It’s wine time!
A glass of wine is a lovely thing, we all know that, but it’s time to start thinking about it as the great ingredient that it is. There are lots of different reasons to use wine in recipes, here are a few tips to help get you started.
1. For marinades
Wine is ideal to use in marinades. Not only will it add flavour to the dish, but the acidity will help to tenderise the meat that you are marinating. You don’t need to add a lot for it to make a real difference to the end result.
When picking what wine to use with your dish, as a general rule, light dishes like fish and chicken use a light coloured wine, and dishes with darker meats would use a darker coloured wine.
2. To add liquid
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how much wine you should add to your dish. It depends on two main factors. Firstly, the volume of the dish. You will need to up the wine if you are making a large quantity. Having said that, it will also depend on the flavour you want from the wine. The recipe you are using will give a vibe as to the quantity but there’s nothing stopping you from mixing it up depending on your own taste. Take our Mushroom Risotto recipe, this is a great example of where you can shimmy the flavours around. Remember, cooking is all about making your perfect meal. If you feel inspired to try something new then go for it!
3. To add flavour
Wine is a great way to incorporate a bit of extra flavour and acidity into your dish. Remember, when cooking with wine, it should always be added earlier rather than later in the cooking process. Never add the wine to your dish just before serving. This is because you need to give the alcohol a chance to burn off wine time to enhance the flavour of the dish while it cooks. If you add the wine too late, the flavour of your dish will be too sharp and harsh. Check out this recipe for Braised Beef, the wine is added early on to give the best possible flavour when the sauce is reduced.
4. Cheap or fancy?
It seems to be split pretty 50/50 when it comes to the quality of wine to cook with. Some people say it’s a great way to use up bottles you are given at parties that you would never buy yourself, others are of the opinion that you should never use an anything in your cooking that you wouldn’t want to eat or drink. The answer really is that it’s got to be a judgement call. There are plenty of low-cost wines out there that are really great quality. Just remember, when it comes to the ingredients you cook with, you get out what you put in. There’s nothing wrong with cooking with a cheaper wine, just think about it the same way you would think about any ingredients, get what tastes good to you!
5. Don’t forget dessert!
Let’s ask ourselves, why add wine to one course when you can add it to them all? Next time you’re looking for a new dessert idea, try out Spiced Poached Pears or Trifle! These dishes are packed full of flavour and are really easy ways to making your cooking look really fancy.
6. Sharing is caring
Remember the golden rule when cooking with wine: share. Have a glass of wine for the dish and a glass of wine for you. Cooking is a very sociable activity, no one wants to be left out.
Have you got any tips for cooking with wine that we might have missed? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to hear from you!
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