Cooking Food With Wine

cooking food with wine

The main reason for cooking food with wine is the benefit of added flavor!

When you are cooking food with wine, there is one basic rule to remember: always use a good wine. That doesn’t mean you have to use an expensive wine, simply use a good tasting wine, or one that you like to drink.

Good and bad wines have two things in common, water and alcohol. Since both of these cook out of your dish, you are left with just the flavoring ingredient, so choose a wine that tastes good to you.

When it comes to cooking food with wine, choosing a wine for cooking can be as confusing as choosing a wine to enjoy with your meal. With a little experimentation, you will be able to choose a good wine to cook with, add style to your cooking, and enjoy the experience.

For easy wine opening, I recommend this wine tool kit equipped with tools to open, serve and preserve wine

Why Dry?

Dry table wines are usually the choice for cooking food with wine, since they add subtle flavor and not too much sweetness. Dry wine is produced when all of the sugar has fermented out of the wine. The taste is tart, but is used in cooking to add flavor. Red wines should be young, dry, and full-bodied, such as Pinot Noir, Chianti, California Mountain Red, or Cabernet. White wines should be dry and full-bodied, however, some dry white wines tend to be thin and sour, so experiment.

Fortified Wines Are Good, Too

Vermouth is a good generic cooking wine that has an added benefit of herb flavors. It is a fortified wine, which means that other flavors, such as herbs and spices, have been added to boost the flavor. Sherry and port wines are other examples of fortified wines and are considered sweet. A sweet wine should be used for fruit or dessert dishes. Always limit the use of fortified wines because there is more flavor in them. It is possible to overdo-it when cooking food with wine, so always taste and adjust.

Cooking With Wine

Wine can be used in three ways to enhance your cooking: as a liquid to cook in, as an ingredient in a marinade, or as a final flavoring ingredient in a dish. Not every dish is suited for wine, especially not every dish in the same meal. Only use wine in your cooking when it has something tasteful to offer to your dish.

Simply pick out a good tasting wine off the shelf and use it for cooking food with wine. The large jugs of red and white wines are suitable, however, they may have a tendency to go bad before you use all of it. Generic red and white wines have become available in vacuum-sealed plastic bags in boxes. These are great since you can use small amounts at a time and it stays fresh. Fortified wines are a good choice because they have a longer shelf life once opened.

Refrain from using “cooking wines”. These are loaded with sodium to make them unfit for drinking. If you can’t drink it, why cook with it?

Orange Roughy With Tomatoes

  • 2-3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds orange roughy fillets
  • 3/4 cup dry white vermouth
  • 1/4 cup water (or clam juice)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons whipping cream

Mix tomatoes, shallots, parsley, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large oven-safe skillet. Place orange roughy fillets over the tomato mixture. Add vermouth and water (or clam juice) and bring to a simmer on medium heat on the stove top. Cover skillet with lid or foil. Place skillet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until fish is opaque. Remove fish to a serving dish and keep warm. Boil remaining juices on high heat until the mixture has reduced to about one half. Mix butter and flour together and then stir into the juices. Cook on medium-heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, whipping cream, and any juice drained from the fish on the serving dish to the sauce mixture. Stir to combine, then pour sauce over fish to serve.

Fruit Salad With Muscat Wine

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 cup diced honeydew melon
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks


  • 1/4 cup muscat wine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • fresh mint for garnish

Combine fruit in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together muscat wine, brown sugar, honey, and orange zest. Pour dressing over fruit and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

I enjoy cooking food with wine. As the wonderful aromas fill my kitchen I can enjoy a sip or two of the wine and know that whatever dish I am preparing will be better for it. If you want to be a gourmet cook, you simply must learn about cooking food with wine.