Cooking with Wine (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

Wine is one of my favorite indulgent beverages, but it’s also a staple in my Rural Mom kitchen.  When you happen to find yourself with leftover wine from a party, there’s certainly no need to toss it, just plan your meals for the week around it.

No leftover wine on hand?  No worries!  There are plenty of options available for you at the grocer.  Cooking wines work quite well as do less-expensive vintages.  Truly, when you are cooking with wine, you’re looking for the essence of flavor.

Incorporating wine in your cooking can transform a mundane dish to a delicious and mouthwatering one. Wine brings aromatic, bold and intense flavorings to a dish that will surprise the palate. A good rule of thumb is to utilize your left over wine that you enjoy drinking. The acidic and sweet flavors will provide spice to your dishes.

Cooking with Wine (It's Easier Than You Think!)

Wine is an excellent liquid to substitute for water, broth or vinegar. Because of the richness it provides, less fats and sodium are needed in your meals. Some great ways of using wine to enhance your cooking are:


Adding wine in marinades not only provides great flavors; but, also aids in tenderizing and breaking down the meats and poultry. The end result is a moist and succulent dish.

In addition, adding some wine to a marinade will allow a longer shelf life to your dish.

Braising and stewing

A winter stew or a braised piece of tough beef can be transformed into an amazing and tasty meal. Not only is it providing superb flavors, but, the wine helps to break down the tissues in that tough beef.

For example, adding a little Pinor Noir to a dish of oxtails or brisket can produce mouthwatering flavors as well as depth to the meal.

Sauteed vegetables

Instead of adding water or vinegar to sauteed vegetables, drizzle a few splash of Sauvignon Blanc to your vegetables. Sauteed mushrooms transform into spectacular tasting ones when you add a splash of white wine.


Regular fruits like apples and pears can be poached and simmered into a sauce pot consisting of Pinot Grigio or any white wine. You can also add additional flavorings and ingredients like a stick of cinnamon along with a pinch of sugar to this sauce.

Have this sauce simmer over low heat until it takes on a thick and sauce-like consistency. Remove poached fruits and serve alongside a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle a few teaspoon of sweet and fruity sauce over ice cream.

Cooking with Wine (It's Easier Than You Think!)


This is one of my favorite ways to add a bit of flavor even when the recipe doesn’t call for wine.  After browning your poultry or meat at high heat, the pan leaves back bits at the bottom. You can use a splash of wine to aid in the removal of these flavorful bits. This also helps in the production of a great sauce or gravy.


A burgundy wine can be added to an assortment of fruits and soaked for a period of time. This is then added to a cake batter and produces a very flavorful and delicious fruit cake. Moreover, the shelf life of the cake will also be extended.

Your kitchen is your sanctuary. As a result, you can experiment and be creative with your dishes. Using wine in your dishes will allow you to gain extraordinary flavors to your dishes.

So, as you cook and sip your wine of choice, do go out on a limb and incorporate a little wine in your meal. Your palate will thank you for that!

Tags: dessert, dinner, farm fresh, rural lifestyle, wine
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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