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Wining in the Kitchen: Top 8 Ways to Cook with Wine so You Won't Hate What You Ate

By Antonia Moran, Contributing Writer,

1. Use only wine you would drink, for your dish will take on the qualities of the wine you use, particularly if it is added towards the end of the cooking process.

2. Stay away from cooking wine! The bottles you will find on supermarket shelves tend to be harsh and unbalanced (either too salty or too sweet), and the acidity and astringency will only intensify with cooking. What you want is a balanced wine.

3. First reduce wine, and then add other ingredients to complete the sauce.

4. Adding wine at the end is not recommended unless you want pure wine taste in the sauce.

5. Adding more wine than is called for is generally not a good idea, as the sauce’s balance could become disrupted. Therefore, measure accurately!

6. Alternatively, using less wine than is called for might be cause for disappointment in the result. If a dish requires an entire bottle, all the liquid may be necessary to cook the meat and any less will probably alter the flavor, particularly with respect to acidity. Some acidity is good! It adds life to a dish.

7. Salty foods and sweet wines don’t mix, so don’t cook with them! Chicken à la Sauterne…hmmmm -- sounds like Chung King to me!

8. Choose wines according to the food you are cooking. A light fish in a complex or acidic red wine will be lost and result in an unbalanced, overly acidic dish.