6 Secrets of Cooking With Wine

You know those bottles of wine you picked up because they were on sale, and now you’re wondering what you are going to do with them?We’ve got your answer: Cook and bake with the wine. You probably wouldn’t want to cook with a special bottle of wine but those wild-card bottles collecting dust in the pantry — why not?

Keep old wine

Store a ‘cooking wine’ bottle in the pantry and fill it up with any leftovers until you need to use it. You can combine whites and red, but we suggest you keep them separate to give your cooking more options.

Don’t use wine with flavour faults

If there is a really off flavour in the wine, it is likely to survive the cooking process and ruin your dish. So best not to risk wine with problems like cork taint, or brettanomyces (smelling like bandaids or wet dog).

It is OK to use wine that you wouldn’t like to drink

Wine that was once drinkable but has been left opened and is now flat and oxidised, will still be great for cooking. Just think of it as the wine has been ‘pre-cooked’ a little. Really cheap red wine that tastes overly oaky and fruity may not be very enjoyable in the glass, but pop it in with your casserole and it will be lovely. As long as the flavour isn’t off, the things that make it undrinkable, won’t necessarily be a problem once the wine is cooked in with other ingredients.

Don’t expect all the alcohol to be removed by the cooking process

Studies by Robert Wolke in ‘What Einestein Told His Chef’ indicate that not all alcohol is removed during the cooking process.

Consider the wine style and the type of dish

Heavy tannic reds will still be heavy and tannic after cooking and sweet wines will still add sweetness. Best to have a think about how the wine will impact the dish when choosing.

Don’t use expensive wine

It’s important to use a wine that’s less expensive because firstly  you need at least a bottle of wine when cooking with it and secondly, why waist something that’s really rare and made from 80 year old vines?

Take a look at the Ultra Liquors Festive Season catalogue. It’s packed with ULTRA wine specials to suit all your needs.