The Best Cooking Wines To Incorporate In Your Cooking

It’s pretty easy to drink this worldwide favorite beverage; you just drink the one you like the most. 

But what about wine for cooking? How do you know what’s a good wine to cook with and which one to buy? It may seem too complicated to understand, but with a few basic principles, you’ll be able to use this drink in your recipes like a true professional.

We will help you with some great tips that you can implement into your everyday cooking, so you can start making delicious meals.   

Why You Should Use Wine for Cooking   

Probably the first question that comes to your mind is why you would even use wine for cooking. And don’t worry, there’s a reason for it.   

A good wine can add so much to the final dish due to its acidity. It is used as a base for marinades, making the meat more tender. You can also use it to make sauces and help leaner protein retain its moisture.   

It adds a specific aroma and flavor, and because of it, you need to pay attention to which cooking wines you are using.   

Different types of this drink have different flavor profiles, so you need to be careful when pairing them with foods. So, the next time a recipe asks for a specific type of wine, don’t ignore it and use the one specified.

The Difference Between Red and White Wine   

You don’t drink red wine when you crave white, or vice versa. And it’s the same with using it for cooking. If a recipe calls for a particular type of this alcoholic drink, you should use that type. It’s just impossible to replace the red wine with the white one. They are not interchangeable, and that’s the first thing you need to learn and remember. 

Red wine is much tannic than white, making it turn bitter way faster. If a sauce is made with it and needs to be reduced, you have to pair it with a specific piece of meat that can balance out the bitter taste.   

White wine, being less tannic, can be used for sauces as it won’t become bitter that easily, and you don’t have to be careful when using it. It is often used in stews, risotto, or seafood dishes, and you can let it reduce almost entirely without worries.   

What Are Cooking Wines?   

You can use almost every wine you enjoy drinking for cooking, and you don’t have to buy a specific type labeled as cooking wine. But sometimes, recipes can call for them.   

There are special kinds of drinks made just for cooking, but they are not genuine wines. You’ll usually see them mentioned in recipes for different Asian dishes. It’s a type of rice wine that’s not meant for drinking, as it often contains salt and various spices.   

How to Choose a Good Wine for Cooking   

Even if it seems so, it’s not hard to choose a good wine you’ll use in a recipe. It’s okay to use the ones you usually love to drink. And you can cook with the one you already have at home.   

Once your meal is done, you won’t notice a difference between the price point. A great wine you’ll use for cooking doesn’t have to be expensive, which is excellent, as it makes cooking more accessible and fun.   

The only important principle you have to remember is to use the wine asked in the recipe and not to change white for red, and vice versa.   

Our advice is to buy a good-quality bottle that’s not too expensive to drink alongside your meal. You won’t use the whole bottle in most recipes, so why not have something tasty to sip on.   

A safe choice is always to buy a dry wine and avoid the sweet ones if the recipe does not explicitly ask for it. The sugar from the sweet ones can affect the final dish in an unwanted way and give it a strange taste.   

What’s a Good Red Wine To Cook With  

Red wines make the dishes richer and tastier and the meats more tender. You can use many red ones, but the best are from the Old World as they have less tannin. 

So here are the good red wines you can cook with on any occasion.   

  • Pinot Noir – A perfect wine to add to stews when using especially tough meats. It combines perfectly with fatty pieces of meat.   
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – A full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon is always a good choice when using the braising technique. It’s excellent paired with ribs, especially if you make a glaze to pour over the meat.  
  • Merlot – Unlike the last two wines, Merlot is low with tannins. That’s why it’s perfect for sauces, as it can reduce flawlessly without leaving a bitter taste.   

What’s a Good White Wine to Cook With  

When choosing a white wine, you should avoid the too sweet ones, as the sugar can caramelize and ruin the dish. Or it can make a savory dish too sweet. Always choose dry ones, because with them you can never go wrong. 

And here are some good white wines you can cook many dishes. 

  • Sauvignon Blanc – You should pair a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc with fresh fish. The citrusy aroma goes perfectly with a seafood risotto.   
  • Pinot Grigio – The white wine used the most in cooking is Pinot Grigio because of its simple flavor and aroma. It’s ideal to use it when making seafood stew or pasta.   
  • Chardonnay – A rich and full-bodied Chardonnay will improve any chicken dish or a creamy pasta sauce. Just be sure not to use the aged ones in oak barrels, as that flavor can dominate the whole dish. 

Other Wines You Can Cook With 

Fortified wine is a unique mix of distilled spirits and wine. Many recipes call for them, as they bring solid and nutty flavors to the table. You can use them for many savory recipes and desserts too. 

Here are some of the best ones you can try.  

  • Sherry – Often added to braised recipes, sherry pairs well with earthy vegetables and seafood like an octopus. It’s a white wine fortified with brandy.  
  • Marsala – This beverage can be both sweet and dry, and you’ll use one or the other depending on the recipe. The sweet variety you can use in many desserts, and the dry one is perfect for shellfish.  
  • Port – This is a wine perfect for desserts and demi-glace, and we highly recommend you try it.  

After this detailed lesson, the only right thing to do is drink a glass of excellent wine. If you would love to try some of the best drinks from both the Old and New World, you are welcome to visit us at Stubborn Seed restaurant. Call us today, and book your reservation if you want to explore our well-curated wine menu, accompanied by delicious meals.