Cooking with wine

Anyone who cooks, and anyone who drinks wine, (that’s pretty much everyone, right?) has been there: you didn’t finish off the entire bottle of cabernet (or pinot or chianti, etc.) so you’ll “use it for cooking wine”.


But two rules to remember:

  1. Don’t assume all of the alcohol from the wine “burns off” during the cooking process. Everyone from Chowhound to the US Dept. of Agriculture has researched and weighed in. The consensus is that cooking removes only a portion of the alcohol added to a dish, a much smaller portion than previously thought.   Just an FYI.


  1. Don’t cook with crummy wine. Remember this basic advice: if you wouldn’t drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it. If it tastes bad in a glass, the flavor will not magically improve once it simmers in your spaghetti sauce. Just the opposite. Bad wine will take your red sauce down. If you’re leery about the quality of your “cooking wine”, clearly the only solution is to pour it down the nearest drain, open a new bottle, use the required amount in your recipe, and enjoy the remainder with your dinner. That’s a win-win.
wine cooking cartoon