Cooking With Red Wine Ragu

The Art of Cooking with Wine

Cooking with wine is everything but unusual, especially in Italian cuisine. Many recipes will use it, however very few go above and beyond to explain the science behind it.

Today we’re going to take a look at the ways you can use and be creative with wine in the kitchen.

Let’s start with the basics… The wine! Whenever you have some spare wine that you don’t want to drink, you should conserve it. Seal the bottle with the cork it came with, or get some plastic, reusable caps for wine bottles.

Be sure to use it as soon as you can. Although unopened wine has a very long shelf life, the oxidation process starts as soon as you open it, and it will slowly turn your wine into vinegar. The best practice is to keep in the fridge and use it within 2 to 5 days.

As the last tip, before we proceed, you should know that alcohol does not evaporate entirely when cooked, though that fact varies widely from situation to situation. This article does a great job of explaining most of the possible scenarios.

Red wine

If what you have left is red wine, then you can use it to cook red meats. One very popular Italian recipe is Brasato al Barolo.

Red wine goes very well with stake, and the reason behind that is tannins. Tannins from red wine react with the protein in the meat, creating a perfect combination of flavors.

The tannin also softens the fat, thus releasing more flavor, and the fat will instead bring out more of the fruity taste of the wine. Red wine and red meat have therefore a symbiotic relationship, where each one brings out the best qualities of the other.

White wine

White wine goes well with… you guessed it, white meats!

If you ever wondered how to cook a juicy and flavorful chicken breast, white wine is one of the secret weapons to get it done. Again, this is all possible thanks to tannins (i.e., the bitterness of the wine). With white meats such as chicken, fish, and turkey, wine can definitely bring out more flavor and most importantly, keep the meats juicy throughout the cooking process, especially long ones like slow cooking.

Mussels With White Wine
Mussels With White Wine

When cooking with wine, you should keep in mind that the sweet part of the taste will come out ahead in your finished product, as the bitter/acidic part reacts with the fat.

What to prepare with wine:

  • Sauces by reduction: when cooking meats or vegetables you can add a little bit of wine and sugar and reduce until thick.
  • Marinade add wine to your marinade and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  • Risotto add a splash of wine when you start.
  • Sauteed Vegetables.
  • Slow cooker add a splash of whine along with the rest of the ingredients.

One Comment

  • Nico

    Grazie per la ricetta, non vedo l’ora di prepararla 🙏

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