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Cooking with wine

If you enjoy the occasional glass of wine, then you’ll probably appreciate certain recipes that use alcohol as one of the ingredients. The kids wouldn’t eat your fancy dinner anyway, so why shouldn’t you lace your Bolognese sauce with red wine? But before you start cooking with alcohol, you must understand how it works.

How to Match Food with Alcohol

There are people who make this process very complicated, in which they require a certain type of wine to go with their exquisite dish. You can just keep it simple without insulting your taste buds. All you have to do is use your eyes to pair the alcohol with the food. Light colored beers, wines, and spirits are paired with lighter colored sauces, cheeses, and proteins. Dark colored meals go with darker beverages. There are exceptions to this rule, but it will serve you well enough most of the time.

How to Cook with Alcohol

The pairing still applies to your dinner preparations, too. You’ll want to use light-colored alcohol with light colored food. That means you wouldn’t add red wine to a creamy Alfredo sauce, nor would you pair white wine with a tomato-based dish. Of course, you can experiment with the flavorings as you wish, and if you need to “test” some of the alcohol while you cook, nobody will be the wiser.

One thing you should think about: how much alcohol remains in your dish. While you don’t want any of your dinner guests to get tipsy, it’s important to understand that only some of the alcohol is removed during the cooking process. Don’t underestimate how much of it you’re consuming. For example, when you flambé your dish, it retains 75% of the alcohol. On the other hand, if you stir alcohol into your sauce and let it simmer for an hour, then 75% of it evaporates. It seems that heat is the main ingredient, because if you leave a dish sitting out overnight, it still retains 70% of its alcohol content.

Two words of caution: One, don’t feed dishes with alcohol to underage kids. Two, be careful when cooking with alcohol as it is flammable. Lastly, you shouldn’t add any alcohol to your dish that you wouldn’t enjoy drinking by itself. Instead, you should purchase only fine alcoholic ingredients at the best liquor shop in Braselton.

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