Wines are not just for drinking. They can also be used for cooking to add or fortify the flavors in every dish. A good bottle of wine can also make a fine dish even better by trying to enhance the flavors that they invoke.
Wines in cooking can be used in three ways. They can be used as a marinade ingredient to add some unique flavors to any fine dish. They can also be used as a cooking liquid usually in place of water or as the final flavoring to a cooked dish.
What good wines can do to these fine dishes is to accent, enhance or intensify the inherent flavors of the dish. It should not in any way overpower these flavors or mask them in any way. Using these wines should be done with care especially if a variety of spices are being used in cooking. Care is needed in using just the right amount of wine in cooking a dish since it would be quite easy to put too little or too much. Either way, the whole purpose of intensifying or enhancing the resulting flavors would be all for naught.
If you are worried that the alcohol in the wine may have an effect on the dish that you are cooking, you have nothing to worry about. The alcohol usually evaporates the longer the dish is being cooked. This leaves only the flavors and the aroma of the wine to combine with the characteristic flavor of the dish. And since most wines contain generally only 12 to 14 percent alcohol, it won’t pose as that big of a problem for most people. Just bear in mind that the longer a dish is being cooked, the more alcohol evaporates.
When dealing with fine dishes, it would be a mistake using so-called cooking Sherries. Most of such cooking wines are made from a thin and cheap base wine with salt and food coloring added to give you a supposedly nice looking bottle of cooking wine. If you wish to make a fine dish become more magical, it is suggested that you use quality wines that you usually drink. In fact, it is common wisdom for cooks not to use wines that they wouldn’t normally drink.
What you need to do is try to know more about fine wines such as a variety of Port, Sherry, Marsala or Madeira wines which are the usual varieties used in cooking. These wine types are among the best cooking wines because they pack the most intense flavors. Not only that, such wines also have more alcohol content in them and so may stay longer on the pantry shelf for cooking your other fine recipes.