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Old 04-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #11
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Whites are better for lighter dishes, including fish and chicken. You can also use white wine with red meats. I'd limit red wines to red meats and heavier dishes.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:22 AM   #12
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Those are sort of loaded questions. Used to be the basic "rule" was reds with meat; whites with seafood, but in reality you have to take a look at the bigger picture + what you yourself enjoy drinking.

For instance, there are many strong whites like white burgundy or oaky chardonnay that nicely complement something like a pork tenderloin or chops, just as there are some wonderful Italian reds that go perfectly with, say, spaghetti with red clam sauce or a spicy seafood fra diavolo or cioppino. For me it's always the strenth of flavors in the whole dish that decide which wine will go best.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:40 AM   #13
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I tend to cook with the two wines I drink most often, which I end up having leftovers of in the 'fridge. Usually these are Chianti and Pinot Grigio.

I buy cases of an Italian Chianti Classico I like for around $12/bottle, and my standard table Pinot Grigio is a cheap $7/bottle mass-market selection (Yellowtail). Oddly I don't like any of Yellowtail's other wines, but their Pinot Grigio is a good cheap wine.

Some specific dishes I will get a specific wine for however, such as Merlot with berries, or Chardonnay for butter sauces.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:52 AM   #14
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I, too, would go with a hearty red wine, something you are putting on the table with the dish (or maybe a less expensive version of it, but NOT "cooking" wine). For guaranteed results cooking I like fortified wines. With beef I'd consider dry sherry, marsala, even sweet vermouth ... assuming you like things with a little sweetness. I have no sweet teeth at all, but still recommend fortified wines for beginners (wish someone had told me THAT a couple of decades ago). They are very stable and don't have to deal with the acidic problems you have with some wines.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:24 AM   #15
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Fortified wines don't have to be sweet. I use dry marsala and dry white vermouth, both fortified wines, in savory dishes regularly. I use a dry sherry in Chinese dishes. I don't care for sweet wines in my dishes, but that's just me.

I also stay away from oaky and high tannin wines as those flavors are not really food friendly. So I stay away from cabernet sauvignon and oaky whites.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:14 AM   #16
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Ruby and Tawny Ports are also good for cooking with most meats. They add a different flavor because of their nuttiness. Ruby Port is lighter and fruitier. Fortified wines have the advantage of keeping longer than still wines, if you are not a wine drinker.

One of our favorite dishes is a hazelnut-crusted veal chop with a Tawny Port/Creme Fraiche Sauce.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:25 AM   #17
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Lot of deserts i cook mix it with sweet wine ... mix with fruit is so delicious
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