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How to cook with wine

Home cooks, here's how to pick the right wines for your kitchen

By now, most home cooks are familiar with the cardinal rule echoed by chefs and cookery books everywhere: Never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.

Yet there's more to it than just adding a splash of wine from any open bottle, depending on cooking times, preparation methods and the recipe itself.

For instance, adding a splash of vino to pick up the caramelized bits of seared beef leftover in the pan is one thing. Emptying the contents of an entire bottle of wine for a slow-braised stew is quite another.

To help home cooks uncork the appropriate bottle for the right dish, Relaxnews provides a primer on how to cook with wine.

 

How to cook with wineTHE FLAVOURS
If a recipe calls for a dry white wine, choose wines with less than 4g/liter of residual sugar. A dry wine is more acidic than sweet. For example, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, Sancerre and dry German Rieslings are good bets.

For recipes that call for fruity white wines, consider picking up a Gewurztraminer or Viognier.

Light-bodied red wine: Beaujolais, Valpolicella, inexpensive Pinot Noir, Chianti

Full-bodied red wine: Cabernets, Merlots, Zinfandels, Brunellos, Burgundy wines

Sweet fortified wines like port, sherry, Madeira and Marsala lend depth, nuttiness and richness to dishes.

 

 

FOOD-WINE PAIRINGS

For red meats, or dishes with red sauces
Use a young, full-bodied red wine like Rioja/tempranillo or Beaujolais nouveau

For soup, or beef stock
Earthy, full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Brunello, Merlot, or Zinfandel

For seafood, poultry, pork or veal dishes
Use a dry white wine like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pouilly-Fuissé, Rhone Valley or dry fortified wine like vermouth

For dishes with white cream sauces
Use a dry white wine like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pouilly-Fuissé, Rhone Valley or dry fortified wine like vermouth

For seafood soups like bouillabaisse
Crisp, dry white wine like Muscadet, Sancerre, Chablis

For Consommé, poultry, vegetable soups
Dry, fortified wine like sherry

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