Wine makes us VERY happy. I mean EXTREMELY happy. Especially a weeknight wine splurge. We may or may not pick a recipe so we can open a bottle for ourselves. Facts.There’s no shame in enjoying a nice glass or two or three while you cook. After all, everyone knows that a relaxed cook slurring her words makes better meals.
The 411 on Cooking with Wine
Cooking with wine is one of the best ways to sass up a sauce and really bring out the flavor of a dish. It’s also a great way to relax as long as you remember a few tips:
- Avoid cheap “cooking wines.” They can literally ruin a sauce. Stick to wines you’d drink and be sure to pour yourself a glass (or two) as you cook!
- Don’t waste expensive wine in cooking. No we’re not contradicting ourselves. We said you should cook with wine you’d drink, we didn’t say that you should waste Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grand Cru in your next risotto. I mean, duh!
- If you’re budget minded, consider buying a cheaper variety of the style you plan to drink with the dish.
- If you don’t plan to finish the bottle, freeze the leftover wine in an ice cube tray then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag to use when you cook. Be sure to label bags so you know what you’re using. Ballin on a budget!
- If you want bold flavor, start with a bold wine. Duh.
- Sweetness and acidity come through when you cook off the alcohol so be sure to stick to balanced wines with nominal acidity for simple sauces and meals.
- The best cooking reds are medium-bodied with minimal tannins.
- You won’t cook out the alcohol in less than three hours. There’s an old wives tale that alcohol cooks out of dishes. Unless you cook it for more than three hours, there will be alcohol – the amount will vary based on how much wine you started with. This is important if you’re cooking for kids or non-drinkers.
Check Out Our Favorite Wine-Inspired Dishes
Now that you know the tips, check out the fun recipes. We think they’re the perfect excuse to pop a cork!
Sea Bass in White Wine Sauce
This super easy recipe will have you looking like a culinary expert with minimal effort. Deglazing the pan with a delicious white wine gives the dish a rich flavor while the lemon and butter add a smooth, vibrant flavor.
General feedback is that this dish is flavorful and fancy AF.
Le Bilboquet Cajun Chicken Copycat
Le Bilbouquet makes a delicious cajun chicken. This copycat recipe is simple yet so succulent. The spice-rubbed chicken breast is pan-seared. The butter sauce, greens, and pomme frites (fancy french fries) finish it perfectly. You’ll want to take care when cooking to make sure the meat stays moist, but the butter sauce will cover a multitude of sins.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
This saucy and sassy dish is best served over mashed potatoes so you get to enjoy every last bit of flavor. Chili gives this variation a bit of heat and the red wine and olive oil pair with the rosemary to give it a smooth finish.
Bubby’s Saucy Meatballs
These meatballs are TASTY and can be served with garlic bread or pasta, or just eaten out of the giant pot on their own. The wine really adds to the depth of flavor, and makes you happy while you’re doing the work.
Always remember to reward the cook with vino! Have a recipe or wine-inspired tip to share? Drop us a note below.