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Cook With Wine To Make Restaurant-like Meals At Home!

“Aged like a fine wine.”

How many times have you heard this idiom before? If not anything else, the quote for sure has aged like a fine wine!

But hold on for a moment. Why are we talking about wines here? Because as a catalyst, a glass of fine wine with your dining experience can take it to a whole new level. After all, as Julia Child said, “Wine is meant to be with food—that’s the point of it!”

If you have been to a high-end restaurant or seen an international cooking show, then you for sure would’ve seen cooks using wine as an ingredient in cooking. It’s entertaining & theatrics to see their cooking pans blazing with fir & the cooks tossing it around! But for us Indians, using liquor as an ingredient in our meals is a fairly new concept &, is kind of out of place.

And yet, alcohol holds a very important place in many western cultures & their kitchens. For them, alcohol is an essential ingredient in enhancing food’s taste & its natural pallet.

If you too are wondering how to cook with wine, how to enhance taste or confused about which wine to use with what food ingredient, then this blog is a step-by-step guide to fine wine and dining.

If you are wondering which new food trends are hitting Indian restaurants then click here!

to know how to cook with wine is a very important skill for professional chefs
Many cultures around the world cook with wine to bring out the flavours in the meals

Why Do People Cook Their Meals Using Wine?

 1. Smell The Aroma

The human nose is one of the finest sensory organs. It works in sync with our taste buds to give that unique flavour by blending in chemicals and shooting it up to our brain. When your dish has few dominant flavours, it’s a great idea to enhance it & cook with wine that shares those same basic characteristics.

Not only will it enhance your flavour, but it will also give a unique blend of aromas, sending yummy signals up the brains of your customers.

Pinot Noir, particularly Pinot Noir from Burgundy, is known for having flavours and aromas of mushrooms; it pairs nicely with sautéed veggies and of course mushrooms. A bright dish with a finishing splash of lemon juice can be used to cook with wine to get a nice, bright citric flavour – like Sauvignon Blanc. A cream sauce with shrimp will likely match up well with a creamy, buttery Chardonnay.

2. Bring Out The Flavours

We cook with wine to add a hint of acidic flavour to food, which brings out the other flavours. All of it combined acts like a well-rehearsed ballet recital of flavours.

People who know how to use a fine wine for cooking, use wine like lemon juice or vinegar. It becomes an essential component of their cooking. But if you are someone learning to cook with wine, you should live by a rule which goes like “If not fit for drinking, it’s not fit for cooking.”

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A very common mistake new cooks make is treating cooking wine as a secondary ingredient, something to stop the waste. Wine might not be quite popular, but it’s a whole ingredient in itself. And so, it should be used like one; In regulated measures, wherever needed.

When you are learning how to cook with wine, you should also learn the ingredients to pair it with
When you are learning how to cook with wine, you should also learn the ingredients to pair it with

When To Use Dry White Wines?

White wines are more acidic than red ones. And do, one of the most critical things that happen when you cook with white wine is that it brings its acidity to the food which enhances flavours. Using a white wine that doesn’t bring that to the table is a waste of wine.

White wines are the secret ingredient of the chefs who know the tricks of cooking with wine. As a new cook in this, you can use it to deglaze the brown bits for a pan sauce for sautéed fish, chicken, pork, or mushrooms.

Some Wine suggestions: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sémillon, and dry sparkling wines are excellent because of their intense citrus flavours.

When To Add The Wine?

1. For Stews And Sauces

Add the wine in the early stage of cooking. Wine enhances the taste if it’s added before you’ve browned the meat and vegetables for stews, or long-boiling tomato sauces. Let the wine reduce a bit, and then add the other liquids. Some cooks add a small dash of red wine near the end of cooking to deepen a slow-boil tomato ragù, but only if the wine is top-notch.

2. For marinades

Add the wine with all the other marinade ingredients. The marinade can also be used as the base for a sauce. Make sure the sauce is brought to a boil and cooked down thoroughly. And voila then cook the marinated food and get the best taste of wine paired with herbs and garlic.

The best way to cook with wine, is to know all your wines well.
The best way to cook with wine is to know all your wines well

We’ve come to an extended end by now, but before we go, just a small tip I’d like to share with you. Never buy the “cooking wines” that you see on the shelves of supermarkets. They contain salt and taste horrible. Do yourself and your customers a favour and cook with wine you’d actually drink yourself.

Well, I am sure that’s a little heavy information put all together. Pour yourself a glass of wine and pair it up with some snacks for a win(e)d down.

Have you heard about the new Farm-to-table restaurant trend? If not, then read it here while you relax!

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