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Know a dry white wine for cooking?

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  • Tela T. Mar 11, 2005 10:21 AM
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I'm looking for a "dry, white wine" for cooking - looking to make lots of stock this weekend to freeze - most of my receipes for fish and vegie stock call for this - would like something that runs around $6-8 - figuring something less I wouldn't drink and something more I would - but then there are good bargain wines out there I might not know about. Andif it's less and still good I'd consider it. And then there's the question of substituting vermouth for the white wine - and dry vermouth at that. Would this be a sub I want to make - I get very good vermouth at around $6 - but it seems too strong/steely - rather than the rounder taste of white wine... So, after all that - any suggestions. (My husband offered Deer Park - what do y'all think?)

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  1. I like using Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc for both drinking and cooking; keep in mind that whatever wine you cook with should be good-tasting as well and one that you would enjoy drinking. I am guessing it's readily available across the U.S.; I'm in Florida. It's in your price range, too.

    1. Why not omit the wine from your stock preparation now and add it in when you use the stock later? When I make a stock -- for example venison stock when I have lots of bones with meat adhering to them from a processed deer -- I have no idea what I'm going to do with the stock later, and hence what kind of flavorings I want in it, so I just have a pure broth which I reduce substantially to minimize the space that it occupies in my freezer. When I later use the broth, I can introduce flavorings then -- wine, bouquet garni, whatever.

      1. f
        farmersdaughter

        I cook with Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc from Trader Joe's and I think it's $2 a bottle. It really is fine for almost every recipe unless the wine is really a star ingredient. I have read on this board that you can freeze wine for use in ingredients, in ice cube trays or whatever, but I haven't tried it myself yet. The CS wine will keep well for up to a week in the fridge so it hasn't been an issue for me--I usually use it up within that time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: farmersdaughter

          I'm a fan of using 2-buck Chuck for cooking as well. I haven't tried the Sauvingnon Blanc yet, but both the Cabernet and Chardonnays are great for cooking and nighly drinking (when your wallet tells you not to open something nice, but you really want some wine anyway).

          The chardonnay actually drinks much better than most whites I've had for under $15. It's not wonderful, and you won't feel like you're drinking at $25 bottle, but it really is just $2.

          The only Charles Shaw I've been repeatedly told to stay away from is the Beaujalois Gamay.

          1. re: farmersdaughter

            CS Sauv Blanc is also my standard white cooking wine when not too much wine is needed. When wine is more central, then I'll use a better quality wine or buy extra of what we're drinking to throw in.

            If a recipe calls for vermouth or pernod which I don't buy, then I typically sub in dry sherry from Trader Joe's. Sherry is very nice in stock IMO.

          2. I find that blends tend to work better for general use in cooking than single varietal wines. I really like Bonny Doon's Big House White and Coppolla Bianco (Big House Red and Coppolla Rosso are great reds for cooking too). Both are frequently availble for under $8 at Trader Joe's, Costco and Cost Plus in California. I am quite fussy about wine, I but I drink these happily, especially the Big House wines, and am perfectly comfortable serving them to company.

            I also really like a white blend from a small Santa Barbara winery called Beckman, but I think it is hard to find unless you contact the winery, which will happily ship it to you, to the extent your state laws allow. Generally, to keep the cost of cooking wines down, I buy them by the dozen, to get a case discount.

            1. We always have Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth on hand. It is just an herbed white wine. What is interesting is to do a tasting on vermouths. I find the herbal blends so different between Italian and French vermouths. Just sniff.

              1. I use dry vermouth.

                1. Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc is my default cooking white wine. It's usually on sale for about $8. Very nice wine for the price.

                  No disrespect to my fellow hounds, but I think there are some nasty-ass flavors in Charles Shaw wines that I wouldn't want anywhere near my food (or wineglass, for that matter).

                  1. I have started using wine-in-a-box for mmy cooking to fabulous results. Now wait, I know what you all are thinking.... wine in a box -- phooey! But there are some new, very good boxed wines from Oz and the "New World" that are more expensive and definitely worth it for using as cooking wine (and having a glass while you are cooking). It is also extremely convinient as well.