The Secret to Cooking with Bordeaux Wine

Almost everybody loves wine – especially wines from Bordeaux such as Dom Perignon Champagne and English wines are among the list of admirable wines in the world. But did you know that you can use wines in cooking?…

Photo: Getty

Use those Bordeaux wines you bought and are now wondering what to do with them for baking and cooking – they usually make an excellent fat substitute in your meals. And here are some tips on how to.

Bordeaux wine adds flavour when cooking fish

Without adding fat, deep-fried fish becomes even tastier when cooked with wine. Immerse the fish in a saucepan with boiling wine or add wine to the simmering fish in the pan. You can also drizzle two tablespoons of wine over the fish and bake in foil.

Wine helps simmer and cook foods

Consider adding Bordeaux wine to dishes prepared in a slow cooker, on the stove, or in your oven. Simmering wine with food adds moisture and flavour to the dish.

Wine is also good in baking

Certain cakes can be made using Bordeaux wine. Use wine in the place of fat to lighten up the cake. It can also add flavour.

Wine is ideal in marinades

Wine is acidic, and so it tenderizes the meat while adding sensational flavour. Wine-based marinades keeps poultry and meat moist while it simmers too.

Tips when cooking with wine

There are a few basic considerations you should know when it comes to cooking with wine. Some are outlined below.

Sweet vs dry

As you already know, there are different types of Bordeaux wine, just like any wine from other region. Bear in mind dry wine has few natural sugars and a higher alcohol content. On the other hand, sweet wine is saturated in natural sugars because of the grapes used. Go for the wine that will get you the desired flavour.

The type of wine you use impacts your dish’s flavour. Photo: Getty

Play with subtle flavours

Bordeaux wine has diverse range of flavours and notes that impact how your meal will taste, so choose the wine that gives you the flavours you desire.

Utilise the notes present in red or white wine to get the most out of your cooking. Some of the notes present in white wine include vanilla, mushrooms, pineapple, melon, pear, apple, caramel, citrus, and olives.

Red wine often has notes of oranges, coffee, plums, chocolate, currants, peaches and cherries.

If you want to elevate your cooking with any of the above notes, you know what wine to go for.

Acid and Tannins

Wines get their sharp bite from their acidity, similar to vinegar or lemon juice. Acids are known to bring out the natural flavours of mild food such as fish – this is why fish is served with lemon.

Tannins are present in red wines, and it refers to the bitter element found in the wine. The bitterness is the same as that in a concentrated cup of tea. Tannin goes well with hearty foods and intensely flavored dishes. Some experts have been quoted saying that tannins act like palate cleansers upon being paired with high-protein foods like meat.

Consider how you are preparing the meal

When using Bordeaux wine, consider how you prepare the meal to determine the wine to use. You should not only consider the type of meat you want to prepare but look at how it is prepared.

For example, if you prepare a dish with heavy spices, you need to get a full-bodied wine for the meal. If you are preparing a creamy or light sauce, it is best to use light wine for that meal. The drier will do wonders by adding more flavor.

The type of food and type of wine

It is a general notion that light-flavored wine is ideal for delicately flavored foods and boldly-flavored dishes are perfect for bold-tasting wine. When it comes to cooking with Bordeaux wine, you can also try out your version. However, the general trend and most effective way is pairing light-colored meat like fish and chicken with light-colored wine.

As for the dark-colored meat such as beef, go for the red wine (dark-colored). Remember that red dinner wines are ideal for highly seasoned foods like pork, goose, duck, beef, and pasta dishes. White dinner wines work perfectly in containing veal, fish, chicken, turkey, ham, and shellfish.

Have fun cooking

The last secret to preparing mouth-watering dishes with Bordeaux wine is to have fun. Experiment while baking or cooking; be creative and try to come up with different flavors and see how it goes. If you create something amazing, write it down for next time.