Whether it’s a nice rosé on a warm summer evening, a sweet white wine to accompany that heavenly dessert, or a full bodied Bordeaux to complement your main course, chances are that you enjoy drinking a glass of wine once in a while. However, in addition to enjoying wine as a beverage, you can also enrich your cooking repertoire by using wine as a cooking ingredient. Cooking with wine can be an easy and fun way to add flavor and aroma to your favorite dishes. You should keep in mind that the quality of the wine makes or breaks the dish: if you would not want to drink wine, do not use it for cooking either. Here are 5 easy ways to cook with wine:
With a splash of wine, you can add complexity and richness as well as a pleasant acidity to your favorite soups. The wine you select depends on the type of soup you’re making; dark red meats and earthy flavors go well with red wines, whereas fish soups or vegetable soups go well with white wines. You can make an easy and delicious onion soup by caramelizing onions, adding beef stock and some chardonnay, and leaving it to simmer with some black pepper and bay leaves.
When you braise with wine, you add richness and complexity of flavor to your dish. Due to the wine’s acidity, it tenderizes your meat while braising by breaking down the muscle fiber. You can try out classic examples like beef Bourguignon and coque au vin that both go well with a nice burgundy, or you can experiment to your own liking.
Since wine helps tenderize meat, it’s a great base for marinades. You can try a red wine marinade with garlic, rosemary and onion for red meats, or a nice and refreshing marinade with dry white wine and lemon or sage for your seafood dishes. Don’t be afraid to try and combine different flavors. Many wines and herbs go well together and practice makes perfect.
To steam with wine you can best use delicate foods like seafood, vegetables or chicken. Since you will add subtle flavors and aromas to your dish, you do not want your food to overpower them. By steaming your favorite white fish with fresh sage, lemon zest, salt, pepper and little Chablis you will create a beautifully fragrant dish. To steam your dishes you can use a pot with a very tight lid, or a bag folded from aluminum foil in your oven.
You can create numerous wonderful sauces with wine: You can simmer wine for a while to get a syrupy wine reduction to accompany dark meats, or caramelize peaches in white wine, sugar and fresh basil for dessert. You can use white wine in your pasta Carbonara or chicken Alfredo sauces, or add a nice full bodied red wine to your Bolognese sauce.