Whether you've recently started your journey with the wonderful world of California grown-and-bottled caymus wine or have been enjoying this particular nectar for years, you undoubtedly want to savor all its forms and uses. If you haven't yet started cooking with red wine, you're really missing out on some wonderful meals. However, cooking with red wine involves more than just adding a splash or two to soups or stews that are simmering on the stove. Following are three things that you need to know about cooking with red wine.
Cook With the Wine You're Serving for Dinner
Some home cooks choose to purchase the cheapest possible wine to use in cooking, but this rarely has good results. Instead of going this route, buy an extra bottle of the wine you're planning on serving with the meal -- unless, of course, it's a rare, special occasion wine that comes with a prohibitive price tag. If this is the case, buy a less expensive wine from the same vineyard to use to cook with. Whatever wine you end up choosing, never go with a wine to use in cooking that you wouldn't personally drink.
You'll rarely need to use the entire bottle in the kitchen, leaving you more to serve with dinner if desired. Red wine generally stays good for several days after it's initially uncorked, so don't worry if you don't finish off the bottle during dinner -- simply enjoy another glass or two on another night.
Cook With Regional Wine and Local Ingredients
Because food and wine evolved together, you can't go wrong with pairing a regional wine with a dish created using traditional local ingredients. For instance, if you're serving wild Pacific Northwest salmon for dinner, a locally grown and bottled pinot noir not only makes the perfect pairing partner at the dinner table, it's also ideal for using as the base of the blackberry sauce you're creating to drizzle over the salmon just prior to serving. If a deep cabernet sauvignon in on the menu, take a tip from the French and make pan-seared steak with a red wine sauce.
Take Your Time When Cooking With Wine
Whether you're making a reduction sauce to serve with rich red meat, creating a glaze for salmon, or poaching choi in red wine and spices, always make sure to take your time when cooking with wine. Keep temperatures low and give the wine a chance to really soak in -- you'll be glad you did when you taste that first delicious mouthful of your dinner.