What Wines to Use with What Dishes: Cooking with Black Box Wine

I cook with wine quite often. It is an easy way to refine a dish and kick it up a notch. The alcohol in the wine doesn’t add any flavor but it does help to release flavor molecules in the ingredients and it is superb at dissolving fats which also aids in enhancing the flavor of foods.

If you cook with wine you always want to make sure that you cook most of the alcohol out. If you don’t it will taste like alcohol and defeat the purpose of using it to enhance flavor. The best way to make sure that you’ve cooked the wine out is to let it reduce by half after adding it. The more it reduces the more delicious it becomes.

You may have heard the saying, “don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink.” This is very true. “Cooking” wines don’t do for your dishes what a sophisticated, mature wine will do. For the most part, we only drink wine on biblical holidays but even though we don’t drink wine often, I know what a good wine tastes like just by smelling it and cooking with it.

Whites or Reds?

I use white wines with poultry, fish, and cream sauces.White tends to be more acidic and gives you a great flavor symphony when used in dishes. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

I prefer red for beef, bison, venison, and heavy vegetable dishes. Keep in mind that adding a red wine to any dish will add color to it. Red is also perfect for tomato based dishes. It deepens flavors and should be cooked for 30-45 minutes after adding to any dish.

Is it safe to cook with alcohol?

While not all of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process, the majority of it will and it is completely safe for consumption. One serving will contain significantly less alcohol than a dose of your most used cough syrup. The longer you cook the wine the more the alcohol evaporates.

Want to try it?

Start with something simple. My Cajun Shrimp and Grits is easy and delicious!

how to make cajun shrimp and grits

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  1. I love the information here! I love to cook with wine too 🙂 I have never tried the box wines for cooking and have not seen this one…where did you buy it? At your local grocery store? At Sam’s/Costco? Thanks for the recipe too. We haven’t had Shrimp and Grits in a loooooong time (not the standard fare in Arizona!). I will make this on the weekend…comfort food!!!

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