Kosher Wine .... It's Not
Just For Drinking!!
You know those bottles of wine you picked up
because they were on sale, and now you're
wondering what you are going to do with
them? I've got your answer: Cook and bake
with the wine. You probably wouldn't want to
cook with a special bottle of wine but those
wild-card bottles collecting dust in the
pantry -- why not?
When a recipe lists "red" or "white" wine,
use a medium-dry to dry wine. (In wine
parlance, "dry" just means "not sweet.") For
red, that means a pinot noir, and for white,
go for pinot grigio.
- If the recipe calls for a sparkling wine, reach for Bordeaux, syrah, zinfandel
- If the recipe calls for a young, robust red wine, reach for Rioja / tempranillo, Beaujolais Nouveau
(seasonal and best from Thanksgiving to New Year's)
- If the recipe calls for a medium-bodied red wine, reach for Merlot, shiraz, Chianti
- If the recipe calls for a dry white wine, reach for
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or
- If the recipe calls for a fruity white wine, reach for Gewürztraminer, Riesling or Viognier
- If the recipe calls for a fortified wine, reach for Marsala, Vermouth, Sherry, Port or Madeira.
(The recipe should give you some guidelines, since these wines are not necessarily interchangeable)
If the recipe calls for a sparkling wine,
reach for Champagne or Prosecco
When I think of wine, I think of a great fat
substitute in recipes.
When you take some of the fat out of dishes,
you usually need to add another ingredient
to replace the lost moisture. Here are some
examples of how wine can do just that:
Instead of sautéing veggies in heaps of
butter or oil, you can sauté them in a
smaller amount of oil plus some wine for
flavor and moisture.
Instead of making a marinade with 1/2 cup of
oil, decrease the oil to 1/4 cup and add 1/4
Instead of adding 3/4 cup of oil to a cake
mix recipe, add 3/4 cup of white or dessert
wine to the batter.
Wine helps cook and add flavor to fish. One
way to add flavor and moisture to fish
without adding fat is to cook it with wine.
You can add wine to the pan while the fish
is simmering, poach the fish over a saucepan
of boiling wine, or drizzle fish with a
tablespoon or two of wine and bake it in a
Wine is a great ingredient in marinades.
Wine is basically an acid ingredient (which
helps tenderize the outside of the meat) and
it has a lot of flavor. The wine-based
marinade helps keep meat, poultry, or
seafood moist while it cooks, too.
Wine can help cook and simmer foods. Add
wine to dishes you're cooking in a skillet
on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in the
oven. Simmered along with the food, it adds
flavor and moisture to whatever dish you're
Wine can be used in baking, too! For certain
types of cakes, using wine or sherry in
place of some of the fat not only lightens
up the cake but adds complimentary flavors.
Capitalize on the food-like flavors that can
come through in wine by adding some to
dishes that contain:
White wine: melon, apple, pineapple, pear,
citrus, vanilla, caramel, olives, and
Red wine: berries, peaches, currants, plums,
cherries, oranges, chocolate, and coffee
Choose the type of wine depending on the
flavor you want in the dish you're making. A
very dry wine has very few natural sugars
remaining, and is usually higher in alcohol.
In contrast, the sweeter wines still contain
a larger amount of natural sugar from the
"Acid" is a term used to describe both red
and white wines, and it refers to the sharp
bite in the wine (much like you would
experience with lemon juice or vinegar).
Acid can help bring out the natural flavors
in a mild food, such as fish (this is why
fish is often served with an acidic wedge of
lemon). Tannins are generally found in red
wines; this word refers to the bitter
element in the wine (similar to the
bitterness you'll find in a strong cup of
tea). The tannins in red wine pair well with
strongly flavored dishes and hearty foods,
like a nice juicy steak.
Generally, it's thought that a
light-flavored wine goes best with
delicately flavored foods. It follows that a
bold-tasting wine should do well in a boldly
Generally, light-colored meats like chicken
and fish, are paired with light-colored
wines (white) while dark-colored meats, like
beef, are paired with dark-colored wines
(red). Red dinner wines go well with hearty
or highly seasoned foods, such as
duck, goose, and
pasta dishes, while
white dinner wines tend to work with dishes
Wine enhances the flavor and aroma of
dishes. Heating it concentrates the flavor
of the wine, which is why it's important to
match the right one to your dish. The wine
should meld with other ingredients, not
Alcohol does burn off in cooking but it
takes some time. Generally, wine is lower in
alcohol than other spirits, and the amount
divided by the servings won't yield much per
person. After 15 minutes of cooking, the
alcohol content is still about 40 percent.
There is even a little left — about 5
percent — after a stew has simmered for 3
hours. If alcohol content is a concern,
substitute unsweetened apple cider, grape
juice or even broths when appropriate.
Wine enhances a dish when it is simmered for
a while with other ingredients, so add it
when there is still plenty of cooking time.
If it's stirred in at the end of cooking, it
may impart unwanted harshness, and its
flavor will outshine everything else.
Inexpensive cooking wines have high salt
content, which alters the flavor of your
dish. The cook should control the saltiness.
Cooking wines are stocked by the vinegars in
many grocery stores, which gives you an
indication of how they taste. "Rule of thumb
is to not cook with cooking wines.