Light Cooking With Wine

Cooking With WineCooking with wine can wonderfully transform a simple fare into a rich and elegant gourmet. If you are not so adept at using wine when cooking, however, you may find the exercise a bit daunting. What rules must you remember to make a decent start? If you want your dish to burst with complex layers of flavors, start with a good wine. Julia Child once said, “If you do not have a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a simple dish and utterly debase a noble one.”  

Aside from the flavors it can render your dish, wine is good to use because it is one ingredient that can make it less fattening. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD of WebMD Weight Loss Clinic shares some great insights in her post 6 Secrets of Cooking With Wine. She writes:

“When I think of wine, I think of a great fat substitute in recipes. I’m probably unusual in this regard, but I actually use wine more often in cooking than I do as a beverage with dinner.

When you take some of the fat out of dishes, you usually need to add another ingredient to replace the lost moisture…”

She then proceeded to share some great tips an dideas on how to use wine in cooking light meals.

How to Use Wine in Light Cooking

  • Sauté with wine. Instead of just using plain oil when sautéing vegetables, you can reduce the amount of oil and add up some wine for moisture and for that extra layer of flavor.
  • Marinate with wine. It can be used in the place of the acid that tenderizes the meat. You can also reduce the amount of oil in the recipe by 50 percent (for example, from /2 cup to 1/4 cup). Wine can tenderize the meat while keeping it moist and adding a lot of delicious flavors.
  • Bake with wine. You can substitute wine for oil in a cake recipe. For instance, you may use 3/4 cup of wine (dessert or white wine) in the place of 3/4 cup of oil. The wine lightens up the cake and at the same time adds richness to it.
  • Simmer or pan-fry with wine. When cooking foods on a pan, skillet or slow-cooker you may add wine to the dish. It can deliciously break down the meat while adding flavor and keeping it moist. It is also a great ingredient to use in cooking fish. Rather than deep-fry fish, cook it with wine. Add it to the dish while simmering, and then bake it in a foil.

The Basic Secrets to Know

  1. Pit the different subtle flavors for that rich and chic taste.

To be able to achieve this, it is fundamental that you know what wine to use. Stick to those with subtle flavors to make the taste delicate and ready to merge with other flavors without overpowering the mean ingredients. Whites that you can use include “melon, apple, pineapple, pear, citrus, vanilla, caramel, olives, and mushrooms.”  For the reds, some of those mild ones are “berries, peaches, currants, plums, cherries, oranges, chocolate, and coffee.”

      2. Pick between dry and sweet.

To be able to make the right choice between these two, know their characteristic flavors. Typically, the sweet wines have larger amounts of sugar in it compared to its dry counterpart. So, what’s your pick? The right choice will depend on the dish – its flavors and ingredients.

      3. The tannins and acids of wines.

Tannins give the bitter flavor in the red wines, which gives them the distinct taste that goes well with hearty dishes and flavors. They can also cleanse the palate when paired with high-protein foods, such as steaks. Acids, on the other hand, are responsible for the sharp bite in both the reds and whites. It is something great to use when you want to “bring out the natural flavors in a mild food, such as fish…”

     4. The Perfect Match: Light vs. Bold

As a general rule, light wines are best used for light dishes and reds for those with bold flavors. Rimann of Rimann Liquors says, “Red dinner wines go well with hearty or highly seasoned foods, such as beef, pork, game, duck, goose, and pasta dishes, while white dinner wines tend to work with dishes containing chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, ham, and veal.” Yet, don’t be scared to try new possibilities.

More Cooking with Wine Tips from Rimann

Here are some general rules to remember from Rimann/Food Network:

  • There’s a saying that “what grows together, goes together.”  Choose wine from the region your recipe comes from for a guaranteed flavor pairing.
  • When you reduce wine, you amplify all the flavors.  That means that if you want a sweeter sauce, choose a sweet wine; if you want a jammier-tasting sauce, choose a fuller-bodied wine.
  • Cook wine for at least a minute of two after adding it to a dish.  Without that, the wine can overpower the other flavors in your food.

The Last Cooking Secret – HAVE FUN!

Cooking with wine is delicious, but more than that it is healthy. The combination is in itself heady for people who love to eat, but are constantly watching how he scales would tip. In the course of experimenting and being creative, you may commit mistakes. Don’t be deterred by it – that is exactly how you’ll come to know what goes well with what.

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