Yes, it’s true, I add a little vino to just about everything I cook. Even the baked goods get a little splash of it sometimes.
Adding wine to my dishes is the norm in this kitchen, so I actually hadn’t considered the fact that perhaps not everyone does this.
THE QUESTION IS, WHY NOT?
Are you concerned about the alcohol content, or perhaps you simply don’t know how or when to add it into your recipes, or which wines to use.
Cooking with wine is pretty simple and it’s worth the extra step because it really does enhance the flavours of your food.
If you are concerned about the alcohol, don’t be. It mostly evaporates during cooking and quite honestly the quantity is too small per serving to have any kind of influence on you.
As far as what kind of wine to use, that really is a personal preference. A good place to start…add whatever wine you usually drink with your meals. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but I highly recommend you only use wine you would actually drink. Please don’t save that bottle of wine you thought didn’t taste quite right, for your cooking.
DON’T DO IT!
Your fabulous recipes deserve better!
Professional chefs and wine connoisseurs would probably have very specific reccomendations for which wines are appropriate for certain dishes.
I do not. I don’t know enough about them to give such advice.
But to be quite honest, that’s not how things roll in a typical italian kitchen. We simply grab whatever bottle is open and go with it.
The one thing that does make a difference however, is knowing when to use a white or a red wine.
White wine is very versatile. It goes beautifully with chicken, fish, pork, many vegetables, rice, white and light sauces and in soups and baking as well.
Red wine is usually bolder and stronger in flavour, and it also adds a some red colouring to your food, therefore it is better suited to beef, lamb, game meats, stews, gravies and of course tomato and meat sauces.
You can use wine in your meat marinades.
You can add wine as you are sautéing onions or veggies for a dish, or sauces and soups.
You can add wine when browning your meats or poaching fish.
You can even add wine to your glass…and sip away while you wait for your dish to cook…
Just remember, wine needs to actually cook, at least for a few minutes, to add flavour, so do not add it at the end.
Now for the ever important question….
How much wine should you add?
I usually add “un bicchierino”, that means a little glass in italian, and that’s anywhere from 1/2 to 1 cup in most recipes for 4-6 servings. The determining factor for me is: will this liquid be simmering for a while? If so go for larger amount, otherwise use less. Either way wine definitely brings out the best in food.
Now get to it, add some vino to your pan and enjoy!