Quick Recipes and Easy

Cooking with Wine or Selecting the Right Wine for a Meal

You do not have to be a celebrity chef when choosing a wine to drink with a meal. Here are a few tips that will make life in the kitchen a small simpler. Keep in mind that how you spice your food will also influence your wine choice.

The heartier the dish the more full-bodied the wine should be. Rich fatty foods, such as beef, lamb or cheese are best paired with oaky Chardonnays or young red Cabernets or Zinfandels.

Oily dishes can tame tannins and make your wine taste smoother and fruitier. Sparkling wines are excellent with oily foods.

Sweet, light wines can cool off the spiciness in foods.

Sweet foods are best paired with wines that have a similar level of sweetness.

Salty foods go well with Riesling, Gewurztraminer, White Zinfandel or Chenin Blanc.

Highly acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes or vinegar, are best suited to highly acidic wines, such as Savignon Blanc.

Fantastic combinations come from either matching taste components or contrasting with them.

Match the wine used in cooking with the wine served with the meal.

One or two tablespoons of wine per cup of other liquids in the meal is a excellent guideline when cooking with wine. Use a white wine with spicy sauces containing cayenne, capers, paprika, shallots or tarragon. Vegetables that go with white wines include carrots and peas. When cooking sauces containing bay leaf, cream, garlic, mushrooms, onion, savory or thyme use a red wine. Use a full-bodied red wine with beans or tomatoes. Remember that the alcohol content evaporates when cooked.

Of course, taste is very subjective and these suggestions are just a start. Feel free to experiment and keep track of your own dynamite combinations.

Copyright 2007 by Linda Murdock. Linda Murdock is the best-selling author of A Busy Cook’s Guide to Spices, How to Introduce New Flavors to Everyday Meals. Included in the wine section of the book is a complete chart listing seasonings and the red or white wines that go with them, along with a chart on cooking with wines. Unlike most spice books, you can turn to a particular food, whether meat, vegetable or starch, and find a list of spices that go well with that food. Recipes are included. To learn more go to bellwetherbooks.com/ bellwetherbooks.com

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