gourmet recipes utilize wine as a flavor enhancer. There is
good reason for this. Wine heightens the character of food
not with its alcohol content but with its flavor. The alcohol
is usually evaporated
during the cooking process leaving behind complex flavors
highlighting the unique character of the wine. Therefore any
wine being used for cooking must be a good one. A chef once
told me that if you wouldnt drink the wine, then you
shouldnt subject your food to it! If the wine is excessively
fruity, sour, or unsavory in any way, these tastes will only
be emphasized during the cooking process. If you do not have
good wine, opt not to use it!
White Wine: White wine used in cooking should
be strong and dry, never sour or fruity (unless fruity or
sweet is the result you want as in this months
with Pears & Riesling.) The best white wines to use
are Chardonnays or Pinot Blancs. If you cant
find a good dry white wine you can substitute dry, white vermouth.
Red Wine: I generally use a good Cabernet
Sauvignon, Merlot or a Bordeaux when using red wine in a recipe.
I find it gives a nice full-bodied flavor to the dishes I
For red and white wine, make sure that you
cook off the alcohol before completing your sauce or dish.
If this evaporation does not take place, often the end result
tastes less than desirable.
Fortified Wines, Spirits and Liqueurs: These
should be used primarily for final finishes and therefore
should be the finest quality. Usually only small quantities
are call for in most recipes so your supply of these expensive
spirits should last quite awhile.
Madeira & Port: These wines are typically
used for a finishing flavor. These wines should be the genuine
article of a medium-dry type, but you can usually find moderately
priced wines in this category.
invite you to experiment with the unique flavors wine can
impart on your food with the following recipes:
Medallions with Pears & Riesling
with Sausage & Tomato Ragout
Salmon with Wine & Parsley
Filet with Dijon Red Wine Sauce
Tenderloin with Shallots & Red Wine
Steak with Port Wine Mushroom Sauce
Pork Loin with Port Wine Sauce
Chicken with Fresh Herbs & Wine
Tenderloin with Madeira
with Shallots & Madeira
Chops with Cream Sherry & Pine Nuts
Medallions with Cream Sherry & Prune Sauce
Strawberries with Wine & Balsamic Vinegar Sauce