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Nov 12, 2007 02:52 PM

Question about cooking with Wine

When a recipe calls for white wine....what type of wine do you use? I know you are supposed to not cook with anything that you wouldn't drink yourself, however, I don't drink white wine. Are you supposed to use a Chardonnay, Pinot, Grigio or does it make a difference? With all your good advice....I RAN out and bought Marcella Hazan's Essentials book and want to tackle the Bolognese sauce this weekend.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

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  1. Although some dishes call for a specific type of wine, for general cooking you're best off with a sound, dry wine with decent acidity and not a lot of tannins or oak. Lack of strong character can be considered a quality, not a defect, especially in a dish like the Bolognese sauce, where there's plenty of flavour from other sources. My pantry usually contains a couple of screwcapped 250-ml/1 cup (a convenient size) bottles of affordable, fruity red and white Côtes-du-Rhône, but there are lots of Italian, French and Spanish wines that fill the bill. Old World-style Chardonnay (not the oaky, sweet, tropical fruit cocktails made by some New World wineries), Pinot Grigio (just make sure you avoid the sweet ones), Trebbbiano, Soave, etc. are fine. Muscat/Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, fino sherry, etc., would be less advisable, due to their strong flavours. Ditto white vermouth, though it is OK when all you need is a splash (to deglaze a pan, for example).

    If you end up buying a standard 750-ml bottle for the Bolognese, you'll have wine left over. Since it doesn't sound like you'll be drinking it, freeze it in smaller bottles (leaving some headspace for expansion) or ice cube trays for use in future cooking projects.