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Cooking With Wine: Getting It Right

By Expert Author: Stephen John

There’s no doubt that adding wine to your dishes make them more flavorful. There’s something about this beverage that releases certain flavors that you usually won’t taste when cooking without it. Of course, you don’t just pour wine into what you’re cooking and expect it to taste well. There are certain factors to consider when preparing a dish and you plan to include wine in it.

Planning to host a dinner soon? You’ll certainly make the dishes you’ll serve more exciting if you’ll have wine as part of the ingredients. Here are tips you can follow so you won’t go wrong with it:

Check your ingredients – Wine contains acids, sugars, and tannins, and they’ll certainly be noticeable in the dish. If the other ingredients you’ll be using like vinegar or lemon juice have acidic components, cut back on them so you can allow room for the acid in the wine you’ll be using. This is more crucial if you intend to use white wine. For example, if the dish you’re preparing is loaded with onions, tomatoes, and carrots, there’s going to be tons of sugars in it. If this is the case, you can use a white wine or a less-dry red.

White or red? – Choosing between the two is crucial as it can make or break your recipe. Here’s a tip: the wine you’ll choose for your cooking would be the same type you’d serve with the meal. For example, if you’re pairing red with red meat, you’ll also use it when cooking a dish with red meat in it. And if you’re cooking with reds, be wary of their tannin content. When concentrated, they can render a dish harsh.

From whence they came – Not trying to sound poetic there. This is actually having a regional approach to your cooking. What this means is the wine you’ll choose, as recommended by many wine and cooking connoisseurs, should come from the same place as the ingredients or recipe you’ll be using. This, of course, doesn’t seem like a practical idea, especially if, among other reasons, you don’t even know where your ingredients originated. But if you have the information of both the wine and the ingredients’ origin and you’ve determined they came from the same place, they’d be a perfect match.

Preparation – When cooking with vino, it’s not only about which type to use and how much of it. There’s actually also the aspect of the way ingredients like meat is prepared. Sounds unnecessary? Well, take this example. If you’re loading your meat with tons of spices, you’d need a full-bodied wine for it; otherwise, the acids and tannins from a less-dry wine would be overwhelmed.

Experimenting – No one’s stopping you from stepping into the realm of the bold and the adventurous when it comes to cooking. As it is with other things, if you don’t get it right the first time, you’ll certainly get it in your next or succeeding attempts. Remember that Thomas Edison had tried a thousand times (perhaps even more) before he got the light bulb he invented right.

Have fun with your cooking with wine and don’t be afraid that you’re adding too much or too little. At the end of the day, it’s your taste that will determine when your dish is good enough to serve and share. (Looking for a great red wine for your next culinary masterpiece? You won’t go wrong with a Penfolds grange.)

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