2022’s Best Red Wine for Cooking

It may seem like a blasphemy to pour some of your favorite bottles of red into a skillet, saucepan, or quick pot for home cooking, but it’s also a necessary step if you want to bring flavor and richness to sauces or acidity in proteins that need tender.

Red wine is a great addition to many recipes, although you’ll undoubtedly want to use it in moderation and with some basic knowledge to ensure your dishes don’t end up in the trash.

What is the difference between cooking with red wine and white wine?

The difference in flavor, of course, is a no-brainer when it comes to cooking with both varieties. White wines are bright and pure while most reds are bold and mouthwatering, which means they can stand up to other big flavours. This is why white wine is often incorporated into light sauces and seafood while red works great with red meat and stews.

Red wine also contains a much higher percentage of tannins – a natural compound from grape skins, seeds and stems that give it a stronger, more intense taste. When cooked, these tannins are extremely easy to turn bitter, so red wine is perfect for any dish that requires slow, slow cooking using ingredients and spices that really pack a punch.

Read more: The 15 Best Wine Clubs of 2022

To make things as easy as possible, you can find the best red wines to cook with in what we like to call the “Holy Trinity”: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. Don’t break your budget on a $25 bottle, avoid anything called “cooking wine” (usually full of preservatives, sugar, and salt), and check out when to use each type below.

Oh, and be sure to pour out any leftover wine and enjoy it—obviously the best part of cooking with red wine is drinking it. cheers!

Cabernet Sauvignon

Your cabin is sure to be the boldest option on this list, and now that the cold weather has arrived and delicious steaks and stews are taking center stage, it only makes sense to drive it. Use Cabernet Sauvignon to cook and brown meats such as brisket, steak, and short ribs, but avoid mixing it directly with sauces – its richness and notes of black fruits and cocoa overpower most dishes.

One of our favorite bottles: Radley & Finch Flyin’ French Cabernet Sauvignon, $10.99

Radley and Finch Cabernet

Radley and Finch Cabernet

Buy: Radley & Finch Flyin’ French Cabernet Sauvignon $10.99

black grapes

Pinot noir is undoubtedly one of the safest bets due to its versatility, enhancing anything from meat and stews to seafood and poultry. Like cabernet sauvignon, Pinot Noir is also aged in oak casks, but its taste and taste is much softer and earthy (as opposed to the spice and strength), making it a well-rounded addition that never feels heavy. This won’t be the one to make a statement, but the cherry and berry flavors will bring an incredible level of sweetness to the jam that you won’t find with many other reds.

One of our favorite bottles: Josephine Dubois Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, $19.99

josephine-dubois-grande-protectorate-pinot-noire

josephine-dubois-grande-protectorate-pinot-noire

BUY: Josephine Dubois Grande Reserve Pinot Noir $19.99

Merlot


The lightest of the bunch (and be sure to keep this in mind when shopping, as there are more complex and complementary options), most merlot is a perfect red wine for sauces and dips—it’s fruity and a little bit bitter tannins, which make for great final notes on the marinara and glaze for fillet fillets. your own. You can certainly opt for plump ones like cabernet, but the more balanced and accessible bottles really shine when hints of flowers and ripe berries can subtly elevate the most refined dishes.

One of our favorite bottles: Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot, $16.99

Pedroncelli Merlo

Pedroncelli Merlo

Buy: Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot $16.99

Additional tips for cooking with red wine

We mentioned keeping the price down and avoiding “cook wine” altogether, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you plan your next dinner menu:

    • Really avoid anything more plump than the Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine like Malbec, syrah, and zinfandel can be great to splurge on their own, but they’re sure to make any dish practically bitter and inedible when exposed to heat.

    • Do not use old wine. Unfortunately, the oxidation process makes the wine sour after a few days, and that same taste will translate into your food. As with white wine, cook only by the bottles you are actually drinking at that very moment!

    • Always cook slow and slow. This is a must with any type of wine, as high and rapid heat will undoubtedly lead to bitterness or acidity that will ruin the entire meal. You should also aim to keep the alcohol content low (around 10 to 13 percent) to reduce it faster, although this is not important if you’re roasting something for hours in an appliance like a slow cooker.

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