Dan Maynard's Article On
Cooking With Wine

Cooking with wine

This chef loves cooking with wine.

Our Introduction To Cooking With Wine

Maynard gets into real specifics about cooking with wine. He even includes a chart showing how alcohol disappears with cooking. There is a lot of very good advice here, you may want to read this article twice.

Wine…It’s Not Just for Drinking!

By Dan Maynard

Want to add some pizzazz to your favorite dish? Trying adding some wine next time! If added correctly, wine can provide unmatched flavor-enhancing qualities to your recipes.

Spice it Up!

You flavor your food with spices, right? Well, why not consider spicing up your recipes with some wine? Making your favorite homemade spaghetti sauce or hearty soup tonight, while sipping on a glass of your favorite red wine? Go ahead…pour a couple of splashes of your wine into the sauce…and voila! Your spaghetti sauce just took on a bolder, more interesting flavor!

And if you’re whipping up a wonderful cream sauce or a marinade for your favorite chicken or fish recipe (while sipping on a tasty white wine)…don’t hold back…throw a couple of splashes in there too! Matching wines from the same region as the food you’re preparing is also a good rule of thumb to follow (Italian wine with Italian food, etc.).

Remember…you can’t go wrong if you’re cooking with a wine that you like to drink! And by all means, stay away from those so called “cooking wines”…they’re usually very cheap and they taste like it! They can add an overpowering, unwanted saltiness to your dish. So only use wines that are intending for drinking.

The Alcohol Effect

Keep in mind that the longer you cook or bake your dishes after adding the wine, the more alcohol content you’ll burn out. Alcohol in wine actually begins to evaporate at 172 degrees, so even if you don’t drink wine for whatever reason (although we can’t think of any), you can still use it to enhance the flavor of your food.

Following is a chart that indicates the amount of alcohol remaining in the food after the specified cooking period.

40% After 15 minutes
35% After 30 minutes
25% After 1 hour
20% After 1.5 hours
10% After 2 hours
5% After 2.5 hours

Keep in mind here that while the alcohol evaporates, the other flavors concentrate. What does that mean to your recipe? A sweeter wine is going to add sweetness, while a fruity wine will kick up those flavors...get the idea?

Every Step of the Way

Wine can actually be used in every step of the cooking process, beginning with the marinade you use for your favorite meats, poultry and fish. It helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat, while bringing out the rich flavor.

Deglazing a sauté’ pan? Use wine for the deglazing process, then use the resulting liquid as a base for your sauce. Remember though that red wine needs to be reduced until it is almost gone, or it can add a shade of not-so-lovely purple to the color of your food. You’ll only need to reduce white wine for a short time to burn off the alcohol.

Oft times, fortified wines are used to finish a dish. Adding it at the end of the cooking process allows the subtle notes from its aging to be released in the aroma.

So why not choose and buy some great wine online (www.mywinesdirect.com is a favorite), pull out your favorite recipe file, pour yourself a glass of wine...and let the creativity begin! Cheers!

About the author: Do I ever love food and wine. Not only do I love to write about it but more passionately love to savour it. Dan also maintains his own web site http://www.winerackbutler.com where he helps the uninitiated wine enthusiast to learn about everything from where to buy wine online to selecting a wine storage rack best for your needs. Dan lives in the great prairies of western Canada with his wife and children.

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