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Old 12-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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P.S. to the above: when I was an interpreter, I also set up a business selling very prestige wines from all over Europe. It was a very exclusive enterprise, and I mainly supplied these wines to top restaurants in London and here and there throughout the UK. My main wine was Jacques Selosse Grand Cru, an extremely particular champagne, if you look it up. I passed on the contract to an exclusive top London supplier called Berry Bros and Rudd when I left the UK. I also delt in premium Bordeaux wines and Burgundy wines. It was a small but exclusive business, more for the love of wine than the profit there was in it. I obtained my Master of Wine certificate, mainly to back up the credibility of the producers I represented, but I loved the job. This is not to boast, rather to say that the main thing I learned from my clients was that everyone has a different palate and different preferences, and there's nothing wrong with any of that. My main point is to say, don't be afraid of expressing your preferences. If Burgundy and mussels are your thing, there's nothing wrong with that. The experience is in the enjoyment.

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Old 12-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
When "they" say that, they don't mean a wine you personally wouldn't drink because you don't like that particular kind of wine.
Excellent insight, med. I completely missed that.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:48 AM   #13
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I have heard chefs use the expression "use a wine you would drink" and the meaning of that statement explained as DONOT use a "cooking" wine. A "cooking" wine is mostly inferior wine and salt and not drinkable. This practice of adding salt to wine came about because restaurant owners noticed that the cooks/chefs were drinking more of the wine than using it to cook with. So the cooking wine stopped the cooks from drinking the profits. So only use a good wine you would pour in a glass and serve with a meal.

That's my understanding of that statement.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
I have heard chefs use the expression "use a wine you would drink" and the meaning of that statement explained as DONOT use a "cooking" wine. A "cooking" wine is mostly inferior wine and salt and not drinkable. This practice of adding salt to wine came about because restaurant owners noticed that the cooks/chefs were drinking more of the wine than using it to cook with. So the cooking wine stopped the cooks from drinking the profits. So only use a good wine you would pour in a glass and serve with a meal.

That's my understanding of that statement.
I've heard that the practice of adding salt to "cooking" wine started during Prohibition.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
I like to drink dry wine. Red or white.

I know that you should not cook with a wine that you wouldn't want to drink.

So, if you like dry wine, do you only cook with dry wine, or do you cook with sweet wines to match the dish you're cooking?

Thoughts?
I think people overthink this too much. The rule should really be "use a drinkable wine," which may or may not be something you'd actually drink yourself.

If I'm adding wine to food, I typically just use whatever I have open. I prefer to stay away from sweet wines, unless a recipe specifically calls for that.

I also keep some of those airline size bottles of inexpensive wine around for cooking. Mondavi Woodbridge, I think, is what I have now. So if I have to open something, I'll use that, rather than a nice bottle I actually want to drink.

Now if a dish revolves around wine as a main ingredient (boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin, for example) then I'd suggest using a little better quality wine. But cooking it destroys any nuance anyway, so don't use anything too pricey.

Stay away from tannic and oaky wines, too. Especially for reductions. It can make for some real nasty tasting sauces. Merlot is a good red choice. For white, I like unoaked Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio/Gris. Both are unobtrusive. I've even used a shot of brandy in a pinch.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:45 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I've heard that the practice of adding salt to "cooking" wine started during Prohibition.
Actually I've heard both. But the one about cooks drinking the wine I have heard more often. They are probably both correct.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:50 AM   #17
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The reason they add salt, as far as I know, is so that it can be sold in grocery stores without having to check whether or not the purchaser is of drinking age. By adding a bunch of salt to the wine, you pretty much guarantee that it's not going to get consumed.

But beyond that, the companies that make this stuff also use the crappiest bulk wine they can buy. Then they cook it to pasteurize it. It's probably barely drinkable even before salting it up.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
Thanks for the link tenspeed. I'm a Kenji fan and happy to hear I've been doing it right all along.
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One last tip: Boxed wine will give you some of the best bang for your buck when it comes to cooking wine, and, even more importantly, it gives you the most flexibility, since you can use as small an amount as you want without worrying about having to finish the rest of the box before it goes bad (boxed wines have an internal plastic bag that prevents any leftover wine from coming in contact with air, greatly increasing its useful shelf life). It's what I keep in my kitchen for cooking, and encourage you to do the same.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:51 PM   #19
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Thanks for the link tenspeed. I'm a Kenji fan and happy to hear I've been doing it right all along.
Woo hoo! Me too! Actually, I have a box of pink for me and a box of Merlot for DH that I dip into. And then I have a four-pack of mini bottles of Pinot Grigio for cooking with white wine.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
The reason they add salt, as far as I know, is so that it can be sold in grocery stores without having to check whether or not the purchaser is of drinking age. By adding a bunch of salt to the wine, you pretty much guarantee that it's not going to get consumed.

But beyond that, the companies that make this stuff also use the crappiest bulk wine they can buy. Then they cook it to pasteurize it. It's probably barely drinkable even before salting it up.
Interesting...because where I live all grocery stores "card" for cooking wine just like other alcohol.

It's amusing to me since I'm nearly 70. I must be maintaining my youthful appearance quite well.
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