I love to cook with wine because it helps enhance the flavor and aroma of most food. Wine concentrates the deep flavors of the dish, which is why it is important to match the right wine with the right dish.
Last Sunday I decided to make one of my favorite dishes, Seafood Alfredo. I sautéed the seafood in a little butter & garlic and then added one tablespoon of rich buttery Chardonnay. The aroma was magnificent around my kitchen. I also added about half a cup to the sauce and enjoyed the same wine with the dinner. The wine complemented the dish with its bright buttery richness as it cut through the cheese and seafood flavors deliciously.
If you are ever in a bind about which wine to cook with, here are some suggestions.
Try to avoid the cooking wines that are usually stocked right by the vinegar down the grocery isle. These wines are saturated with salt and preservatives. There are plenty of reasonably priced wines in the wine department that will complement your meal perfectly.
For convenience, I like to cook with the wine I drink with the meal and of course it’s great to sip on as you stir. ☺ If the recipe calls for dry white wine, in my opinion, a good quality Sauvignon Blanc would be perfect. Santa Rita 120 is a great value at $7.99. It is described as fresh and fruity, dominated by tropical and citrus fruit. For a more premium Sauvignon Blanc, and one of my personal favorites, try Elizabeth Spencer priced at $17.99, it has hints of honeysuckle and apple with crisp citrus fruit. Both of these wines are great accompaniment to chicken, shell fish, and salads.
If a recipe calls for dry red wine, consider the heartiness of the dish. For maybe a leg of lamb or roast beef, use a full bodied wine like Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon for $7.99 – lots of black fruit, vanilla and spice. You could even use this wine for spicy sauces and cheese soufflés.
When cooking Beef Bourguignon and the recipe calls for Burgundy wine made from the Pinot noir grape, an inexpensive choice would be Castle Rock Pinot Noir for $8.99, which has black cherry, strawberry, and plum flavors. If you want to take it a notch higher, try Albert Bichot Vielles Vignes Pinot Noir at $15.99. A true Burgundy from France that gives off a mushroom character giving the dish a mouthwatering flavor.
After working a long day, there is nothing more enjoyable than coming home to the delicious aroma of Chicken Marsala slow cooking in the crock pot. Marsala is a fortified wine made in and around the town of that name in Sicily, Italy . It is made with three white grapes Cataratto, Grillo and Inzolia. When cooking Chicken Marsala, I use Florio Dry Marsala, which also comes in a sweet, for $13.49. You can use either one depending on your taste preference; it is also great for sipping on.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Happy cooking and enjoy.