Cooking with wine has been around for quite a while. With many households trying to discover new taste in their homes, using wine in cooking can help add variety to the flavor of food. When putting together a particular dish or recipe, it is essential to note that not just any kind of wine will do. A wrong combination of wine with a simple dish can eventually make the food unappealing to taste, and there is a lot more to cooking with wine than just making a Coq au vin!

However, a nice blend of wine with a simple recipe can make quite an elegant meal. We look at some simple rules for using wine when cooking.

Rule 1: Use The Wines That You Drink For Cooking

It is important to stress this point as we observe that wines that people do not like to drink do not give pleasant flavors when used for cooking, too. This does not mean there are no exceptions, but it is safer to cook with wines that you are already familiar with. Whether you like to drink red, white, plum wine, or anything else – only cook with the wines you know the taste of.

Coq au vin
Although there is much more to cooking with wine than just making a Coq au vin, you should always make sure that you know the wine you’re cooking with!

Rule 2: Use Wines In Moderate Quantities

Wines should be used just the way you use your regular seasoning. Using too little seasoning will give little or no impact to taste. On the other hand, using too much can overwhelm the food. This same rule applies when cooking with wine. It is better to start with a smaller quantity and gradually increase it until it gives the desired result.

The fact remains that once you use too much wine initially, there is practically no way of taking it back. If you are not sure of the right quantity of wine to use, start with two tablespoons. Wait for up to ten minutes, then taste the food to determine if you need to add more wine.

Rule 3: Use Wines At The Appropriate Time When Cooking

Fresh wine without refrigeration can be used to tenderize meat before cooking. You should also marinate food such as vegetables in a wine before you grill, bake, or roast. It is sometimes better to heat your wine before adding the food. Allow your wine to simmer with the food when cooking. When wines are added too late, they give a harsh flavor to the dish.

Rule 4: Keep Leftover Wine After First Use

Ensure you keep the remaining wine in the bottle well corked and refrigerated. Leftover wines can stay for 1 or 2 weeks when kept in this condition. If you have a bottle that can contain the exact quantity of leftovers, it is better to store the wine in that container. This will help the wine last up to one month for cooking.

Rule 5: Combine Other Recipes Appropriately With The Wine

The wine is not the only ingredient that will determine the taste of your dish. The quantities of the other ingredients also matter. Be sure you use the right combination of different ingredients as you also gauge the appropriate amount of wine to complement the taste.

It’s important to try and blend the correct wine with the correct food. If you’re cooking Japanese food, such as Japanese glazed duck, why not try using something like a Japanese plum wine for the wine added to your recipe? It’ll accentuate the tastes from the duck, and blend well with the overall recipe.

Rule 6: Practise Cooking With Different Wines

Another important rule for cooking with wines is to ensure you explore various possibilities. You can start by trying the usual wines you have. You can then move on to premium brands or new types of wine.
However, the fact remains that you don’t need to get premium wine before your dish can taste great. A good quality wine can give the same quality of flavor premium wines can provide when used for cooking. This means you don’t have to spend a lot in quest to improve the flavor of your food.

Cooking with wine
Experiment with different wines when you’re learning to cook with wine for the first time – it’s a great way to learn quickly and establish your skills cooking with wine.

Also, there are many wines of different qualities with labeled ‘cooking wines’ in the supermarket. Trying different brands will help you master your skill rapidly and give you a pleasant taste.


Cooking with wine is quite easy and very rewarding when it comes to bringing out the taste of food. You need to ensure the right type and quantity of wine for cooking. The fact remains that some types of wine are more suitable for some particular dish. Usually, you will get to know which one suits your taste better through trial and error and recommendations from people who have tried such wines in any particular dish.