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Old 01-17-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Do you use really good wine for cooking?

TV chefs often say you must only use really good wine for cooking as it reflects in the food - I just can't get myself to pour half a bottle of really nice wine into a pot when I can drink it. I won't use really horrible or off wine but I will use entry level wine (we get it in 5L boxes over here - I don't know about there)
So the question is - do you use your good wine for cooking ?

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Old 01-17-2008, 12:52 PM   #2
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Hi, Tanya. I use the same wine I'm drinking with the meal, although my recipes using wine usually call for 1/2 cup or less. About the only exception I can think of is poached salmon, which uses 2 cups. DH isn't happy about that, but I really like the flavor of the salmon done that way, so I just let him grumble
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #3
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If you're drinking $100 per bottle wine, I would suggest you should use something less expensive in your cooking.

When you hear the expression, "Don;t cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.", the real truth is that you should use drinking wine to cook with and NEVER use cooking wine. So if you are cooking a beef dish that calls for a red wine in the cooking, save the $100 cabernet sauvignon for the table and use a less expensive yet drinkable cab for the stove.

Cooking wines contain salt and taste awful. They will make your dish taste awful as well.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Cooking wines contain salt and taste awful. They will make your dish taste awful as well.
Seconded! the same applies to cooking sherry as well AND some sake! *YUCK*

the way I do it is simple (for me), if we have a drink and the bottle isn`t all used, it goes in the fridge with a blast of CO2, then I plan a recipe that will use it sometime in the next day or so.

Beer is a different matter, there`s always several crates of beer in the house so it`s never an issue.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TanyaK View Post
TV chefs often say you must only use really good wine for cooking as it reflects in the food -

I can't say I have ever heard chefs say you must use "really good wine" when you cook.

They generally say (like the others have suggested here) to use a quality of wine that is suitable for the table.

There is really no need to cook with "really good" wine. So many dimensions of a very fine wine would be lost in the cooking process that it would hardly be worth it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:48 PM   #6
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I agree with what others have already posted. Use a "drinkable" wine in your cooking & save the really pricey stuff for drinking. Just keep it in the same family.

For instance, I'll use a decent California jug wine (like Gallo, etc.) to cook with - especially if the recipe calls for a decent amount of it - but will serve a nicer wine of the same type or in the same family to accompany the meal. I've never been disappointed or received any complaints. : )

Something else to keep in mind is advice from that cooking diva Julia Child, who recommended in her cookbooks the use of a good dry vermouth in the place of "dry white wine" in many recipes. She claimed that a good dry vermouth was frequently better than a cheap white wine - although as a caveat she did write that before the influx of better California jug wines.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
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Luckily the market is so flooded with sub-$10 drinkable wines right now, that I don't have to make this choice. Anything I grab out of the pantry is good for drinking or cooking...
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaK View Post
TV chefs often say you must only use really good wine for cooking as it reflects in the food - I just can't get myself to pour half a bottle of really nice wine into a pot when I can drink it. I won't use really horrible or off wine but I will use entry level wine (we get it in 5L boxes over here - I don't know about there)
So the question is - do you use your good wine for cooking ?
No, and neither do they! They talk a good game. If you went into their walkin, you might very well find a BOX of Peter Vella.... Many chefs use box wine for cooking. Much of it is NOT the plonk we've been led to think it is, but even so, it does not impart a bad flavor. Some "really good" wines will give you a worse result... as in oaky chardonnay is likely to leave your dish tasting like wood chips, and a tannic young Cabernet is going to leave those puckery tannins in your dish, as the flavors concentrate as they reduce!

I most often cook with Frontera wines from Chile. If you live where wine is sold in supermarkets, this one will be there. It costs about $8 for a 1.5 liter bottle. Good enough to drink for supper, as well.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Something else to keep in mind is advice from that cooking diva Julia Child, who recommended in her cookbooks the use of a good dry vermouth in the place of "dry white wine" in many recipes. She claimed that a good dry vermouth was frequently better than a cheap white wine - although as a caveat she did write that before the influx of better California jug wines.
Julia cooked with Vermouth -- specifically Noilly Prat Vermouth -- even after there were good inexpensive Cali wines.

One good reason to use vermouth, is that it keeps quite a bit better after opening than does white wine, because it is fortified. You should be good with an opened bottle of dry vermouth in your fridge for a month. Not so the wine.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #10
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Yes, that's true. I always have dry vermouth in the pantry. Never even refrigerate it & it lasts just fine.
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