For centuries, people have used wine as a way to add exciting new flavors and layers of richness. It’s also one of the most important ingredients in good food.
To cook with wine, you should be able to use it as a substitute for water or broth in your dishes as well as being able to pick out the desired type from any given bottle.
To fully enjoy this experience, you must have a basic understanding of what wine can do for cooking and what wines work best for different dishes.
You could start by reading up on all of the different types of wines out there – their flavors, aromas, textures, and body types – then experiment with them in recipes until you find one or two bottles that match your palate best. In this article, we will discuss 8 secrets of cooking with wine.
Best kept secrets of cooking with wine
1. Wine helps reduce the sauce in recipes
When you are cooking with wine, it is important to remember that the alcohol in the wine will cook off in most dishes. This means that when you add wine to your dish, there is often leftover acidity and sweetness.
The acids in wine can help cut through fattiness or grease while also brightening up the flavor of your dish. This is why wines are often added near the end of cooking or even after the food has been cooked.
If you are using wine to enhance the flavor in a sauce, it’s usually best to add wine towards the end of cooking while also reducing the sauce slightly so that it thickens up and reduces down into a more concentrated flavor. This will help make sure that your dish tastes the same way it would if you had added broth or water instead.
2. Adding wine while cooking vegetables helps them caramelize beautifully
For vegetables like onions and garlic, adding wine while they are cooking can help them caramelize beautifully. This is because the alcohol in the wine will immediately boil off when it’s added to a pan, leaving behind the sugars that will help caramelize your vegetables quickly.
The sugars in wine can give even bland vegetables a luscious glaze if you are cooking them long enough to caramelize the sugars. It’s important to remember that this works best with very low heat.
Poorer quality wines are not necessarily better for this purpose, so you will have the most success if you use a rich flavorful red or white wine, depending on what type of vegetables you are cooking.
3. Using wine as a marinade helps tenderize meats
Adding wine to your meat not only adds an incredible flavor but can also help break down the muscle fibers without drying out your meat or burning it.
Wine is full of acids which play a huge part in this process. If you are marinating your dish overnight, you might want to mix your wine into the dish after it is done cooking. You can also let it cook overnight for a greater effect.
Wine marinades are great for red meats like steak, lamb, and pork. Nowadays alcohol delivery 24 hours is not a problem. Many online liquor stores offer alcohol delivery every day, so you can buy wine and use it for an extensive period to cook your dishes.
4. Wine can help release the natural flavors in food
Wine is high in sugar and acids which can help break down proteins, making them more likely to release their flavorful juices into whatever dish they are part of.
A sure sign that this technique is working is that your meat will be very aromatic after cooking it with wine. Wine can play a huge part in giving your food an amazing flavor if you know how to use it right. By releasing the natural flavors of meats and other dishes, wine can give you an easy way to make your food taste better.
5. Wine can be substituted in most recipes that call for water
If you find yourself wondering what to cook with wine or how to substitute it into your favorite recipes, there is no need to worry! The secret is simply that wine has a very similar flavor profile to water because it is mostly made up of water!
This makes it a perfect substitute for dishes where you might usually use just plain old water to cook with. This means that if your favorite recipe simply calls for water and no broth, wine can be used as a wonderful substitute that will add an extra layer of flavor and enhance the dish much more than just water alone.
6. Red wines are great in meat dishes, whereas white wines are used in seafood recipes
Seafood is known to pair well with pale wines – mostly because they are generally light, fresh, and crisp. You can also try experimenting with sweeter whites in your seafood dishes for added balance.
White wines tend to have fewer tannins – which make them more acidic – than other wines. This means that they are less likely to overpower or clash with seafood.
The best pairings with red wine come from rich meats like ribs, beef, lamb, and venison that can stand up to a heartier red wine. You can also try different meats that are commonly paired with the wines of their region like a duck (Bordeaux, France) and game meat like elk (Oregon).
Pairing your dishes with wine takes some practice but once you train yourself in the basics it gets much easier!
7. The alcohol content in wine will cook off while it simmers
When you use wine in a dish that is thickened or simmered (like sauces, stews, and meat dishes), the alcohol content will cook off while it simmers. This gives your dish a little extra flavor without all of the added liquor which can make some people feel like they need to drink more to equal out their meal!
The alcohol content in wine will not evaporate but heat and liquid concentrations will decrease it. This means that if you add a small amount of wine to your dish while it is boiling on the stove, the alcohol will not be as concentrated when it reaches its final destination – so you can enjoy all of the flavors with no worries!
8. Wine has many health benefits
Red wine is a wonderful source of antioxidants that can help fight cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also has tryptophan which can help create serotonin – a mood-enhancing chemical in your brain. Wine is also high in flavonoids which are great for boosting immunity.
Many wines are also low on the glycemic index so they are better for people watching their weight or trying to cut down on carbohydrates. White wines are often lower than reds in terms of their calorie content.
There are many different ways that you can cook with wine. You can use it to marinate your meats, create sauces, or just add a little extra flavor to the background of your dish.
Wine is an important ingredient in cooking and its many flavors can enhance different foods in subtle ways. It is used in seafood, meat dishes, and many other recipes.
It also has health benefits that can reduce the risk of disease, regulate feelings in your brain, and help you to lose weight.
Whether you are trying to find something new to bring out of your pantry or search for a wine to complement a dish, understanding how wines work in cooking is the first step towards an enhanced meal.
So, next time you cook, try using wine and see what kind of difference it makes!
8 Secrets of Cooking with Wine Incredibly Tasty Food! – guest article by Eliza Brooks.