There are days where we are wondering what we could do with leftover white wine, and days where we are thinking about buying cooking wine to prepare a great recipe with it.
White wine is an amazing, flavourful ingredient, but it’s important to know how to use it so we can cook incredible meals. This guide will help you make the most of your white wine recipes.
1. The difference between cooking wine and regular wine
Any bottle of white wine can be used to prepare a variety of recipes. If you have some leftover wine that you don’t feel like drinking, or if someone gave you a bottle that isn’t your favourite white wine, you can use it to prepare a delicious dinner.
But there are many bottles of wine that are labeled as cooking wine. The main difference between regular wine and cooking wine is that the second type is less expensive.
It can also be said that the quality and the flavour of regular wine are higher. While regular wine can be enjoyed in many recipes, cooking wine might not exactly be pleasant to drink.
Whether you want to cook with drinking wine or with cooking wine, you need to know which type of flavour you can use with which type of dish.
2. Cooking with dry white wines
If you know anything about wine pairing, you know that dry white wines are perfect to complement fish, mussels, seafood, chicken, pork, veal, and vegetable dishes. Unsurprisingly, those dishes are the ones that can greatly benefit from being cooked with dry white wines as well.
For example, Chardonnay is perfect to complement white meat, or to prepare sauces and gravies. Crisp dry white wines such as Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio are ideal for cooking seafood. As for herbal dry white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, they can easily add a lot of flavour to dishes that contain vegetables.
When you prepare a meal with the type of white wine it pairs well with, you know that you can’t go wrong.
3. Cooking with sweet white wines
You may have been given a sweet wine as a gift, often packaged inside a beautiful wood box, that you can’t wait to try and delight your taste buds. Sweet white wines such as Sauternes, Moscato, and Sweet Riesling have a delicate flavour. They can be used to cook flaky fish dishes, and to prepare sauces that will complement shrimp, lobster, or fish dishes.
Sweet white wines are also perfect for poaching pears, and for preparing a variety of desserts such as fruit tarts, pear and chocolate cake, sorbet, ice cream, and many more.
Of course, nothing stops you from preparing mussels, chicken, veal, or vegetable dishes with sweet dry wines if you have a sweet tooth. The more you cook with white wines, the easier it will become for you to determine which type of wine you should be using for your recipes.
4. Popular white wine recipes
Some of your favourite recipes can certainly be prepared with white wine. In fact, many recipes would be nothing without a bit of wine.
Shrimp scampi, crab linguine, chicken Marsala, and veal or sole Piccata are all delightful dishes that are prepared with a wine-based sauce.
White wine is also delicious in French onion soup, clam chowder, roasted pork loin, mint and lemon risotto, pasta carbonara, eggs benedict with white wine sauce, cream of mushroom soup, grilled artichokes, duck in orange sauce, and many more great recipes.
If a recipe requires something to be simmered or sauted, or if it’s best when served with a creamy sauce, you can certainly use white wine to prepare it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours and different types of wines, and don’t forget to have some fun!
5. Useful tips
You need to know that an opened bottle of white wine can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week if you want to drink it. If you want to cook with it, however, you can keep it in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You might need to let your wine simmer for more than 2 hours if you want to completely remove the alcohol present in it.
If you want to use white wine to prepare a creamy sauce, you should start by cooking your wine to reduce it to half of the quantity you started with. You can then add the cream and the other ingredients.
Wine can replace fat in different recipes. For example, instead of sauteing vegetables in a lot of butter or oil, you can simply use a bit of oil with some wine. You can also replace the oil needed to prepare a cake mix with some sweet white wine, to instantly transform it into a whole different dessert.
Finally, if you want to tenderize some meat, you can simply add a few tablespoons of white wine to your marinade.