There is something romantic about cooking with wine. We joke around that sometimes we also like to put them in the dishes! The right wine can bring out the food’s wonderful flavor—but too much or the wrong style wine can ruin the dish or worse –  break the bank! Here are a few of our thoughts on getting the budget and blend just right:

Ingredient Considerations

The first place to start when cooking with wine is your ingredient list. Wine contains sugars, acids and tannins, and each of these will interact with foods differently. To maintain balance, check your recipe for similar tastes and and characteristics. If your ingredient has a high acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar, but these back to make room for the acid delivered in the wine. This is especially true when cooking with white wine which can be paired with more subtle flavors. For light vegetables or delicate fish try a dry non-oaked wine. If your recipe is packed with onions, carrots and tomatoes, that adds up to a big sugar content which calls for a fuller-bodied white or a less dry red.

Red or White?

The best rule of thumb when choosing the color of wine to cook with is to match it with what you would be drinking with the dish. Even better – use the same bottle to splash into the dish as you will serve with the meal. This type of flavor harmony delivers time and time again.


Many save “bad wine” to cook with, but this couldn’t be more wrong of a mindset. You might not want to dump in the bottle of your most prized vintage, but bad wine will do nothing but ruin your dish. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t drink it on its own, do not cook with it! Keep the choices basic and experiment a little to find your perfect blend.

If you like wine enough to read this article you would enjoy our Uncorked events and our Wine Dinners. Check out our Calendar of Events and give @1201 a try for delicious food and excellent wine pairing right here in Joplin!

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