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Old 01-26-2008, 09:52 AM   #1
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Why cook with wine?

One question, why?

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Old 01-26-2008, 10:17 AM   #2
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One answer, flavor.

The same reason you add any ingredient.

Wine not only adds its own flavor to a dish, the alcohol works with certain ingredients, such as tomato, to release alcohol soluble flavors that would not be as pronounced without the alcohol.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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In the past year, as I have been learning more, I have started using wine in my cooking more and more. The results have been unbelievable!!! The dishes I make which have wine in the usually have the most comments about how good they are! Once caution...once you start you won't stop!! :)
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet View Post
One question, why?

wonderful flavour enhancer!
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
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OK, more questions...
  • I have a recipe that I am making next week that calls for "white wine". That is not very specific. How do I know what to buy?
  • How do you store the wine after you uncork the bottle?
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet View Post
OK, more questions...
  • I have a recipe that I am making next week that calls for "white wine". That is not very specific. How do I know what to buy?
  • How do you store the wine after you uncork the bottle?

You should look for a non-oaky white wine, such as an Australian chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc. Oaky wines don't add a great flavor as the oakiness is concentrated in the dish. Freeze the leftover wine in ice cube trays then pop the frozen ubes into a ziplock bag for storage.

OR

Buy a bottle of dry white vermouth. It can be used in most recipes that call for a dry white wine. Store in a kitchen cabinet. It is fortified so will keep much longer.

OR

Buy boxed white wine and store it in a cabinet.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:46 PM   #7
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I live in the UK. In our supermarket you can buy 4 25cl bottles for 5.00. They have screw tops. I usually get 2 red and 2 white of whatever there is and just go ahead.
The screw top means I just recap it and stick it in the fridge til I want to use it next time. Small ones of red are good as you cannot keep red too long once opened.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:46 PM   #8
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Buy a bottle of dry white vermouth. It can be used in most recipes that call for a dry white wine. Store in a kitchen cabinet. It is fortified so will keep much longer....
Do you just leave it open to the air?
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
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The bottle has a screw cap.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:12 PM   #10
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One of the best wine dishes I ever had , was chesnuts cooked with wine and onions. I forgot the exact recipe , But i can remember how great it was .
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:04 PM   #11
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Wine not only acts as a flavor enhancer, especially when making sauces, but it is a tenderizer for slow cooking, either in the oven or Crock Pot.
As for type of wine, for red I use Cabernet Sauvingon or a good Italian wine but for white wine I prefer Chenin Blanc or Pinot Grigio. I've read several times that Chardonnay tends to leave a bitter finish and I have to agree it does.

If you seriously want to learn more about cooking with wine, go to Google.com and type in the search box "Cooking with wine." You will get a real education on this subject and find more recipes than you can handle.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:11 AM   #12
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I have always found a Riesling to be a good wine for cooking, but that may just be a personal thing; it is slightly sweeter and fruitier than a Chardonnay, which matches my tastes.

For red, I think you have to be more careful to match or contrast flavors and intensities. For a good middle-range flavor intensity, I like to use a Shiraz, and for heavier dishes I go with a Cabernet Sauvignon.

And to save money, I make my own wine, which is a very rewarding experience in itself. I also make beer, which will sometimes find its way into my cooking as well!
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:21 AM   #13
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Leftover? There are only about 3 glasses of wine in a 750-ml bottle. No leftovers at our house

I like sweeter wines, too, and I'm not a fan of red wine at all - drunk straight, it gives me headaches. I like Pinot Grigio, Riesling or even white zinfandel for white wine, and I use Chianti in my lasagna meat sauce.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:30 AM   #14
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One thing I personally want to explore as far as cooking with white wines is to try using New Zealand wines. Apparently, a popular thing for NZ vineyards to do is to store their wines in SS drums instead of the usual oaken barrel. I've only ever had one NZ wine before, but I can tell you it was excellent. I think that maybe using wine that has been stored in steel maybe help to eliminate some of the more unpleasant characteristics that whites sometimes have.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:26 PM   #15
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I generally use for cooking a wine that would be suitable or similar to the one that I would serve with the dish. The exception is if I am serving an expensive wine. I have a problem, however with pouring a $50 bottle of wine into a wine sauce, and generally use something similar in the under $10 range. The best place to store the remainder of the bottle, in my opinion, is in glasses at the table. Nothing enhances a dinner more than serving a compatible wine. Don't know much about wines? Get yourself a good wine merchant and use them for a starting point to develop your own preferences. There are a lot of good inexpensive wines around, and the merchants job is to find them and let you know.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:20 PM   #16
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I gotta hand it to ya, BigJim. You have a way with words and I couldn't agree more.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:00 PM   #17
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Adds flavor !
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:24 PM   #18
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Wine is an integral part of many classic dishes - just think of Coq-au-vin or Boeuf a la mode. The wine adds a richness and depth of flavour that cannot be replicated without the wine. White wine used in a sauce chasseur, in moules mariniere or simply in poaching fish is a necessity - not an option. The question that often arises is what wine to use and how much should I pay for it? The answer is simple - if you wouldn`t drink it - don`t cook with it.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:24 PM   #19
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I ended up with a bottle of California Pinot Grigio.

I do not drink wine, so I am going to try the ice cube suggestion.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:36 AM   #20
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I want to chime in here: if you don't drink wine, buy a fortified wine for cooking. Vermouth, sherry, port, marsala, etc. These have a longer shelf life than other wines and a dollop will add the rich flavor you're looking for. I actually prefer dry vermouth to regular white wine when it comes to cooking (and yes, I am a wino).

I have to say, though, that I ran out of wine and was going to braise a tough old chuck. Hubby said, "I think there's a bottle of dark beer in the back of the fridge." I braised that animal in that bottle of beer and it was to die for! Yummy!
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