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What is your favorite bargain cooking wine?

I'm on a very strict budget, as I'm sure some others are. However, don't want to give up cooking with wine, ever!

So, with that said, what is your favorite bargain cooking wine? I understand that one should cook with a wine that one would drink, but do you feel this is true? Would you never drink two buck chuck but use it for beef bourgione?

Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. OJD, you might look into this thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4084...

    Lots of very good wines mentioned under $15...I don't have Two Buck Chuck wines available here so I don't know if I'd use any of them for cooking. And, yes, I do agree that I would only cook with wine that I would drink...that said, I do not have a very discriminating palate...ha!

    1. Yes, it is definitely true that you should cook with a wine you would drink. And never, ever, buy that stuff in the grocery store that is labelled cooking wine. As Val points out, there are tons of decent, drinkable wines well under $15.

      1. I usually just reach for an unfinished bottle in the fridge to use for cooking (after a quick taste). If I have to open something specifically for cooking it would be something like a Perrin CdR, Taurino Salice Salentino, Pepiere muscadet depending on the dish.

        1. Julia Child was wrong on this one. I regularly cook with all sorts of plonk I wouldn't drink and it works just fine. Don't use corked or otherwise flawed wine, or "cooking wine", but feel free to use the two buck chuck.

          Here's an article that might help:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/din...

          1 Reply
          1. re: oolah

            This is a really interesting article. It definitely hammers home the point that you do NOT need to cook with a very expensive wine vs. something in the 4 - 10 dollar range. And while you would probably enjoy drinking the more expensive wines over the cheap ones, I'm sure many would find the cheaper wines passable. As the article states, when Julia Child made her statement, there were much fewer inexpensive wines available. And my feeling is that the heart of the statement is that you do not want to cook with that crap you find on the grocery store shelfs. So, at the time she made the statement, I think she was right on, may she rest in peace. She did more to advance cooking in the US than anyone before or since, so I'm giving her a pass on this one.

          2. I use TBC to cook with especially for reds. Also, there are some very nice inexpensive sherries and ports that can be used for cooking - you just need to do a bit of searching. When I need a dry white wine I use my martini vermouth, Martini & Rossi, unless I have an open bottle of something or other. The most expensive wine I have bought for cooking was a 16$ bottle of Grappa. That's probably my limit for cooking wines.