Cooking with Wine – Top Tips

Wine bottle Pouring White Wine into a pot of mussels
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Sometimes a recipe calls for a little bit of wine and it can be tough to choose the right one. Here are our top tips for cooking with wine!

  1. The key to cooking with wine is to ensure the alcohol is evaporated or ‘burnt off’. This ensures the bitter flavour of the alcohol is removed whilst the wine flavour profile remains.
  2. Deglazing pans is the perfect way to cook with wine. Pour a glass of wine into your pan, swirl to remove any tasty cooking juices and bring to the boil to reduce.
  3. If you are cooking for the family and want to substitute wine in a recipe add water in the place of wine. This works well for small amounts of wine in recipes.
  4. Use wine in marinades, perfect for BBQ season. The acidity in wine helps to tenderise meats whilst developing flavour.
  5. As a rule of thumb, use lighter wine styles to cook delicate ingredients such as fish and shellfish. Heavy full-bodied wines with robust flavour profiles suit bold dishes with stronger flavours.
  6. Fortified wines such as Marsala, Sherry and Madeira pack a flavour punch in small quantities. They add sweetness and depth to dishes and have the advantage of a longer shelf life.
  7. Avoid ‘cooking wines’ these tend to be low quality and have a vinegar base. Choice a wine you would like to drink to cook with, an added bonus if not using the whole bottle!
  8. If you are cooking a dish which requires a bottle of wine such as a slow cooked bourguignon, buy 2 bottles of wine. Cook with one bottle and serve the second with the meal. This will pair perfectly and balance the meal.
  9. If a recipe calls for a splash of white wine try using Vermouth instead. A bottle of Vermouth will last in the fridge for months and is useful instead of opening a bottle of wine for smaller amounts.