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Jan 1, 2009 10:31 AM

Cooking wine??

Hey all, just wondering if anyone knows of a store that sells basic cooking wine. I'm looking for a one that comes in a big box (15L i think) Anyone?

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  1. I go by the rule that there is no such thing as "a cooking wine". If it aint good enough to drink it aint good enough to cook with. That doesn't mean you have to use lafite just because that's what your serving for dinner but if I were puttin a cabernet based wine in my dish to go against the LAFITE I certainly would be using something that at least falls in the $20 to $30 a bottle class. Box wines may be fit for BBQs, submarine sandwhiches, hoagies or your MacDonald's Hamburger

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hughlipton

      While I agree with you that there's no such thing as a "cooking wine" (and "cooking sherry" is an abomination!), I disagree with you that one has to spend $20 to $30 a bottle. I've had great cooking -- and drinking -- success with wines (I mostly buy Ontario VQA wines) in the $12 to $15 range.

      1. re: Tatai

        I suggested the $20 to $30 range for matching a dish with which you are going to be service a Lafite. Obviously if one is going to be serving braised shortribs braised in a Zinfandel I would be looking for a bargain Zin for the braising in the $7 to $10 range.

    2. I'd hit the LCBO and pick up a 1 litre bottle of one of the plonky French reds and white. It's cheap and cheerful and will meet your needs. That's pretty much the only place you'll be able to purchase anything decent. Anything you pick up elsewhere won't be the same.

      1. Under the Liquor Control Act of Ontario, the LCBO controls the sale of all alcohol in Ontario. Thus, the store you're looking for is any LCBO store ( The only exceptions I can think of is the Wine Rack stores selling Ontario wines and buying directly from the Ontario wine producers in the Niagara area.

        1. I use wine for cooking at home, at least three times per week. Only rarely will I use a full bodied, full mark up LCBO wine, such as Shiraz, Syrah, or Riesling where $20 out of $30 goes to the governments, not to mention vaporizing.
          However, for everyday sauces I don't substitute cheap plonk, with little backbone or scent.
          My everyday choice is ShaoXing, sherry based, and salted, hence untaxed. The scent is very close to Spanish sherry, and the flavor, if you dare to taste it, is like intense white wine with salt. It is less than $4 at the Asian store, and keeps well when opened. I started using this wine after getting a tip from a wise Chinese cook.

          1. One that's on the LCBO general list that is fairly decent in profile flavours is Cono Sur Pinot Noir, from Chile. Works very well with boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin, and at last check, was definitely under $15