The Best Types Of Cooking Wines
The choice to use wine in cooking can be an overwhelming one especially for someone who is new to the vast array of wine selections. Wine can add an entirely new dimension to your favorite recipe. There can however be too much of a good thing or too much of a wrong combination.
Cooking wines can be either red or white wines and perhaps the most versatile is a dry, white wine. Dry wines are better because they are neutral in terms of the range, whereas sweeter whites can always caramelize and add sweetness to a dish that doesn’t call for it.
The best way to bring out the best in combination of wines and recipes is to consult the recipe first. Sometimes you’ll find a place to start within the directions itself. Usually you’ll only need one bottle per recipe. You’ll need to understand just what you’re cooking and how wine will interact with it. The exact type of wine is important as well if you are required to deglaze the pan, which means you use liquid to steam parts of food sticking to the bottom of the pan and it is true that you can also deglaze with water however it doesn’t add the same complexity as wine.
You should be aware that when shopping for cooking wines you should actually avoid the wines that are labeled “cooking wine”, these products are usually near the vinegar and do not contain much alcohol. There are a lot of additives in these options and they should not be used for cooking.
So what is cooking wine? Frankly, all of them can be cooking wines. The wine you cook in should be something that you’d also like to consume, something you like to drink. When you add heat and cook wine the characteristics change, alcohol will burn off and reduce. This means the flavors on top of the alcohol will be heightened and concentrated.
Other characteristics you should observe are the options of dry versus sweet. Full, hearty dishes favor a dry wine. Classic examples of dry wines are Chardonnays. If you’re looking for a dry red wine you should choose a Cabernet Sauvignon, you can even try a Pinot Noir. Just because a wine contains fruit or is described as fruity you should not assume this is a sweet wine either.
The key thing to understand when cooking with wine is to understand the ingredients, sometimes even where the wine and menu ingredients come from can be important. Regional ingredients will interact and complement each other, they are designed to by nature. Wines inherently contain sugars and acids. In order to balance out your recipe check for other ingredients like acids in the form of citrus or lemon juice. Integration of the flavors are key and these can be mimicked by a variety of wines, dry or sweet.
Ultimately you don’t have to break the bank when buying a wine to cook with, the things that make an expensive wine so nice will be cooked off and lost. Layering is more important than just the wine itself. So research your ingredients and wine, then enjoy the complexities of your creation.