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Author Topic: Wines for cooking?  (Read 2266 times)
dragonfly_high
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« Topic Start: November 02, 2009, 10:34:29 am »

Okay, I am totally unfamiliar with using wines for cooking. 

I'm curious.  I've heard that using cheap wine is fine for cooking but on the other hand I've also heard you should use the better wines for better results. 

So, anyone that uses wines for cooking, could you please share your experiences and tips with me.

Today I am making a lowfat French Onion soup.  It calls for white wine. Smiley I love French Onion soup so I'm hoping it turns out good.
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« Reply #1: November 02, 2009, 10:43:30 am »

Okay, I am totally unfamiliar with using wines for cooking. 

I'm curious.  I've heard that using cheap wine is fine for cooking but on the other hand I've also heard you should use the better wines for better results. 

So, anyone that uses wines for cooking, could you please share your experiences and tips with me.

Today I am making a lowfat French Onion soup.  It calls for white wine. Smiley I love French Onion soup so I'm hoping it turns out good.


One of the things to keep in mind is that when you hear "cook with what you'd drink", a lot of that came from when people would buy "cooking wine" in the spice aisle. That stuff is awful. Sad

What I tend to do is use the less expensive stuff to cook with. Walmart carries a decent line of inexpensive wines from Oak Leaf Vineyards that I've used and been happy with. The rule of thumb for me is what KIND of wine I need to add. If I need a sweeter white wine, using a Chablis won't work. A Riesling will be more in keeping with what I'm going for. Ditto the red wines.
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« Reply #2: November 02, 2009, 10:44:41 am »

I'm curious.  I've heard that using cheap wine is fine for cooking but on the other hand I've also heard you should use the better wines for better results. 

My rule of thumb is that I won't cook with anything I wouldn't drink.  (Partly because the recipe never uses a full bottle, so I want to be able to enjoy what's left!  LOL)  I don't feel a great need to cook with really good wines in general, though.  I tend to go for a bottle somewhere around $8-10.  This isn't fine wine, but there's some very drinkable stuff in that price range, and it's worked pretty well for me in cooking.

My pallette, or however you spell it, is also not very refined though.  I drink stuff in that price range because I know good and damned well that I can't tell a $20 wine from a $200 wine.  No sense in spending my money on a taste difference that I'm not going to appreciate.
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« Reply #3: November 02, 2009, 10:46:36 am »

One of the things to keep in mind is that when you hear "cook with what you'd drink", a lot of that came from when people would buy "cooking wine" in the spice aisle. That stuff is awful. Sad

I didn't know that, but it does make the suggestion make more sense.  There is wine I won't drink, though (Sutter Home, J. Roget, Boone's Farm, etc.--the really super-cheap stuff), and like I said I do want to enjoy the rest of the bottle once I'm done cooking, so I still tend to use it as a guideline even if it's a bit dated.
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« Reply #4: November 02, 2009, 10:52:07 am »



Thanks both of you. Smiley  What you're saying makes sense.

My brother used to drink the Boone's Farm because it was cheap and he just wanted to get drunk. 
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« Reply #5: November 02, 2009, 10:55:14 am »

Okay, I am totally unfamiliar with using wines for cooking. 

I'm curious.  I've heard that using cheap wine is fine for cooking but on the other hand I've also heard you should use the better wines for better results. 

So, anyone that uses wines for cooking, could you please share your experiences and tips with me.

Today I am making a lowfat French Onion soup.  It calls for white wine. Smiley I love French Onion soup so I'm hoping it turns out good.


a lot of the super-nuanced stuff - you lose the nuance in cooking ANYWAY.  You should get cheaper end of drinkable, not cheap-OMG stuff.

I tend to cook by smell - if it smells good together, it'll probably taste good together.  If it smells kinda funny, it'll probably taste funny too.

Keep in mind - not ALL alcohol cooks out, but enough does that unless you've got a massive sensitivity issue or something, it doesn't matter.  And if you really want the richness of the flavor of the wine in there, it's best to add just a tiny bit more wine just at the end of cooking to get the full flavor back.
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« Reply #6: November 02, 2009, 11:12:06 am »

Okay, I am totally unfamiliar with using wines for cooking. 

I'm curious.  I've heard that using cheap wine is fine for cooking but on the other hand I've also heard you should use the better wines for better results. 

So, anyone that uses wines for cooking, could you please share your experiences and tips with me.

Today I am making a lowfat French Onion soup.  It calls for white wine. Smiley I love French Onion soup so I'm hoping it turns out good.


I get Vendage in the larger bottles - and always have a dry white and a decent red on my kitchen counter (is use those cap things on them that reseal to keep them good.  But I use a lot of wine.  I could drink Vendage, it's not awful or anything, but as Heartshadow says, nuances are going to be lost.  So what I like to drink is going to be nicer/better/more expensive - but since I use enough and reseal the way I do, my 'cooking wine' doesn't go bad. 
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