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Cooking with wine adds an extra dimension to the flavors in your dishes. The best part about wine in your cuisine is you don’t have to worry about consuming too much alcohol because it cooks off at 172 degrees, leaving only its luscious flavor behind. However, there are some guidelines to follow when pairing your favorite vino with a delicious meal.

Go to the Wine Section

Cooking wines contain extra salt to enhance the flavor of the food, but they lack the full body of beverage wines. Instead, head to the actual wine section of your supermarket or liquor store, and feel free to cook with the same wines you drink. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get unique flavors in your cuisine, so don’t hesitate to choose a bottle less than $10. You have tons of choices from all over the world, including fruity wines, dry wines, white wines and red wines.

Methods of Cooking

Use three basic techniques to cook with wine. Marinate meats and vegetables by combining 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of wine. The general rule of thumb is to replace half the oil with with wine. The same holds true for sautéed foods, such as chicken, beef and vegetables. Sear these delicacies in high heat to trap some of the wine flavor in the food. As a cooking liquid, boil wine instead of water for stovetop and oven recipes. Wine in the slow cooker is a fantastic addition to sauces, stews, soups, casseroles and meats. Imagine the taste of your pasta noodles with a bit of wine in the water or baked chicken slowly simmered in the oven for several hours.

General Cooking Tips

Try not to overdo the wine; otherwise the flavor may overwhelm the rest of the flavors in the dish. Pair white wines with mild or creamy foods, such as fish and risotto, and reserve red wine for robust, hearty flavors, such as steak, tomatoes and onions. Experiment with different varieties, flavors and tastes until you find wine perfection.Depending on how much you use, an entire bottle of wine may last for 12 to 15 dinners, making it easy to cook with wine without overspending. Check out this wonderful dessert recipe using poached pears and red wine.

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