Wine Food and You

Cooking with Wine

Wine has three main uses in the kitchen - as a marinade ingredient, as a cooking liquid, and as a flavoring in a finished dish. The function of wine in cooking is to intensify, enhance and accent the flavor and aroma of food - not to mask the flavor of what you are cooking but rather to fortify it. As with any seasoning used in cooking, care should be taken in the amount of wine used - too little is inconsequential and too much will be overpowering. Neither extreme is desirable. A small quantity of wine will enhance the flavor of the dish

The wine should simmer with the food, or sauce, to enhance the flavor of the dish. If added late in the preparation, it could impart a harsh quality.  It should simmer with the food or in the sauce while it is being cooked; as the wine cooks, it reduces and becomes an extract which flavors. Wine added too late in the preparation will give a harsh quality to the dish. A wine needs time to impart its flavor in your dish. Wait 10 minutes or more to taste before adding more wine.

You are of course allowed to enjoy a glass of wine while cooking.


The flavor of wine in cooking is derived from the nature of the wine and not the alcohol. Most of the alcohol evaporates and very little is left in the finished dish. Boiling down wine concentrates the flavor, including acidity and sweetness. Be careful not to use too much wine, as the flavor could overpower your dish. The first step is to try a small amount of wine so the flavors will blend and not become too overpowering. As your are cooking try sampling your dish and add as needed.

Sulfites in Wine - All wines contain at least some small amount of sulfites When cooking Sulfites dissipates into the air. All that remains is some salts, but they are so minute in quantity that they have no affect on flavor.

Young, full bodied red wine

Red meat, red meat dishes

Young, full bodied, robust red wine

Red sauces

Earthy red, full bodied red wine

Soups with root vegetables and/or beef stock

Dry white wine or dry fortified wine

Fish/shellfish/seafood, poultry, pork, veal

Dry white wine or dry fortified wine

Light/cream sauces

Crisp, dry white wine

Seafood soups, bouillabaisse

Sweet white wine or sweet fortified wine

Sweet desserts

Dry, fortified wine (i.e.: sherry)

Consommé, poultry, vegetable soups

Regional cuisine

Regional wine

A few suggestions Sauvignon Blanc, known for its herbaceous quality as a wine, in a dish highlighting herbs. Zinfandels have a berry or cherry character, which would be a nice background to a fruit sauce for duck. A buttery Chardonnay is the perfect base for a beurre blanc. The more you learn about the characteristics of your favorite wines, the more creative you can be with how you cook with them. Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti for meats and meat based sauces.

Tip: Adding cold wine tends to make meat tough, while warm wine helps tenderize it.



In cooking dishes with wines as part of the recipe, it is always important to remember that they are used not to replace the flavor of the dish. They should instead work together with the combination of flavors in order to make every dish have that extra tang and zing that will tickle the palate and make a fine dish even more appealing. So handle your wines with care while cooking and use then like you would with a seasoning to your dish.

* wine table from

Peach Sabayon with Balsamic Peaches

If you don't have peach brandy on hand, use additional white wine instead.

Gently toss peaches with vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar, then let macerate 30 minutes. When peaches have macerated 15 minutes, combine yolks, wine, brandy, and remaining 3...


  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons peach brandy
  • 1 instant-read thermometer
  • 3 medium peaches (1 lb total)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks


Lavender Honey Cheesecake ( Tugwell Meadery)

serves 6-8 people

1/2 lb shortbread cookies or graham wafers
5 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp lavender petals, fresh or dried, tied in cheesecloth
6 oz wildflower honey
8 oz light cream cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Place cookies or wafers in plastic bag and crush them until they are quite fine. Place crumbs in a bowl and combine them with the melted butter. Press this mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

To make the lavender infusion pour 2 1/2 tbsp boiling water and 2 teaspoons of honey into a small metal bowl and steep lavender in this for 15 minutes. Remove the lavender and let cool.

In a large bowl beat together the light cream cheese and honey until it is smooth then gradually add the lavender infusion until the mixture is smooth. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold into the cheese mixture. Pour the filling over the crumb base and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to set.

Sprinkle the top with lavender flower to decorate before serving. Run a warm knife around the inside edge of the spring form pan. Slice to serve.


Walnut, Blue Cheese and Cranberry Cookies

1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup salted butter, room temp
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 cup flour
3/4 cup walnut bits and crumbs
3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350'F Mix cheese, butter and pepper until roughly blended. Stir in flour, nuts and cranberries until doughy. Form dough into one inch balls and press flat to one quarter inch. Bake 20 25 minutes until golden around bottom edges. Cool and store in airtight tin.

Red Wine Ice-cream

Stage 1
1 litre red wine
4 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 vanilla pods (split and scraped)

Stage 2
350ml red wine (good quality)

Stage 3
400gm caster sugar
640gm unsalted butter
12 egg yolks

Boil and reduce
Boil the red wine, cloves, cinnamon sticks and vanilla pods. Reduce by half. Add the remaining red wine and reboil.
Remove from the heat and add the caster sugar, unsalted butter and egg yolks. Using a hand blender, blitz together.
When fully incorporated, return to the stove and cook out.

Stir mixture
Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture. When it coats the back of the spoon (85C) remove from the heat
and pass through a fine strainer. Place on to an ice bain-marie to cool rapidly, stirring regularly.

Allow to sit in the fridge for two hours for best results. Churn in an ice cream machine.

Borrowed from Steve Thorpe Master Chef of Great Britain

Grilled Steak Salad with Poblano Vinaigrette

Tammy's Steak Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup horseradish
2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
Mix together in a small bowl until combined.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4 rib eye steaks (6 ounces each)
1 cup Tammy's Steak sauce (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 plum tomatoes, sliced in half
Olive oil
8 cups baby spinach, washed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Poblano Vinaigrette:
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Place steaks in a shallow baking dish and cover with the steak sauce, let marinate for 2 hours, turning once. Preheat grill. Remove steaks from marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. Remove and let rest. Brush onion slices and tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill on both sides until just cooked through.

Place spinach in a large bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the spinach among 4 large salad dishes or platters. Slice each steak into 1/2-inch thick slices and fan on top of the spinach. Garnish with grilled tomatoes and onions and drizzle with Poblano Vinaigrette.

Combine poblanos, onion and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil slowly until emulsified. Add the spinach and blend until smooth. Add the honey and season to taste with salt and pepper. Yield: 4 servings

Warwick Pinotage Chutney

* 2 Kg Pinotage grapes, pitted
* 1 Cup chopped Onion
* 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
* 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
* 1/2 Cup Warwick "Old Bush Vine" Pinotage wine
* 1/2 Lemon zest grated
* 1/2 Teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 Teaspoon Mustard seed
* 1/4 Cup Currants (optional)
* 10 ml All Spice

Cook for 30 minutes, reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes until fruit is soft and mixture is thick.
Yields 2 Cups. If fruit is not soft, add Pinotage wine if you have any left. Cooking is thirsty work!

Creme Caramel Over-Night French Toast

(Serves 9 - simple, yet delightfully different and tasty.)

1 Loaf French bread
1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute
2 1/2 cups 1% lowfat milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon ground all-spice
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Thick slice bread, arrange in pan (8-10)
Blend wet ingredients with spices and sugar. Pour over bread.
Cover and refrigerate over night.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; bake 45 mins or until set in middle

Creme Caramel French Toast

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lowfat margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Before preparing the french toast mixture, melt butter and corn syrup together in a small sauce pan. Stir in brown sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir down to a thick syrup. While the caramel is hot, pour into your baking pan and chill in refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes or until set. (You'll know it's ready when a light touch leaves your finger print on the caramel's surface). Next, prepare the french toast as described above. When serving this treat, flip pieces over onto the plate so the melted caramel sauce drips down all over your french toast. Since it already has its own syrup, you could top with fresh fruit and a dollop of yogurt instead.

Nutrition (per serving): 236 calories

The wine Domaine De Chaberton, Optima..1996

Sheperd's Pie

Cooking Oil 1 tbsp.
Lean Ground Beef 1 ½ lbs.
Chopped Onion 1 cup
Flour 1 tbsp.
Salt 1 ½ tsp.
Pepper ¼ tsp.
Milk 1/3 cup
Ketchup 1 tbsp.
Horseradish 1 tsp.

Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp.
Peas Cooked 1 cup
Sliced Carrots cooked 1 cup
Potatoes 4
Butter or Margarine 1 tbsp.
Milk 3-4 tbsp.
Seasoned Salt ½ tsp.
Butter 2 tbsp.
Paprika Sprinkle

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash. Add butter, milk and seasoned salt.

Heat cooking oil in frying pan. Add ground beef and onion. Saute until beef is lightly browned. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stir in milk until mixture boils. Add Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and vegetables. Pack into greased 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) pan or casserole.

Spread mashed potatoes over beef mixture. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika. Make wave pattern with fork in potato. Bake uncovered, near top of 350F degree oven (175C) for about 30 minutes until hot and lightly browned.

Turkey and Broccoli in a Cream Sauce

5 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 pound turkey breast, skin removed, cut into strips
1 cup dry wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring to a rolling boil 4 quarts water. add 1 teaspoon salt. Add the broccoli and blanch it for about 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Place into cold water. Let stand briefly.drain return to bowl.

In a large deep skillet, heat the oil,medium temperature. Add garlic and turkey saute until the turkey is just cooked through and tender. Now transfer the turkey to the broccoli bowl.

Add the wine,stock and cream to the skillet, bring to a boil, cook until thickened about eight minutes. Add the broccoli and turkey, and cheese to the sauce and toss until heated and evenly coated. Serve over pasta Serves four

Wine Fondue

1 cup butter
1 cup all purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 cups Chablis
2 teaspoons chicken flavoured bouillon powder
Cheese thinly sliced

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour; cook for several minutes over low heat. Add the bouillon, milk and Chablis; stir frequently until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted and smoth. Transfer to a fondue pot; keep warm.

Apple Cinnamon Pizza

By Elizabeth Baird and the Canadian Living Test Kitchen
You've heard of apple cinnamon pancakes right? Well, borrow the idea for pizza lovers.

1 12-inch (30 cm) pizza base 1
1/3 cup Dried cranberries or raisins (optional) 75 mL
3 cups Finely chopped peeled apples 750 mL
3 tbsp Granulated sugar 50 mL
2 tbsp Butter, melted 25 mL
1 tbsp Lemon juice 15 mL
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon 7 mL

Place pizza base on 12-inch (30 cm) round pizza pan; sprinkle with cranberries (if using). In bowl, combine apples, sugar, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon; sprinkle over base. Bake in centre of 450°F (230°C) oven for about 15 minutes or until crust is golden and slightly puffed and apples are tender. Let stand for 5 minutes; using scissors, cut into 8 slices. Makes 8 slices.

Per slice: about 163 cal, 3 g pro, 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 29 g carb, 2 g fibre, 8 mg chol, 175 mg sodium. % RDI: 1% calcium, 9% iron, 3% vit A, 3% vit C, 9% folate.

Orange Pork Tenderloin

by Diane Balch

Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin
Preparation Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4 - 6
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or other neutral oil 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter Approximately 1 to 1.5 pounds of sliced (about 1/2 inch) pork tenderloin 6 scallions chopped small 1 tablespoon of regular or gluten free flour 1 cup white wine 1 cup orange juice 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamon salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon or less of orange zest
1) In a large skillet heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter on medium high heat.
2) Sauté pork pieces until golden about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
3) Sauté scallions and remove from skillet.
4) Put 1 tablespoon of butter in skillet and add flour. Scrape brown bits with a spatula. When most bits are removed add orange juice, wine, cardamon, and salt. Turn up heat to high. Continue to scrap the bottom of the skillet and stir until sauce begins to thicken.
5) Turn off the heat and return the pork to the pan. Make sure pork is covered in sauce. Cover skillet and let it sit on the warm burner for about 10 minutes. Garnish with scallions and orange zest.

Selecting your cooking wine*

Dry White

Use simple fruity table wines-Chardonnay or Sauvigon Blanc

Dry Red

Simple fruity table wines. Pinot Noir is a good choice.


Avoid very dry fine Sherry and sweet cream. Amontillado is a good choice


Ruby port is the right selection Use Port with moderation.


When the recipie states to use Madeira do not substitute. For cooking a
medium-bodied Baul or a full bodies sweet Malmsey Maderia are best.


Use the sweet style for cooking


Cognac offers reliable and intense flavour

Sparking Wine

Use the same wine that you are serving at the table..


White vermouth

You are welcome to send us our favourite recipes

"A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry......"
Ecclesiastes 10:19


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