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How to Use Wine in Cooking

How to Use Wine in Cooking

Many people aspire to be better cooks than they already are, using new ingredients and trying new techniques that can enhance recipes and tantalize taste buds. For many, wine can be an effective and exciting way to take dishes to a new level and wow whoever you invite to the dinner table. 

However, not everyone knows just how versatile the average bottle of wine can be for a variety of meals. If you have never thought about popping open a bottle of your finest to prepare a delicious main course, you might even impress yourself by trying it in some of the following: 

In Gravy

After purchasing a bottle of your favorite red or white wine from a vineyard while on Tastes of the Hunter Wine Tours, you might be ready to include it in a recipe to wow your taste buds. There’s no reason why you can’t start with gravy as a safe option before beginning to use it in your main meals. 

On the East coast, you might see gravy as a meat sauce or red sauce mixed in with meat. For this type of gravy, you can brown your meat and add your wine of choice before reducing it and adding tomato sauce. In some parts of the United States, gravy is more of a brown sauce served with biscuits and turkey. For such a gravy, add wine to your pan after adding flour. Once your wine has reduced, and the flour mixture has thickened, you can add water or stock, whichever you prefer. 

In Pan Sauce

Many people love deglazing their pans after cooking a protein to create a sauce. Typically, you might make the sauce with butter and fresh herbs, but you can also add wine. After removing your protein, pour in your wine and scrape the browned leftover pieces from the bottom of the pan. You can then reduce the wine, add fresh herbs, and add a small amount of butter to finish off the sauce. 

To Marinate Meat

Both chefs and home cooks produce delicious marinades to tenderize meat and inject more flavor into the meat. The marinade mixture primarily consists of acid, herbs, spices, and oil. However, wine can also be used for the extra ‘wow’ factor. Add enough wine to cover everything within your marinade mixture, like herbs, spices, meat, and vegetables. Let it sit overnight to marinate, so it has enough time to tenderize and add flavor. However, if you’re marinating seafood, you’ll only need to marinate it for mere minutes. 

To Poach Food

Poaching describes putting food in a liquid and bringing it to a constant simmer. Typically, the poaching liquids are made first and are balanced to ensure the flavors work in harmony before the food is added. Even the most basic poaching liquids contain wine alongside stock, water, herbs, and aromatics. Whether you’re poaching seafood, vegetables, or even fruit like pears, you’ll be surprised at how the addition of wine can truly take the dish to the next level. 

As daunting as it can be to start adding alcohol to your meals, you might be surprised by how wine can enhance nearly any recipe. Play around with different varieties, experiment with both red and white wine, and make a name for yourself as an experienced cook who produces delectable dishes.