We all love (or at least most of us) love red wine with our meals. Red wine is great as a side drink but is also ideal for cooking. As long as the wine does not have that bitter taste (tannins) or the oak flavor( achieved from ageing wine in oak barrels), it can be used. The acidity in the red wine helps to boost other tastes in the food. It is excellent for stewing and it also serves to de-glaze pans or make sauce for chicken, beef or lamb. Wine can be used to flavor desserts.

Avoid wine that is labeled cooking wine. Instead use wine that you would normally drink. The best are those with moderate tannins. Heat does not improve bad wine, it makes it worse. So use good wine as you cook. However, it also kills some of the great nuances so don’t cook with your best wine, just cook with good wine. When cooking use wine at the start of the process so that it has a chance to burn. Store unopened wine bottles to cooking with in a dark and cool place. Re-cork opened bottles and put them in the fridge. This is to prevent oxidization and de-flavouring. Here are a few suggestions: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sangiovese and lighter Cabernets.