that balsamic vinegar brings to recipes.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I can understand adding wine to a stew to add the flavor of the wine, in spite of any alcohol the wine contains (I've always presumed alcohol evaporates from the heat of cooking). I'm curious what adding alcohol without flavor (vodka) brings to the recipe. Does the addition of alcohol change any of the cooking or flavor parameters?

No mayo, I'm not sure if I agree with replacing wine with "another" acid (not sure wine's acidic at all), but if anybody wants to do that I'd suggest using balsamic vinegar. I've often enjoyed the flavor complexity that balsamic vinegar brings to recipes.

Greg, all the alcohol does not evaporate out. Depending on the method and duration of the cooking various amounts are lost but never all of it and seldom most of it.

Chart values are offset by one line but it'll give you the data.

Cooking Method
Alcohol Remaining
Alcohol added to boiling liquid and removed from the heat

85%
Flamed
75%
Stirred in and baked or simmered for:
15 minutes
40%
30 minutes
35%
45 minutes
30%
1 hour
25%
1 1/2 hours
20%
2 hours
10%
2 1/2 hours
5%


There are certain flavor compounds in some foods that are alcohol soluble so require the presence of alcohol to b released. Vodka would do that for you.

Wine is an acidic ingredient as is balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar could work as a replacement for wine in some recipes.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
No mayo, I'm not sure if I agree with replacing wine with "another" acid (I'm not sure wine is acidic at all), but if anybody wants to do that I'd suggest using balsamic vinegar. I've often enjoyed the flavor complexity that balsamic vinegar brings to recipes.
Wine contains anywhere from 5.5-10% acidity (I know this because I make wine). The sweeter the wine, the more acidic it is. Though vinegar has roughly the same acidity level as wine, I'm not sure I would recommend replacing wine in a recipe with an equal amount of vinegar, as it has a completely different flavor profile.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:38 AM   #26
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I agree that I wouldn't replace wine with an equal amount of vinegar. Just off the top of my head I'd suggest taking out a cup of wine and adding a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

As I said earlier in the topic I'd reduce the amount of red wine or switch to white wine, or just use beef stock. In fact upon further thought I'd suggest switching to beef stock and adding a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I'm not convinced that the stew needs any alcohol at all. YMMV
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:19 AM   #27
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Well, this posting has certainly started some opposte views. Makes for interesting reading.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #28
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Alcohol releases flavor components in foods that water or oil can't.

Tomatoes, for example. That's the reason you see so many tomato sauce recipes call for red wine or vodka.

Vodka is used when you don't want to impart much additional flavor to the food. Other spirits like rum, bourbon or wine are used for both chemical and flavor reasons.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #29
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Alcohol releases flavor components in foods that water or oil can't.

Tomatoes, for example. That's the reason you see so many tomato sauce recipes call for red wine or vodka.
It's interesting that sugar is added to so many tomato recipes, to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #30
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I am one who is opposed to adding sugar. I don't care for sweet sauce. I don't think it's necessary to add sugar to mask acidity. If you can't find less acidic tomatoes, more 'normal' ingredients can be used to counteract acidic sauce.
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