Cooking with wine is an easy skill to learn and these recipes will help you discover how it adds depth of flavor and complexity to a wide variety of dishes.

For centuries, cooking with wine has been a technique used to season food. In the Roman cookbook, Apicius (circa 100 AD), the majority of the included recipes utilized wine as a signature ingredient.

Today we use wine to enhance the flavor of marinades, stews, stir-fries, dressings, and sauces.

How To Choose Wines For Cooking

When deciding which wine to choose, there are a few general guidelines that we recommend.

First, choose a wine you like. Cheap bitter wine will not contribute the right attributes to your dish. A medium-priced bottle of white or red wine, or a left-over bottle of your favorite drinking wine, will add lots of flavor and gusto to your meal.

Next, choose flavors that complement your ingredients. Cooking brings out the flavor of wine, so some wines like oaky Chardonnays and high-tannin reds should be avoided. Chardonnays can turn bitter when reduced and full-bodied reds like Cabernet can leave a chalky taste once reduced.

Fruitier and brighter whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are excellent choices when recipes call for a dry white wine. Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Côtes du Rhône are medium-bodied reds that add depth and complexity to a dish.

Lastly, when adding wine to a recipe, it is better to add sooner rather than later. It takes about 10 minutes for the flavor of the wine to mellow and infuse with the other ingredients.

Here we’ve gathered eight delicious recipes that are great examples of how wine can enhance the flavor of a dish. Try one or two and you’ll be an expert at cooking with wine in no time.

Cooking with Wine