Wine & Food

Snooth User: Mark Angelillo

Wines for Cooking vs Drinking

Posted by Mark Angelillo, Jan 23, 2009.

I just got a message asking what wines are good for cooking with vs pairing -- I figured that's best left up to all of you. There's some good info here from Snooth guest blogger Todd Kennedy:

He suggests making sure you'd drink the wine you're cooking with.

In this post:

Philip suggests that some wines are enhanced with a little heat, bringing out their flavors.

I don't do much cooking with wine, but depending on what I'm having would feel comfortable pairing any drinkable wine. There are no rules, clearly, but how about some ideas/thoughts?


Reply by oceank8, Jan 23, 2009.

I know it may go against what others say but I use box wine for cooking. I figure if the wine is good enough to drink, then I want to drink it, not cook with it. The other benefit to the box wine is it is always ready, I don't have to open something just to splash it in what I am cooking. I use a lot of wine when cooking and just don't want to "waste the good stuff!"

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Jan 23, 2009.

I agree that the better wine you cook with the better the dish comes out - especially if its something wine-intensive like Coq au Vin.

However, I will also use cooking to "dispose" of bottles of wines, sherry and vermouth that have been opened for too long.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 23, 2009.

I generally go by the rule it has to be good enough to drink if you are going to cook with it but any nuance in the wine is ultimately cooked off so good, cheap wine works just fine.

I have used oxidized wine as a marinade with great success since that is more of a chemical reaction using the wines acid, and alcohol, to achieve a desired effect.

The New York Times published a piece on this very topic 2 years ago. I remember since I am quoted in it!

It's a good read.

Box wine for most cooking is a fine solution. Of course I hope that I would want to drink it too!

Reply by Philip James, Jan 23, 2009.

Thanks for starting the thread Mark - i got a question about that too - will direct the user here.

Reply by fierydragon88, Jan 23, 2009.

thank you all!

Reply by syrahlover, Jan 24, 2009.

I recently made a mac'n'cheese to pair with Renard Roussanne. I started by sauteing shallots and then deglazing them with wine. Since I only needed a little I used the same wine I was going to serve the dish was great! I think if the wine is not too pricey and you don't need alot of it, using the wine that you plan on pairing the meal with works well.

Reply by Eric Guido, Jan 24, 2009.

I always cook with a wine that is served with the dish. Kind of a rule of thumb for me.

Reply by BrandonA, Jan 24, 2009.

I love to cook with wines but am afraid you will never see me pour a $30 cab into my risotto. for that reason I always have $10 bottle to cook with. This is my favorite.

It also works great as a sangria wine.

But I also have to agree with RBoulanger, if your making something that relies heavily on the wine for flavor like Coq au vin you might want to step it up a bit. It's also not a bad idea to combine the wine region with whatever you cooking, i.e. Italian, French etc... as detailed as you want.

Reply by edink, Jan 24, 2009.

"He suggests making sure you'd drink the wine you're cooking with."

I've heard this a lot but it doesn't always apply. Sometimes, old lousy wine is a good substitute for (or addition to) cooking with vinegar. You don't drink vinegar by the glass, do you?

There are no absolutes.

Reply by edink, Jan 24, 2009.

True Confession: I posted before read and now see that my point has already been made.

OK, me, too.

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