Tips and Recipes for Cooking with Wine
Christmas and New Year eve are here, and we need to think of a menu to serve our guests during the holidays season. Cooking with wine can seem like a hard task, but if you haven´t decided on your menu yet don’t worry, we are here to help. In this article, we will tell you all the tips about cooking with a nice bottle. We will also give you some delicious recipes that will impress all your guests.
Cooking with wine is a great way to add depth of flavour and complexity to your dishes. Wine can be used in many ways within cooking - from deglazing a pan after searing meat or vegetables, to using it in sauces or soups, or even adding it to dessert recipes.
It's important when cooking with the wine that you select a type that you like the taste of – this will ensure the final dish has a pleasant flavour. To get the most out of your wine it's also good practice to use two different types for different stages of cooking – for example, a full-bodied red for an initial reduction and then a more aromatic white and flavoured wine for finishing off sauces.
Overall, if done right, cooking with a nice bottle adds an extra dimension to everyday dishes making them truly special.
When it comes to selecting the best red for cooking, fruity and gluggable should be the rule of thumb. Bottles such as Bordeaux are ideal for stews and braises. Depending on the type of wine you like and wine tastes, lighter options like Gamay or Grenache make a versatile accompaniment to many dishes.
These wines tend to be dry with low tannin levels and reduced oak influence, which allows them to bring out the flavors of a meal without overpowering it. Additionally, they typically have an invitingly fruity character that makes them enjoyable to drink on their own as well.
For this Christmas season, we recommend a 3-course menu: a starter, a main dish and a delicious dessert.
For starters, we recommend making a light dish, with vegetables. It is roasted carrots, dried fruit bulgur and goat cheese. If you follow this link, you will find the full recipe. For this recipe, we recommend pairing it with a white wine from Alentejo, Portugal.
A fun fact about the Alentejo region. The Alentejo winemaking history goes back a long way, but it has only gained popularity and international recognition in the last decades. Currently, Alentejo is the largest wine-producing region in the country and the one that most certifies with a designation of origin.
For the main dish, we recommend a roasted goat with Pea Pure. In this link, you will find the delicious recipe. For the sauce, we need sparkling wine. When cooking with sparkling wine, it is important to choose a bottle that is as dry as possible to have better control over the amount of sugar in the finished product.
The best way to determine which bottle is suitable for cooking is to look for the word "brut" on the label, as this signifies a dry wine. Prosecco is often used when cooking since it has versatility, but Cava and Crémant sparkling bottle can also be substituted. When choosing your bottle of bubbly, remember that a drier is better for optimal results!
As a dessert, we recommend poached pears and red wine. This French dessert is very easy to make, and it is ideal for the holiday season. All you need are four large Bosc pears, one bottle of red wine, two cinnamon sticks, two-star anise pods, and just a touch of sugar.
To make the dessert, start by heating the red wine in a saucepan with the cinnamon sticks and star anise pods over medium heat until it reaches boiling point. This needs to be a red, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, that you like to drink, as the dessert will have a wine flavour. Peel the pears leaving them whole and trim the bottoms so they stand upright in the pot.
Reduce the heat to low, add the pears and place a lid on top. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the pears are tender. Remove from heat and let cool before serving with a dusting of sugar on top for extra sweetness! Of course, you can pair this delicious dessert with a bottle of sweet wine or champagne.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and that you are now confident about cooking with wine, as it makes all the dishes extra delicious. And the best part of cooking with a nice bottle is that you can later pair it with a glass of wine with the final dish.
Don´t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to find out about more delicious recipes, wine regions and much more!
Also, visit our online wine store to discover a wide variety of wines, bought directly from the producer!
See you next time, wine lovers,