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What to cook with red wine?

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From sangria to cheese boards and steak dinner, eating food with red wine makes for an excellent alcohol beverage to maximize flavor. In fact, red wine goes together perfectly with foods such as pork, beef, and dark chocolate. 

Cooking with red wine provides a rich and bold taste profile that enhances a meal. In cooking, technique and ingredients play a major role to optimize the profile of a dish. 

What to cook with red wine? When cooking with red wine, you can make sauces, glazes, marinades and braise meats such as lamb, duck, chicken, or beef. By incorporating the proper cooking techniques, the acid in red wine will help to tenderize the meat, maintain the moisture and add lots of flavor. 

In addition, tomato sauce and red wine works well for combining flavor, richness, and robustness. For a rich tomato sauce, go with cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel.

Fruit, cheese, and meat-based sauces are examples of situations where red wine is well suited for cooking. By incorporating a small amount of red wine to a sauce or gravy, the sauce will have a richer taste profile. 

Red wine can also work with many other recipes, such as cakes, cookies, and alcoholic beverages. This article explores different ways to incorporate red wine while cooking a meal.

What can you use red wine for cooking with?

Red wine is delicious when used to cook beef, pork, and chicken. It is also great when paired with cheese or dark chocolate as the wine adds flavor to the dish or is useful to deglaze the drippings in a pan. 

In the latter case, the wine aids in picking up the browned bits of food on the bottom, increasing depth of flavor, texture, and visual appeal. Whether grilling, roasting, or braising, red wine can take a dish to the next level.

What meat cooks well with red wine?

The most common partners for red wine are beef, lamb, pork, and duck. There are also less common but worthy choices like chicken, rabbit and venison. 

The acidity and tannins in the wine bring down the cooking temperature and add dimension to the meat. The alcohol cooks off, but the rich taste remains.

Therefore, a little dry red wine in the cooking liquid or sauce is usually enough to impart that red wine flavor that elevates the dish.

However, the type of wine depends on the meat and specific cuts:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir: beef, lamb, stew
  • Merlot: chicken, duck, pork, turkey
  • Pinot Noir: seafood
  • Merlot or Chianti: vegetables, sauce

What flavor cooks well with red wine?

Cooking with red wine provides a rich and bold taste profile that enhances a meal. 

Full-bodied red wine pairs wonderfully with earthy flavors such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. On the other hand, light-bodied red wine works best with light dishes that feature a delicate taste profile. 

A red wine blend of three to six varietals offers the most extraordinary breadth of flavor.

Red wine is a versatile cooking ingredient used in many dishes. Pork, beef, and dark chocolate are food items that red wine pairs well with. 

Certain meats like pork seem to absorb the flavor of red wine better than others, such as chicken, which is why it is also suitable for leaner cuts of meat. 

A bold yet delicate taste profile that goes well with vegetables or nut-based sauces and gravies. Adding a small amount of red wine enhances the flavor profile by adding depth in any sauce or gravy recipe.

A common way to use up leftover red wine is by making a pot roast or burgundy beef stew by simmering it down in a hearty tomato-based sauce. The sauce calls for Burgundy wine and beef stock, and is commonly served alongside rice pilaf or mashed potatoes.

Here are classic flavor combinations that chefs love cooking with red wine:

  • red wine + balsamic vinegar + beef broth + butter + garlic
  • red wine + ground beef + tomato sauce + tomato paste
  • red wine + turkey + soy sauce + brown sugar
  • red wine + chicken + tomato paste + butter + chicken stock
What to cook with red wine

Cooking with Red Wine: Conclusion

From Chianti to Pinot Noir, there are various red wines to use in cooking. Red wine can be used in many recipes, but it does have a strong flavor that might not work for everything. 

Some red wines have a more robust flavor than others, which might not work well in some recipes. Other factors, including how acidic or tannic a specific wine is and the overall quality, which affects the usage of red wine. 

It is best to work with high-quality wines with a lighter body and fewer tannins. Only cook with fresh red wine, as the flavor will change over time if the bottle has been left open too long.  

Whether creating sauce, glaze, marinate or braising red meat, beef, lamb, or duck, add red wine to keep it moist, tender, and extra flavorful.

Tomato-sauce based stews or pasta are an excellent dish to include red wine, especially with cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel.

For heavy meat, go with Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, light meats such as chicken, duck or pork are better suited for Merlot, and seafood, vegetables or sauce, use Merlot, Chianti, or Pinot Noir.

When red wine is used in balance with herbs, spices, and condiments, you can easily reach delightful flavor for a dish. Use these ingredients and flavor combination to enjoy your next cooking experience with red wine.

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