The 5 Best White Wines For Cooking
Do you remember your first bite of linguine with white wine clam sauce, lobster bisque with sherry, or savory chicken Marsala? Cooking with white wine brings balance, fruit, and acidity to so many of our favorite recipes. Once you move past grocery store cooking wine and introduce even moderately priced white wine into the equation , your possibilities and cooking style expand exponentially.
Are All Wines Cooking Wines
Technically, the answer to that question is yes. But realistically, not so much. You see, the term “cooking wine” has a couple of meanings. On one hand, any wine that you use during cooking to enhance your food can be considered cooking wine, whether it’s red wine, white wine, or rosé wine. These can be great to use in your recipes.
On the other hand, there are wines that are specifically labeled as “cooking wines.” While they do have alcohol like regular table wine, these mass-produced products are not actually for drinking. Typically, they’re made with loads of salt and preservatives to improve their shelf life. You don’t want to use these cooking wines.
Good to know: The old mantra of “location, location, location” doesn’t just apply to real estate. When shopping for wine to use in your next recipe, pay attention to where it’s located in the grocery store. If it’s on the shelf next to salad dressings and white wine vinegar rather than side-by-side with other vinos, it’s the kind of “cooking wine” you want to avoid. For more must-have details on the topic, don’t miss our complete guide to cooking wine.
I Would However Suggest Not Using A Red Wine In This Recipe
A red wine would bring a stronger and bolder flavoring that is more suitable perhaps, for red meat. The flavoring would probably over-take the chicken and the recipe could possibly become a wine with chicken rather than a chicken with wine recipe.
Something else to keep in mind with red wine is indeed the color red. The red coloring from the red wine would darken the chicken to a pink or red color. I am thinking however, this color change may not look the best for a chicken dish that you are serving to others.
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What White Wine Is Good For Cooking Seafood
My three favorite grape varietals for cooking are Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and unoaked Chardonnay. Pinot Grigio is the most neutral of the three, which makes it the most versatile. Sauvignon Blanc provides racy acidity, which is particularly delicious in seafood dishes or with sauces utilizing heavy cream.
Best White Wine For Cooking & Substitute In Cooking
Whether you’re a Michelin-star chef, trained sommelier, or just a wine enthusiast, you probably know that wine is an invaluable ingredient in many recipes. Pasta sauce, chicken, fish, and more all benefit from a splash or two of a wine pairing.
Keep reading to learn the best white wine for cooking, white wine suggestions for different dishes, and even some white wine substitutes for cooking.
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How Long Does White Wine Last After Opening
While lower-acid whites can last three to four days, high acidity will keep your wine fresh and vibrant for at least five days in the refrigerator. If you transfer the wine to an airtight container such as a Mason jar before refrigerating it, you can enjoy it for up to a whole week after it was opened.
Substitutes For White Wine
- The first rule of cooking with any wine is that if you wouldnt drink it, you shouldnt cook with it. And white wine is no exception. Accepting a cheap substitute for a decent bottle isnt the best idea.
- However, since heat kills off the alcohol, save those pricier vintages to go with the meal. Also, avoid buying cooking wine at the supermarket. Its sodium-laden, and for the same price, a decent, drinkable bottle of real wine can be purchased instead.
- As for substitutions? Its hard to find a perfect replacement. No dish will have the same rich depth when made with a substitute, but a recipe can still taste very good with mushroom or chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, or even a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice in place of white wine.
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What Does Wine Do For A Recipe
Wine always improves the depth of flavor to any recipe, especially recipes that call for deglazing, steaming, braising, simmering, blending, and creating sauces. Almost always, the alcohol cooks out and the rich components of tangy notes and tannins enhance the flavor of a dish. As Julia Child once said, I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food! But what kind of wine should be used? Read on to find out!
How To Use White Wine As A Marinade
PRO TIP: Leftover marinade can be simmered down into a sauce if desired. Baked Chinese Chicken and Rice has a great, all-purpose marinade that can be made into a sauce afterward.
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Benefits Of Using White Wine In Cooking
Adding white wine to dishes can add flavor and complexity to them. It can also help to deglaze pans, which will create a sauce for the dish. Additionally, white wine is a good source of antioxidants, which are beneficial for health. Using white wine in cooking is a good way to add these antioxidants to dishes. White wine can also be used to marinate meat or fish, which will help to tenderize them and add flavor. Marinating meat or fish in white wine can also help to prevent it from drying out during cooking. Overall, using white wine in cooking is a great way to add flavor and nutrients to dishes.
Avoid Cooking Winesand Really Pricey Bottles
If you wouldnt drink it, dont cook with it. I recommend buying wines for cooking from a wine department in a grocery store or liquor store rather than off the regular grocery aisle, Broglie says, because the wines labeled cooking wine usually have a ton of added salt.
But that doesnt mean you have to go all out on a $100 bottle just for your braised chicken. The best wines to cook with are inexpensive, Beitchman tells us, but thats not the same as cheap. Use something under $15 a bottle and ideally that you enjoy drinking. When in doubt, you can always ask the salesperson at your wine store to point you in the right direction.
A recipe generally doesnt call for more than a cup of wine, so I like to choose a good, moderately priced bottle of Italian pinot grigio or French or Chilean sauvignon blanc, Broglie says. That way, I can pour into a pot guilt-free and enjoy a glass or two while it simmers.
If you have recently opened a bottle and have enough wine leftover to use in your recipe, by all means use it up youll do double-duty by avoiding food waste. Beitchman also suggests combining leftovers from multiple bottles into one container for a general cooking winejust make sure you label your concoction, so it doesnt accidentally get poured by the glass!
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Pick A Wine With Low To Moderate Alcohol
In most recipes, wine takes the place of an acid while adding subtle, nuanced flavors. You dont want to throw a booze bomb into the mix or youll risk everything tasting like alcohol. In most recipes that call for white wine, the goal is to cook off the alcohol, Beitchman says, so the flavor shines through. Lighter-bodied whites generally have lower ABVs anyway. Seek out bottles in the 10 to 12 percent range, like pinot grigio.
Choose A White Wine With High Acidity And Light Fruit Flavors
Celine Beitchman, director of nutrition at the Institute of Culinary Education, suggests a light- to medium-bodied white for cooking. Unless youre making a sweet dish, choose a low-alcohol wine with some acidity thats fresh with a little fruit on the nose. Her two picks? Pinot grigio from Italy or sauvignon blanc from just about anywherewith the exception of Australia or New Zealand, where fruit flavors lean toward the tropical. Something with citrusy notes and lots of bright acidity will liven up your dish.
Master Sommelier , global beverage buyer at Whole Foods Market, agrees: For dishes that call for dry white wines within the recipe, look for wines that are known to have crisp acidity and moderate alcohol. He recommends avoiding richer, full-bodied wines and oak-aged wines because they have a tendency to overpower the food.
If you are going for a sweet dish, try a Riesling, suggests Carlos Calderon, brand chef of North Italia. And if that sweet dish needs a little something-something to balance it out, thats when a dry Chardonnay would workjust look for one thats unoaked.
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Top 5 Best Dishes Using White Wine
White wine is highly versatile and a pantry staple, whether its for sauteing or deglazing. Check out five of the most delightful recipes you can make using white wine.
Is Pinot Grigio Good With Turkey
Wine for a roasted turkey
One white wine Id urge folks to consider serving this Turkey Day is Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio in Italy. As a category, this might just be the ideal Thanksgiving wine. The wines are neither too light nor too heavy. They always have plenty of fruit, and generally, not too much oak.
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What Does Cooking With Wine Do
Wine, like any ingredient, imparts flavor. The tannins of red wine or a white wine’s fresh acidity offer depth and complexity to marinades and sauces of all kinds. However, the chemical compounds in wine also offer textures you might not otherwise get either. For instance, red wine helps break down tougher cuts of meat over long periods in braises and stews. White wine helps fish and chicken retain moisture and delicate texture.
The astringency or tartness of a wine can also balance out sweetness or richness . This can make a dish more sophisticated and take your cooking to new levels. It’s also why, in general, you want to avoid cooking with sweet wines: the sugars in the wine might impart excessive sweetness.
Is A Chardonnay Dry Or Sweet
Chardonnay can taste different, depending on where it grows and how its made. But typically, Chardonnay is a dry, medium- to full-bodied wine with moderate acidity and alcohol. Its flavors range from apple and lemon to papaya and pineapple, and it also shows notes of vanilla when its aged with oak.
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Can You Drink Red Wine With Seafood
For ages, diners have been told that drinking red wine while eating seafood can produce an unpleasant fishy aftertaste. The rule of thumb has been red wine with meat, white wine with fish. But the rule is not hard and fast. Seafood can taste fine with some reds, whereas some whites can ruin the meal.
What Kind Of Wine Should I Cook With
Beef braised in red wine. Mussels in a white wine sauce. Pork belly stewed in fortified rice wine. Wine is one of those rare things that is both worth enjoying on its own and worth using as an ingredient. From fish dishes to desserts, wine plays a crucial role in recipes all over the world. But what are the ‘rules’ of cooking with wine? Should you only use cheap wines? Or should you only use wines fit to drink? What wines should you cook with? Today’s blog seeks to answer those questions as straightforwardly as possible!
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Best White Wines For Cooking Your Favorite Meals
A great dry white wine for risotto is Pinot Grigio or another dry Italian white wine. The nutty, salty Italian cheese in most risotto recipes will pair perfectly with these bright Italian wines.The best dry white wine for cooking shrimp scampi is also Pinot Grigio. Dry vermouth is another great choice.For cooking chicken piccata, most of the above white wines would work well. You could also enjoy Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or unoaked Chardonnay.The best white wine for cooking seafood pasta is Pinot Grigio. This bright, citrusy wine will match the seafood and the pasta.Last but not least, our favorite white wine for fondue is Sauvignon Blanc. Try using it in this yummy fondue recipe!
What Does White Wine Do In Cooking
Wine has three main uses in the kitchen as a marinade ingredient, as a cooking liquid, and as a flavoring in a finished dish. The function of wine in cooking is to intensify, enhance, and accent the flavor and aroma of food not to mask the flavor of what you are cooking but rather to fortify it.
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How It Differs From Sweet White Wine
Using a dry white wine for a recipe is preferred over a sweet white wine because it adds acidity rather than sweetness. Moscato, sweet rieslings, and white ports carmelize quickly when used to deglaze a pan. Other white wines that are full-bodied will add intense flavors to the food, so its best to avoid oaked Chardonnays and the like.
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Dry White Wines For Cooking
To buy a bottle intended for cooking, head down the wine aisle of your local store and select a crisp, dry white wine. There are a myriad of great choices but we tend to favor pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. These lighter-style wines will bring out the flavor of your dish without overwhelming it. Avoid robust and oaky white wines like chardonnay. Once the food is cooked, the oak-influence may cause your dish to taste bitter.
Make sure you aren’t spending too much! When choosing a bottle of white wine to cook with, it should be between $4 and $10 a bottle. There’s really no reason to spend more, especially because once you open it, you have about 48 hours before it expires due to oxidation.
If you cook with wine often, don’t be afraid to purchase something boxed. We like Black Box Pinot Grigio . It’s shaped conveniently to store in your pantry and lasts about six weeks because of the airtight wine-bladder. The wine is neutral in flavor and low in alcohol, making it the ideal cooking wine. You may be surprised to know that many great restaurants and chefs use Black Box as their cooking wine. It’s neutral, economical , and leads to delicious results.
Now that you know what type of wine to cook with, what dish will you make? Will it be Roasted Salmon with White-Wine Sauce or Linguine with Clams in Pepper Broth? Perhaps you will braise chicken thighs in white wine. There are so many delicious options just waiting for the right bottle of wine.
Splash Saute Sip: How To Choose The Best White Wine For Cooking
McKenzie Hagan | March 09, 2021
Whether you fancy yourself a full-fledged home chef or you’re just starting to sharpen your culinary skills, cooking with wine can truly make a splash and help your meals sing. With that in mind, we’ve created this guide to help you select the best white wine for cooking, including the do’s and don’ts of choosing a bottle. You’ll also get some top tips on what types of white wines to use with a variety of your favorite dishes. Let’s dig in.
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