Some of you must be familiar drinking wine or eating foods that cooked with wine. Well, maybe you don’t know if your food contained with wine, but i believe when you dining in a fine dining restaurant then some of the food might contains wine in it.
We all know that wine had been used in so many events for centuries. In Christian, wine was Jesus’ first miracle. So that makes wine as an old beverage. Well, i’m not going to talk how wine made or how to taste a good wine. I’m going to talk about wine as a cooking ingredient.
Wine has 3 main uses in the kitchen, as a marinade ingredient, as a cooking liquid and as a flavoring in a finished dish. For the function of wine in cooking is to strenghten, enhance and emphasised the flavor and aroma of the food. Wine is not to masking the flavor of what you’re cooking but rather to protect it.
When i was in cooking school, wine is necessary when we cooked western foods. Italian, French, Rusian foods, etc. I supposed to think that drinking wine is a part of western people habit. No wonder, they have winter in their season and wine can provide you warmness with the alcohol in it. But if you think the reason they put wine in their food because they want the warmness then you are wrong. Because when alcohol subjected to heat, it will evaporate.
Then why they still use wine if they couldn’t get the alcohol? The answer is for the flavor. When you cook, the alcohol in wine evaporates and only the flavor of the wine remains. Boiling down wine makes the flavor more concentrate, including the acidity and the sweetness the wine has. That is why you must not use too much wine in your food as the flavor could overpower your dish. I don’t think you want it, rite?
Then, when is the best time to add the wine? I can tell, you MUST NOT add the wine into your dish before it will be served. There’s no point to do that. You’ll only get a bad taste for your dish. When i use wine in my cooking class, we add wine to deglaze meat/protein. We want wine’s flavour mixing with juices from the protein. Yes, the liquid will reduces and that is the point. Because when the liquid is reduced it will brings out the extract of meat and wine mixing. And believe me, its tasty. So, just give some times for the wine to give flavor to your dish. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes on simmer. Oh, and don’t forget to taste you dish to know whether you’ll need more wine or not.
So, now you want to cook your food with wine but you’re afraid if a bottle of wine is too much for your dish? That’s fine, you can consider to buy wine and pairing it with any protein you use for your dish. You know, like white meat with white wine or red meat goes along with red wine. And for the leftover wine, you can save it with pour it into a new bottle, cork it, make sure no air can get inside then store it in refrigerator for a month.
How about the price of the wine? Sometimes i can be a stingy person if i want to or if it needs to. But some people say ‘price is never lie’. Well, luckily in wine you can compromise. You may buy an expensive wine if you want to pair it with your dish when you eat, but an average wine will give you the same taste. But, do not go with cheap wine if you don’t want your food taste bad. Oh, never use cooking wine. One of my chef teacher told me that cooking wine are saltier and they put some additive that may give strange taste to your food.
I hope this will help you to decide to use wine or not to your food. But, i don’t think wine is fit when you cook indonesia cuisine. Haha…