You might have heard this rule before: Only cook with wine you'd drink. But is it true?
To put the theory to the test, we made a red-wine pan sauce using different bottles, ranging from cooking wine (a mix of low-quality wine and salt that you’ll find near the vinegar at the grocery store) to a $19 red blend that we’d happily pair with a steak dinner. We also tested a $15 Cabernet that we opened one evening, then put a cork in and forgot about for a few weeks (oops!).
In a blind tasting, we weren’t surprised that cooking wine wasn’t a fan favorite, but we were shocked that the most expensive wine was our least favorite—and that the old red wine that smelled like vinegar tasted great in the sauce.
The takeaway: Skip the cooking wine, save the spendy bottle for toasting your newfound knowledge, and never fret about a half-drunk bottle on the counter again.
Now try these recipes!
Meatballs with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
Recipe: Try our Meatballs with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Dates
Recipe: Try our Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Dates
Orange Salad with Red Wine Syrup & Mint
Recipe: Try our Orange Salad with Red Wine Syrup & Mint
Roasted Red Pepper & Hot Coppa
Recipe: Try our Roasted Red Pepper & Hot Coppa Parmigiana
Risotto Milanese with Asparagus & Shrimp
Recipe: Try our Risotto Milanese with Asparagus & Shrimp
Recipe: Try our Tartiflette
Parpadelle with Brown Butter Meat Sauce & Crispy Sage
Recipe: Try our Parpadelle with Brown Butter Meat Sauce & Crispy Sage
Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs with Beef, Pork & Ham)
Recipe: Try our Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs with Beef, Pork & Ham)