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Old 05-24-2008, 04:33 AM   #1
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Need help selecting wine to cook with

First off i have been cooking since last november and i love it. When im bored i think of things to cook. Im a poor mans cook. Im 23 cook only one person meals. Being 23 the cheaper the better so what i use usually isnt the top notch stuff some of you may be used to. I have been crusing these forums for a bit now and had to ask about wine. Im not a wine drinker so the wine(s) i do get i would like to last a bit so im guessin i would need fortified wine? But besides that no idea what to get. I cook mostly simple stuff chicken and beef here and there but usually all over the place with what i make. Always wanted to try cooking with wine, probably not ready to since im so new to cooking but its going to happen either way.

Now after that long intro... What kind of wine should i be looking for. Think more of wines that would be good for multiple dishes, price is a factor, taste, ext... I came here cause you all seem to know your stuff hope you can help me out.

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Old 05-24-2008, 04:40 AM   #2
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It really depenens on what you're cooking and your preference. I use a lot of sherry and red wine, with some white wine, vodka, marsala and tequila on occasion. Generally speaking, chicken goes well with white, beef with red. I always use dry. But it really is preference. A general rule of thumb is to buy something that you would drink yourself, although it doesn't have to be expensive. And play =p.

One note, ALWAYS avoid cooking wine. It's packed with enough slat to be unpalatable. It would be better to leave it out entirely than to use.
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:52 AM   #3
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well im looking to make the sauces and from all the goodies left on the pans. Looks good on tv so wanted to give it a shot
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:06 AM   #4
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You might just try a burgundy/ merlot (red) or chardonnay (white). Just pick one and use it. I think you'll be please with whatever you pick. You can always expand from there.
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:19 AM   #5
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Well, frist off - like vyapti said - say away from anything labeled "cooking wine". This is pure crap - poor quality wine which is loaded with enough salt you can't drink it. This stuff came from an era, which still exists today in some places in dry counties, where you can't buy alcohol. By overloading it with salt to the extent you couldn't drink it ... it was available for cooking purposes.

Generally - a dry red or white wine is used for deglazing a pan and making pan sauces. I just use $5-$7 bottles of wine. While wine drinkers will decry the use of "wine in a box" for drinking - it's ideal for cooking wine.

And - the general rule for red or white depends on the meaat - red for red meats, white for white meats. Although that theory gets blow out the window with something like Coq au Vin, and some others.

"Fortified wines" are something else - a blend of wine and distilled liquor (brandy, sherry, port).

What are you trying to make?
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:40 AM   #6
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nothing really in particular. probably first dish will be chicken of some sort want to keep simple.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:51 AM   #7
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I like to cook with wines myself and don't drink them all that much at home. I've found that bag in a box wines keep much better than corked wines after opening. Better groceries often carry better ones, usually in a smaller package (1 liter instead of 4 or 5), but if you're trying to keep it ultra cheap, just start with the big boxes that are in most supermarkets, that's about as cheap as you're going to find wine anywhere. Personally I cook more with white wines, I like dry ones, definitely not oaky - pinot gris/grigio, riesling and rioja are all very nice for cooking chicken or fish, avoid chardonnay. If you go for the big box, I think the "Crisp white" was decent last time I used it.

A dry sherry is very nice and keeps well, it actually works well in chinese style sauces and marinades, has a very similar flavor when cooked to chinese rice wine, which is more traditionally used in that cuisine.

Dry vermouth actually a makes a fine inexpensive substitute for white wine and keeps nicely too.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #8
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For a greast all purpose wine to enhance just about any dish, pick up a bottle of dry vermouth. It will last forever in a kitchen cabinet and works well for pan sauces and recipes calling for wines.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:07 PM   #9
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Another option for trying different types of wines is to look for the 4-packs of small bottles. I keep one of red (merlot) and one of white (usually pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc). You'll use most, if not all, of a bottle in one recipe, so they don't need to keep for later. HTH.
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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wel I'm no expert, but I've been buying lakewood wines. There pretty cheap. I have a white and a merlot. There not that bad either for a cheap wine. I'm not a big wine person drinking wise though. The man who works at the store, said that it's a decent wine to cook with. Said to leave in refrigerator after opening and it should be good for a month or possibly more.
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