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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
Mo-Dave
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Default advcie on cooking wines

Need advice on cooking wine, red, or white. does not matter what is being cooked, fish, pork, or beef. what do you recommend for different meats.
Dave
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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:23 PM   #2
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Reds for dark meat, whites for lighter fish or chicken. Not sure what you are cooking but my wine usually stays in a glass when the smoker is doing its thing.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:30 PM   #3
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I prefer Sauvignon blanc for cooking when white wine is called for. Merlot or pinot noir for red. which to use when is a matter of recipe. As a coarse rule, if the sauce has dairy, I use white; if it has meat stock, I use red.

except for Buerre rouge, obviously butter and red then.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:36 PM   #4
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Wow, what an open ended question. Let me approach it this way:

I worked in restaurants all through college. Mostly as a waiter, but also in the kitchen, behind the bar, and even washing dishes. I always quizzed the chefs on what they were doing and why. Sometimes this aggravated them but most of the time they were happy to share their knowledge and to have a waiter who gave a damn.

One thing that I hear consistently from the chefs was that they avoided adding water to dishes. Water was reserved for boiling pasta, steaming rice, and washing dishes. Any liquid added to a dish should add flavor. They would add stocks, broths, juices, and especially wines. There was not as much scrutiny given to exactly which wine (say pinot vs malbec), but they definitely felt that you should only cook with a wine that you would be willing to drink. That doesn't mean that you pour your fanciest bottle of 1969 Chez La La into your beef bourguignon, but it does mean that the Mad Dog 20/20 is out.

Back to your question: Some affordable but very drinkable wines are made by Concha y Toro. Their make a Cabernet/Merlot blend and a Malbec that are perfectly fine house wines and that also are nice to cook with beef and lamb. For chicken and seafood, try their Sauvignon Blanc. Other drinkable cooking wines in my house include Bolla wines and maybe Barefoot or Yellow Tail.

Many dishes benefit from a slash of the acidity that wine brings, but don't overdo it. If you want a drink, have a drink; don't serve it on your plate. Also, when I cook with wine, I usually add it early, say, after sautéing the meats and veggies the deglaze the pan. Let it reduce as the alcohol cooks off. The French will reduce it "au sec" which means to the point that the liquid is almost gone.

Play around and see what you like.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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Key sentence for me in the post above ^^^

If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:59 PM   #6
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The best advice I can give is don't bother with "cooking wine". If it's not meant to drink, you shouldn't cook with it, however, I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of wine and there for when it comes to the drinking rule, I don't always apply it to myself. The other thing, I'm a home brewer and wine maker, because of this, I have made wines specifically for cooking but, that I wouldn't drink normally. Anyways, the long and short of it is, do what the other guys said, white for chicken, fish, seafood and white sauces, red for everything else.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #7
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Well I should ask more specifically should I be using a sweet, semi sweet, or dry white/red wine depending on meat or vegetable?
Dave
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Unread 02-01-2014, 11:50 PM   #8
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Cheap stuff for me (Carlo Rossi Chablis or burgundy) dry white for chicken and pork and typically red for beef but I'm starting to like using white for beef as well I also like to play with Ports.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote by James Peterson, author of "Sauces" -- Winner of the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year :

"The finesse and complexity of great wines is destroyed by heat, which makes their use in the kitchen impractical."

So I say buy the cheapest wine you can find :)
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Unread 02-02-2014, 07:31 AM   #10
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Well I always use something I would drink as thats all I have. That being said James Peterson may be on to something about the heat?????
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Unread 02-02-2014, 08:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo-Dave View Post
Well I should ask more specifically should I be using a sweet, semi sweet, or dry white/red wine depending on meat or vegetable?
Dave
NO SWEET WINES! The sweetness will totally change the flavor of the dish. You definitely want a dry wine to cook with.

I used to really dislike stew and dishes cooked with wine, then I found out the problem when reading a Cook's Illustrated article. The problem is not reducing the wine enough when adding it to the dish. If you've ever had a beef bourginone with purple meat, the cause is not cooking down the wine enough. I've even heard the judges on top chef gig the contestants for not reducing the wine enough.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 04:03 PM   #12
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I do not have a very refined palate for wine, and know precious little about them. My wife likes Mogen David concord, every so often I like a little MD 2020 but not on any regular basis. We usually have the Mogen David on hand but never any white, it seems lately a lot of recipes I find interesting use white wine but never have any on hand. I bought a cheap bottle of Stone Hill Vidal Blanc dry white yesterday so next time I will be ready. Don't know if the Mogen David is any good for cooking, but will try it sometime.

About the only thing I did know about wine is not to use the so called cooking wines, not sure why they are even made. Guess I need to pick up some sherry and riesling not sure that is how it is spelled, funny thing I saw it in a recipe yesterday had no clue what it was until when I was looking for white wine I saw it also in the wine section

Thanks for all the advice, I will be sure to try some things that are new to me, got to keep thinking outside the box.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #13
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I don't fully agree with the idea that cooking destroys the nuance and flavor of wine. that being said, you will never see me pouring a $500 cup of wine into a sauce. However. when you properly reduce wine in a sauce, you concentrate the flavors, making nuance decrease, but, intensifying both positive and negative flavors. tannins become more bitter, sugars become more sweet, things worth remembering.

i love using ports and sherries in sauces, especially with pork and chicken. a sherry reduction built on the fond and drippings of a roasted chicken is an amazing sauce for a properly roasted chicken. Tawny port spiked with dark cherries and pork jus, reduced and fortified with butter dresses a pork tenderloin beautifully.

i reject the rule of red with red and white with white, done properly, a red can be brilliant with chicken, a champagne will work wonderfully with filet...
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Unread 02-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #14
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The difference between "cooking" wines and table wine is the cooking wines have salt added. We typically don't bother with them as we can add salt to taste later.

We like cooking with Sherry and with Marsala. A good red to cook with is Pinot Noir
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Unread 02-02-2014, 04:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I don't fully agree with the idea that cooking destroys the nuance and flavor of wine. that being said, you will never see me pouring a $500 cup of wine into a sauce. However. when you properly reduce wine in a sauce, you concentrate the flavors, making nuance decrease, but, intensifying both positive and negative flavors. tannins become more bitter, sugars become more sweet, things worth remembering.

i love using ports and sherries in sauces, especially with pork and chicken. a sherry reduction built on the fond and drippings of a roasted chicken is an amazing sauce for a properly roasted chicken. Tawny port spiked with dark cherries and pork jus, reduced and fortified with butter dresses a pork tenderloin beautifully.

i reject the rule of red with red and white with white, done properly, a red can be brilliant with chicken, a champagne will work wonderfully with filet...
In just one post you have increased my knowledge of the use of wines 10 fold more than I ever new before, thanks. I do know dishes that I have had with wine in them, to me the wine is very noticeable, or at least carry a very nice flavor than if not used at all, so yes I agree they do make a difference.
Dave
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