Cooking With Wine: Food & Wine Recipes, Tips & Tricks

Cooking With Wine: Food & Wine Recipes, Tips & Tricks

Dylan James
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Cooking with wine will give you another reason to raise a glass!

Cooking With Wine: Food & Wine Recipes, Tips & Tricks

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So, you’ve picked up a few bottles of good wine on sale and now they are just taking up space in your pantry. Or maybe you have leftover wine that you no longer wish to drink. The solution is to cook and bake with them! The best wine to cook with is one that you enjoy normally, as cooking a bad wine will not improve its flavor.

I go through quite a bit of wine, most commonly in a glass; but I also enjoy creating recipes from the foods and wines that I love. Wine has a way of bringing out flavors from all kinds of difference dishes, such as adding white wine to a cake batter for added flavor to deglazing a pan to create a red wine sauce.

Below are some tips and tricks that will help you in cooking recipes with food & wine, along with a few recipes that I often make at home. After you understand how wine can be used as a cooking ingredient, it is likely that you will find yourself grabbing a bottle whenever you’re feeling a little fancy during cooking!

Important Things to Know About Cooking With Wine, Recipes With Wine!

Wine can help cook and simmer foods

Next time you're cooking food in a skillet, try adding wine to the dish. As it simmers with the food, it will add flavor and moisture to the dish.

Wine can be used in baking

Certain pastry or cake recipes (like the White Wine Pound Cake recipe below) use wine in place of some of the normal fat that goes into the dish. This lightens up the recipe and adds deep flavors.

Wine is a great component of a marinade

Wine is an acid ingredient that has the ability to tenderize the outside of a meat. With its abundance of flavor and acidic profile, wine based marinades keep meat, poultry, or seafood moist while it cooks and also keeps it delicious.

Choosing Dry vs. Sweet

A dry wine has very few natural sugars remaining, and usually is higher in alcohol. Alternatively, sweeter wines will have a larger amount of natural sugar from the grapes.

Which type of wine should be used to cook with food?

Generally, the thought is that bold wines are a match with bold dishes and light wines are a match with light dishes. Most of the time, light meats are paired with white wines and dark meas are paired with dark wines.

Food & Wine Recipes

Red Wine Recipe

Red Wine Pan Sauce

A red wine pan sauce is a combination of fond (the brown bits left in a pan after the searing of meat), effervescent vegetables like onion or garlic, good red wine, butter, and a dry red wine for cooking. A perfect combination of acid and fat, this sauce is the perfect accompaniment with a thick cut of rib-eye steak. Creating a pan sauce is an easy process that I have detailed below.

1. Starting a red wine sauce begins with deglazing the pan. After cooking a steak and removing it from the pan, return the pan to the heat. The heat will help loosen the fond stuck to the pan, and then add your wine and stock. This will deglaze the pan, allowing every morsel of flavorful fond to release from the pan.

2. Lower the temperature and begin reducing the stock and wine to create the rich flavor base for the sauce and to boost the flavor. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by about half and the sauce can coat the back of the spoon.

3. Add an emulsifier like mustard that readies the sauce for the fat that will be added to thicken the sauce. Mustard adds plenty of flavor to the pan sauce, so be sure to pick your favorite and avoid basic yellow mustard.

4. Add fat like cold better to the pan to thicken the sauce further. Adding cold butter to a pan sauce is called “mounting the sauce”, and is a classic French technique for thickening a pan sauce. One tip for this sauce is to whisk vigorously to make it thicker.

White Wine Recipe

cooking with wine

White Wine Pound Cake

A deliciously moist and rich cake recipe that is made with white wine and cinnamon. This is a delicious recipe that is short and easy to make with a cake mix! Below are instructions and ingredients on how to make this wine filled dessert.



1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

¼ cup white wine

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup butter

White Wine Pound Cake

4 eggs

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 serving cooking spray (such as Pam®)

½ cup white wine

1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

¾ cup water

1 (3 ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a pan with with cooking spray and coat with flour.

2. Whisk and mix cake mix, 1/4 cup white sugar, cinnamon, pudding mix, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Beat water, 1/2 cup white wine, vegetable oil, and eggs into the mixture using a mixer until batter is smooth in bowl. Pour batter into a prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place cake onto a wire rack and allow it to cool for an hour.

4. Combine 1/4 cup white wine, butter, and 1/2 cup white sugar together in a sauce pan. Cook the sugar mixture, stirring pretty constantly over medium-high heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved,about 2 to 6 minutes. Spoon half of the glaze over cake while the cake is still warm.

5. Flip the cooled cake onto a large pastry plate and spread the remaining glaze over the top of the cake. Allow about 15 minutes for the cake to absorb the glaze and then dust the cake with more sugar!

cooking with wine


Braised Chicken Thigh with Carrots and Potatoes

This recipe for chicken thighs with carrots and potatoes combines a seared chicken with tender vegetables in a dish that's perfect for dinner



4 large bone in skin on chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

6 carrots - 1 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

4 Yukon gold potatoes - 2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup white wine

1 onion chopped finely


1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.

2. Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper

3. In a large frying pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add your chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a platter.

4. Add onion to the pan and stir, also add potatoes and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the veggies are starting to brown.

5. Add flour and cook ,stirring into the pan. Add your white wine and simmer until the wine has been cooked off. Add your chicken stock and paprika and then add the chicken back to the pan and bring the pan to a boil.

6. Place a cover on the pan, insert into the oven, and allow it to bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through.

7. Mix in thyme and other seasonings. Season to taste, and then serve.

Chicken in white wine sauce is one of my favorite recipes!

Tips: Choose a white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc for your white wine sauce. Chicken thigh can also be switched out for chicken breast.

I hope you enjoyed reading about some wine tips and recipes. In the future, I would love to detail some other recipes that I love including a beef stew recipe with red wine and a shrimp scampi recipe with wine. I would also enjoy delving into what I think the best red wine to cook with is.

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