Pinosity’s top five tips for cooking with wine

You’ve been keeping that special bottle of Pinot Noir for years, waiting for the right time and the perfect occasion to crack it open, but when it’s finally time to bring it out, it’s corked!

We’ve all been there, and quite frankly, it’s heartbreaking.

So what do you do with it?

Do you poor the bottle ceremoniously down the sink, with a glisten in your eye? Or do you make “lemonade out of lemons” and cook up a delicious pot of spaghetti bolognaise?

Waste not. Want not. Right? Wrong!

At Pinosity, we hate wasting wine as much as the next Pinotphile, but messing up a good meal is equally sacrilegious…so for those who like their food with wine, here are our top tips for cooking with vino.

1. Never cook with a faulty wine
Just don’t. Sure, it’s not going to hurt you. But according to experts, any flaws you can sniff out in the glass are usually amplified by the cooking process. So if you don’t want your Coq Au Vin to taste like vinegar or old socks, the best thing to do is get rid of the bad bottle, one painful glug at a time.

2. Think about variety
If you’re cooking with white wine go with something that is lower in alcohol, less aromatic in flavour and high in acidity, like a Pinot Grigio or an Australian Riesling. Avoid Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chenin Blanc as they all have very specific flavour profiles, which may detract from the taste of the dish.

For red wine, Pinot Noir is by far the best variety to cook with, particularly for light French jus or subtle reductions. This is because it’s consistently medium bodied, fruity, and also has high acidity to cut the fat. Red blends are also great for cooking with red meat.

3. Drink up
If you’re going to all of the trouble of cooking up a nice home cooked meal, you might as well enjoy a glass or two while you’re doing it! We’re great advocates for cooking with drinkable wine, not only because it increases your chances of high-praise at the dinner table, it’s just plain practical!

4. Theme it up
The best way to celebrate regionality is through food. If you’re cooking a Spanish dish, think about sloshing in some Tempranillo or Albariño. If you’re going for a rustic Italian stew, try your favourite bottle of Sangiovese. French? Pinot Noir. This will not only contribute to the dishes ‘sense of place’ it will also pair well with the food when it’s finally time to sit down and eat (if there’s any left over, that is).

5. More bang for your buck
Remember grandma’s drunken sherry trifle? Cooking with fortified wine can add a wonderfully intense flavour to sweet and savoury dishes, for a fraction of the price. Drizzle port over fresh strawberries for a delicious dessert. Mix Madeira, garlic and rosemary for the perfect marinade, or add a splash of sherry to pan fried chorizo, red onion and capsicum for a delicious tapas treat!