Hands holding a botte of wine
14 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking With Wine
Wrong Wine
If a recipe calls for wine, the type of wine you use matters. Typically, white wines go with lighter dishes like chicken or fish, while reds are for beef-based dishes.
The rule of thumb is to use a wine you'd pair with the dish's core ingredients if you were drinking wine. Consider sweetness, acidity, and flavor profile when using wine in a dish.
Low-Quality Wine
If you care about your dish's quality, you should care about your wine's quality, too. If it's not a wine you'd drink on its own, you shouldn't be cooking with it.
You don't need top-shelf bottles for your kitchen, but it should still be palatable. If the bottle or a box is labeled specifically as "cooking wine," it's best to avoid it.
Too Much Wine
Some recipes need a splash or two of wine and others use nearly a whole bottle. Don't rely on guesswork, as too much wine can overpower a dish and make it too boozy.
For perfect balance, it's best to add it bit by bit and taste as you go. You can always add more wine if needed, and you'll save yourself time and hassle.
Expired Wine
Wine spoils just like most other ingredients, so if you add it to your recipe, the unpleasant aromas and flavors in an expired wine will also pass on to the food.
If you're storing wine, pop the cork or a stopper back in and store it in the fridge. After five days, it's best to throw it out, but also consider that not all wines age the same.
Not Cooking It Off
Unless you're giving your dish a boozy quality, you'll need to make sure you're cooking the wine long enough to avoid a potentially unwelcome ethanol flavor.
The duration and the temperature you're using to cook the dish will affect the amount of alcohol that's burned off, so make sure to allow wine proper time to cook off.