Cooking with Wine

Most of us have heard the age-old saying, “only cook with wine you would drink.” Not only does it make it fun to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine while using it in your creation, but the wine will enhance the dish you are creating by adding sweetness, acidity, and even balance.

As easy as it is to enhance your dish, if the wine is not reduced after adding, it can leave you with an unpleasant alcohol pungency. Therefore, when using wine in cooked food, we always reduce the wine down. This will cook off the alcohol and further develop the rich, aromatic, and divine flavors of the dish you want to enjoy. 

Check out these three ways we used wine in our own cooking experiences to enhance and develop flavors of our dishes. 

White wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay have high levels of acidity which makes them great cooking compliments, using a good amount of Sauvignon Blanc, we can create a Spanish green sauce consisting of simple ingredients that are stocked in most households. After adding the rice, we not only deglaze the pan with the white wine, but reduce it by half. This will allow the rice to cook in a good amount of acidity, helping develop the simple, yet complex flavor of the dish. Check out our recipe for a Seared Salmon with Saffron rice in a Spanish Salsa Verde to help inspire you to create your own dishes using this same technique.

French bistros use red wine in sauces for a variety of dishes. One classic French red wine sauce is the Bordelaise sauce. Using a lighter red such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir, along with a savory concentrate of a demi-glace and beef stock, you can transform your steak night dinner, whisking you away to a small bistro in Paris. The sweetness of the shallots, along with the herbs, complement the acidity and savory notes, creating a well-rounded sauce that guarantees to wow your dining guests. Check out our recipe for Bordelaise Sauce to see how you can elevate steak night.

The most common method of using wine in cooking is in the technique of creating a pan sauce. After searing your protein of choice, you are left with a pan filled with flavor bits called fond. Instead of letting that concentrated flavor go to waste, you can create an easy pan sauce that will complement the dish with its own enhanced flavors. After removing your meat, add some shallots and herbs. Let those cook down for a minute or two and then pour in a wine of choice to lift the flavors from the pan. Finish the sauce with a fat source and you just created a delicious pan sauce to use on your dish. Check out our Pan Sauce recipe to see how easy it is to create.

These are just a couple of ways you can enhance your dishes using wine. There are countless other ways you can create wow factor dishes of your own. Show us your own creations and check out these recipes and more on