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cooking w/ wine


frogprincess
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looking for a good quality, but not to costly red and white wine to use when making sauces, stews, ect in the kitchen.

i do not drink wine so i do not know what tastes good and i do not trust anyone working in the beer store, so please egullet people help me out. thanks!

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I use Paul Mason wines. Really depends on what you are cooking and how often you use wine. I keep a few different kinds of Box o wine in stock. I use this for nomal daily cooking and catering.

When I have friends coming over, I normally use something similar to what we are going to drink that night.

If you are not going to drink the wine, then a good box o wine should serve you well. Again don’t go for the dirt cheap stuff.

Also remember the rule that sauces made with Red wine need to be cooked longer. A short cooked red wine based sauce will taste nasty. Cook the sauce for ten or 15 minutes or longer it will taste great.

You can prove this up by just cooking the wine alone and tasting it compared to the original at set intervals.

Never trust a skinny chef

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If you are where they have trader joes, just get 2 buck chuck (Charles Shaw) , a decent if innocuous wine but I use it for sauces or their sauvignon blanc when poaching fish.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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Kenwood vintage red or white. Should be able to find it for 6-7 $ at Safeway or most other places. Good consistent quality inexpensive wine.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

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I usually buy Charles Shaw wines, though they're closer to $3 than $2 (at least where I live).

My alma mater used Vendage's finest for this sort of cooking...the big bottles, bought by the case. My mom uses wine-in-a-box, but even I can't stoop that low. :wink:

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I will second the Vendage Magnums. For cheap juice it is drinkable. Won't give your recipes any off flavors. Quite cheap as well, I usually spend about $8 for a magnum.

Fear wine in a box!

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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Since there's just me and the husband normally, and neither of us are big drinkers, I normally go for whatever's availible in half bottles- tends to be reasonably drinkable but not too expensive, and then we don't end up with a bottle hanging around half-full for ages. :) (There are some recipes which call for a full bottle, but most sauces only need a cup at the most, ime, and then you end up with the rest needing to be used up.)

I'm told you *can* freeze wine for cooking with later, but I never seem to manage to be that organized. :)

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Since there's just me and the husband normally, and neither of us are big drinkers, I normally go for whatever's availible in half bottles- tends to be reasonably drinkable but not too expensive, and then we don't end up with a bottle hanging around half-full for ages.

Same here. The half-bottle is usually enough for whatever I need it for, and whatever's in there seems to be good enough for cooking.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I feared box o wine until a chef friend of mine introduced me to Paul Mason. Taste wise it compares again most table wines. For large quantity cooking it's the easiest to deal with.

The best thing I can say is taste. I was using a fairly expensive Marsala Florio $14 a bottle and the same chef friend introduced me to Perlino Marsala for $6 a bottle. In a blind taste test it beat the more expensive brands hands down. Again you would not think there would be that big a difference especially with a much less expensive wine, but taste tells the story.

Never trust a skinny chef

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I usually advise non-wine drinkers who might need a little for a sauce to get those little four-packs of Sutter Home, or whatever brand their local market carries. They aren't the greatest for table wine, but they are just about right for deglazing, etc. By using these, you can always have some on hand without feeling like you have to use up a whole bottle before it gets oxidized.

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You have a number of options available to you...

1. Box wine. But make sure it is wine (some add "and other natural flavors" on the label). A box is a good option because the wine will keep longer, not being exposed to air. I don't even think you'd have to keep it in the refrigerator (where it will undoubtedly take up too much space).

2. Small bottles. These could be the Sutter Home four-pack mentioned or half bottles. The four pack is a better choice. Many half bottles will be too costly by comparison for what you are doing. But you could buy two half bottles, and keep re-using them. For example, when a recipe calls for a quantity of wine that is less than a bottle, store the remainder in a half-bottle that you have saved. It will keep longer. You can also stock up on wine bottles served on an airline.

3. Any inexpensive, serviceable wine. Charles Shaw has been mentioned above, and you can't find anything less expensive. Typically, lower acid wines are better for cooking, and these would fall into that camp.

Don't get a 1.5 liter bottle. My guess is you won't go through it fast enough before what's left inside spoils.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I will second the Vendage Magnums. For cheap juice it is drinkable. Won't give your recipes any off flavors. Quite cheap as well, I usually spend about $8 for a magnum.

Fear wine in a box!

Add me to the Vendage list as well. I also have a bottle of Paul Masson dry sherry and a Paul Masson marsala on hand in the kitchen. I find I tend to use those two far more often than the staight red or white.

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I quite often use a dry vermouth as an alternative to white wine in many recipes, seems to keep better, and usually has a screwcap lid.

Not the thing where the wine is a major component, but for general deglazing purposes it is fine, and for some sauces I think it is better.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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  • 5 weeks later...

What about when recipes say to use a "dry white wine" - do I pick up a Chardonnay, Riesling, or ? What constitutes a dry white wine?

Is Sherry considered a dry white wine? I've seen some people posting about using dry sherry (Julia Child's recommendation?)...is this as a substitute for dry sherry?

What wines are considered "sweet" wines?

And using Marsala and Port...those are different from an ordinary red wine, right? And like white wines, what are red wines suitable for cooking called? Does dry matter?

Are "blushes" used for any kind of cooking application?

The world of wine baffles me. :rolleyes: Right now, I just use whatever my wine-loving friends leave at my house for cooking. But I'd like to choose my own as sometimes, it's a little hit or miss on flavor for me.

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What about when recipes say to use a "dry white wine" - do I pick up a Chardonnay, Riesling, or ? What constitutes a dry white wine?

Is Sherry considered a dry white wine? I've seen some people posting about using dry sherry (Julia Child's recommendation?)...is this as a substitute for dry sherry?

What wines are considered "sweet" wines?

And using Marsala and Port...those are different from an ordinary red wine, right? And like white wines, what are red wines suitable for cooking called? Does dry matter?

Are "blushes" used for any kind of cooking application?

The world of wine baffles me. :rolleyes: Right now, I just use whatever my wine-loving friends leave at my house for cooking. But I'd like to choose my own as sometimes, it's a little hit or miss on flavor for me.

I'm no expert on these matters, but my usual rules of thumb are

If a recipe calls for a dry white wine, just stay clear of anything too sweet - so no dessert wines or any of the german sweeties. Apart from that anything is usually ok - it doesn't really matter if you use a medium dry wine.

Fortified wines are a whole different ball game... unless a recipe specifies them, don't substitute port or marsala (Although Marsala is a lovely base for a pan reduction for something like duck, or pork steaks). Dry Vermouth can be used as a substitute for white wine in many dishes though, I use it it a lot. Keeps a bit better too.

Sherry will give a very different effect to dishes (and don't use cream sherry - EVER!, well maybe except in trifle :smile: ). It usually gets quoted as an alternative to rice wine in chinese recipes, it also works well in lots of spanish dishes, but don't use as a standard substitute for white wine!

For using red wine in cooking you will usually want a full bodied wine. I usually use a Spanish Rioja in stews, and a full fruity new world shiraz/cabernet for other things.

Some recipes will specify a particular style of wine - best to stick to that, although if not available/too expensive any decent wine retailer should be able to recommend a substitute.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I don't drink alcohol and when I have guests who drink wine they generally bring their own. I've been using little 8 oz screw-cap bottles of wine for cooking and they work out nicely. They have a decent shelf life in the cupboard and with most recipes calling for either one cup or two cups of wine, I have few partial bottles leftover. Sutter Home has a Merlot and a Chardonnay and there's another brand whose name I can't recall that's also decent. A also have a friend who flies first class on occasion on business upgrades but doesn't drink. She gets a couple of those littl ebottles of Cabernet that they offer for free in first class and gives them to me. The four pack of the 8 oz bottles run about $5.

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Through some bad experiences, I've found that the most valuable guideline in selecting a wine for cooking is to avoid any with oak (which includes alot of cheap oak-chipped wines) or significant tannins. They develop a nasty astrigent/bitter edge.

Chris Sadler

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I know I shouldn't admit to this but I've got an opened bottle of white wine, firmly corked, in the fridge where it's been for a few months that I've been keeping for cooking purposes. Am I just holding onto bad wine?

How long do wines/vermouth/etc last after being opened. I know for drinking red wine, I can't go past a day or two before I notice it going downhill.

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I know I shouldn't admit to this but I've got an opened bottle of white wine, firmly corked, in the fridge where it's been for a few months that I've been keeping for cooking purposes. Am I just holding onto bad wine?

How long do wines/vermouth/etc last after being opened. I know for drinking red wine, I can't go past a day or two before I notice it going downhill.

I wouldn't keep a white wine for more than a week, even for cooking purposes.

I have to laugh because when I visit my sister and she knows I like to drink when, she offer, "there is an open bottle of wine in the fridge if you want a glass." When I query how long it has been there and opened, the response is usually something like, "oh, not too long -- a month or two!"

Then I opt for a glass of milk...

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Oh well, this will free up some room in the fridge! I think the best thing is to buy those screw top 6-packs people have mentioned. Because generally I only need a small amount for whatever I'm making and usually that turns out to be a wine I'm NOT drinking...

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I usually buy the 4 packs of wine bottles. One bottle of wine is a little less than a cup; however, it is close enough for me. I think that Woodbridge is good enough to cook with.

Edited by foolcontrol (log)

I was once diagnosed with a split personality but we are all okay now.

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