5 Tips for Selecting Cooking Wine

choosing a cooking winePhoto by Hermes Rivera

Left over wine? Great idea – maybe. The wine you opened and didn’t like? Hmmm… Commercially available cooking wine? Nooooo…. When I’m cooking with wine, I think of the wine as another ingredient, just like the fresh herbs I pick or the cut of meat that I buy. So, the question is, what flavor do you want to bring to the dish you’re preparing?

1: Does that left over wine still taste good? If so, go for it! Whatever it tastes like is what it brings to the dish, so if it smells like vinegar or fingernail polish remover, think twice!

2: That wine you didn’t like? Only you know. If it was just too ordinary for your taste, it would probably make an OK addition, since it’s going to be cooked and intermingled with other flavors. If it tasted weird or harsh – or sharp – the cooking will concentrate it, so you be the judge!

3: Commercial cooking wine: Ugh. This is usually el-cheapo wine, to which they add salt. Can’t see a point in it.

4. If you have a wine in mind to serve with the dish, it’s probably a great choice to cook with, too. It helps make a happy marriage!

5. Do you want to add brightness to the dish (like adding lemon)? A crisp white! For depth – a medium to full-bodied red. Bon appétit!

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