If you love to cook and want to try something adventurous, then you might want to consider learning how to create dishes with wine. From main courses to savory desserts, there are many wine recipes out there that are sure to suit your tastes. Learning how to cook with wine can be challenging; however, there are some helpful tips you might want to keep in mind as you collect and try different recipes, especially if you are a wine novice.
1. Premium Wines Are Not Always Necessary
If you are choosing a wine to cook with for the first time, you may be tempted to go with an expensive brand because you believe mid-priced brands might not bring out the full flavors of your food. However, buying an expensive bottle of wine for cooking is not always necessary. A wine that is reasonably priced and is flavored to complement certain foods should make your ingredients pop.
2. Start Out With Simple Dishes
If you are an experienced cook but using wine for the first time, it is a good idea to start out with simple dishes so you can experiment without having to be concerned about cooking unfamiliar recipes. The more confident you are about making certain foods, the more it may bolster your courage when it comes to choosing and adding wine to them.
One strategy for starting out simple is to add wine to sauces or glazes. For example, if you are serving baked fish or chicken, add a touch of dry white wine to your butter or sauce. You might want to avoid bold red wines for these types of meat, as the flavor of the wine may overpower them.
3. Use the Proper Cookware
Some metals may react with wine when they are heated on the stovetop. While these reactions may vary, it is important to use wine-friendly cookware so the metals do not leach into the taste of your food or change the flavor of the wine you are using. Stainless steel and enamel pans are typically non-reactive, and porcelain enamel can last for years when it is cleaned properly.
4. Pour As You Cook
Adding wine to a dish just before you serve it may cause the alcohol to drown out the flavors of the food. To avoid this, pour the wine into your recipe a little at a time as you cook. This can give the alcohol a bit of time to burn off and leave behind a less overpowering flavor. It might also allow you to develop a taste of how much wine is needed for each recipe over time, whether you are using the best chardonnay or a modest Moscato.
Bolder wines, such as robust reds, may need more time on the stovetop than others. Not only can this intensify the color and make your food pop visually, the main ingredients can have more of an opportunity to absorb the flavor of the wine.
Learning how to cook with wine can be both challenging and exciting. Starting out slowly and learning about different vintages, their flavors, and how they pair with certain foods can start you out on the path to becoming an accomplished wine chef.