Why Dry White Wine for Cooking?
As a rule, dry white wine (wines which don’t have sweetness) are ideal for cooking lighter meals like pork, chicken soup, veal, seafood such as shellfish, seafood, and other vegetables. Below are some examples of these dishes paired with various types of wine.
White Meat, Cream Sauces, and Gravies
Try Rich, Dry White Wines
- Chenin Blanc
Use thicker and more intensely flavored dry white wine, such as Chardonnay for gravy, cream sauces, and chicken.
Numerous wineries produce delicious and creamy whites, but Chardonnay is the readily available one. Making wine-based dishes such as gravy or cream sauce requires more skill since it’s harder to regulate acidity or determine how much wine has been reduced. The most effective cooking method is to reduce the wine before mixing it into the cream.
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Take a look at this adorable video about Beurre Blanc (White Wine Butter Sauce) for inspiration.
Seafood and Shellfish
Try Crisp, Dry White Wines
- Pinot Gris (aka Pinot Grigio)
- Vinho Verde
- Picpoul de Pinet
Crisp white wines like Pinot Grigio add a mineral, fruity character, ideal for cooking seafood. A bit of acidity can help cut through an unfetter fish, but you must be cautious not to go too acidic, as it’s easy to cook with too much.
Plenty of other wine types match this taste if you’re looking for a new way to enjoy wine. Look through the white wine list to get more ideas.
Try Herbal, Dry White Wines
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Gruner Veltliner
Sauvignon Blanc is a classic light wine with floral, fruity, and floral notes that give incredible flavor when cooking vegetables. It’s one of the most accessible wines to cook with. Simply splashing the wine into the saute pan to reduce the cooking.
Explore these wines pairings with artichoke, Mediterranean-style tomato dishes such as Swiss chard, eggplant, garlic bell peppers, and mushrooms. You can also add a bit of lemon and butter to add a touch of flavor and the ideal balance between acids.
Use an easy beurre blanc recipe to create a white wine sauce variation.
Tips for cooking using White Wine
- To make cream sauces, boil the wine in separate batches and reduce it to half the amount you began with. After it’s reduced, you can include the cream. The majority of recipes call for 1/2 to 3 cups of wine.
- After sautéing the vegetables, pour a couple of tablespoons of wine into the pan to help deglaze.
- To cook shellfish, add wine into the soup to cook shellfish (mussels, oysters, clams).
- Add a couple of tablespoons of marinade wine to help soften the meat and caramelize it during the cooking.
- The longer the wine is cooked, the lower the amount of alcohol that will be present in the dish. It can take as much as 2.5 minutes of cooking time to eliminate the alcohol.
- White wine that is refrigerated, open, and chilled can be drunk for as long as one week and can be used to cook for two weeks.