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Red Wine for Reduction


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I've been playing around (unsuccessfully) with red wine reduction sauces for roasted meats.  The results are either too sweet, not "winy", or (like tonight's) acid enough to strip the enamel from your teeth.

I think I am either using the wrong wine (Aussie Cab-Merlot tonight) or doing something in the reduction to make it over-concentrated or too acid.

Any suggestions or experiences to share?  I live in Singapore, so Aussie, Chilean, Italian, or French wines are easier than Californians....

Thanks!

(Edited by sng sling at 8:58 am on Nov. 19, 2001)

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Chantefleur is an inexpensive French brand that is used in many restaurant kitchens here in New York, including Lespinasse. Also in my house.

But I'm wondering if, as you suggest, it might be your procedures rather than your wine. I've had good luck cooking with a very broad spectrum of wines. Can you describe exactly what you've been doing?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I used to have this problem until a Michelin starred chef let me into the secret of a balanced red wine sauce.

I would suggest starting with a soft fruity wine such as merlot or shiraz, reduce to the required consistancy, check the flavour which will almost certainly be too sharp. Adjust with a little redcurrant jelly to introduce some sweetness. You will now have a sauce which will probably be a little too sweet. You now need to add a little good quality red wine vinegar to balance this. Your sauce should now be perfect.

The best thing or course is to braise your meat in red wine which will produce an excellent sauce, but that is obviously not always possible.

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Yes, I 'cheat' too by adding a sweetener.  Redcurrant jelly makes sense, but to be honest I sometimes just plonk in some brown sugar.

But I have different problem.  I can make a well-flavoured red wine reduction, but have difficulty making it in quantity.  Whatever amount of wine I start off with, by the time I get it to the right consistency there's little more than a few tablespoons left.   Any ideas gratefully received.

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Quote: from Wilfrid on 10:15 am on Nov. 19, 2001

but have difficulty making it in quantity.  Whatever amount of wine I start off with, by the time I get it to the right consistency there's little more than a few tablespoons left.  

it's funny you say that (funny "strange", not funny "ha-ha" ), as i have the same problem.  

i wonder if there's a scientific explanation?  since wine is mostly water, if you go from 1/2 bottle to 1 bottle, you're largely introducing water, and little else.  so, that water will simply evaporate away.  food scientist anyone?

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Quote: from Fat Guy on 9:45 am on Nov. 19, 2001

Chantefleur is an inexpensive French brand that is used in many restaurant kitchens here in New York, including Lespinasse. Also in my house.

But I'm wondering if, as you suggest, it might be your procedures rather than your wine. I've had good luck cooking with a very broad spectrum of wines. Can you describe exactly what you've been doing?

Sauteed a small rib steak, drained the fat and sauteed shallots in a little butter in the same pan until soft; deglazed w/ a slug of cognac, added about a  tsp of demiglace paste in a little water; added reduced Cab/Merlot.  The reduction of the Cab Merlot (to about a third of original volume) was very acid, so - no surprise -- so was the sauce.  

Will try some of the ideas in the thread, but does reducing the wine inevitably make it acid  -- do you see this with the Chantefluer you use?

Thanks...

(Edited by sng sling at 9:36 pm on Nov. 19, 2001)

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