Wine can make great meals into excellent ones. Find out which wines you should use AND check me out in the video below. I receive a wine tasting lesson in Harlem from the fab JaiJai of the now defunct wine bar Nectar. Don’t despair! Her other business, Harlem Vintage, is still there… -aa

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome people think of wine as something that you simply drink on occasion or with a great meal. Others think of wine as an ingredient for cooking. And some people think of wine as both.

Wine has been used in recipes for a long time, but using wine for cooking causes confusion among some people. If you have never cooked with wine before, then you may be unsure of which type to choose if a recipe you’re creating calls for it. There are some wines that are great for cooking, and there are some wines that are better off in a glass, so if you really want to make your cooking great, then you’ll want to use the following three wines.

1. Madeira.

Madeira is a great wine to add to any sautéed dish, and this is what is used to make chicken Marsala. Each flavor of Madeira contains a caramel like note that doesn’t only add flavor to the dish, but also adds a luscious scent.

Plus, since there are different types of Madeira, you can pick a flavor for any type of dish. Some have a fruity flavor that can be a great mix with poultry. In fact, most Mediterranean dishes call for the use of a Madeira wine to enhance flavor and aroma of a dish.

2. Sauvignon Blanc.

Plenty of recipes in the world call for the addition of dry white wine, and the best wine to use for these recipes is a sauvignon blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the driest white wines that you can get, and each one has an herbal taste to it that matches perfectly with any type of dish that you’ll be creating.

Plus, the aroma of the sauvignon blanc is not overwhelming, so it will not take away from the aroma of your meal.

3. Sherry.

Sherry is another great wine to cook with. There are different types of sherries and your best bet for richness and flavor is to stick with an oloroso or an amontillado. Sherries are great for cooking because the flavors are rich, so they’ll add a nice punch of flavor to the dish they’re in. The flavors in most sherries also contain a bit of a nutty flavor to them, making them an excellent addition to soups or anything sautéed.

No matter if your recipe calls for white or red wine, choosing one of these three wines will be a safe bet to ensure that your cooking turns out fantastic. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that when choosing a cooking wine, you choose one that contains a flavor and note that will complement the dish.

When cooking with wine, it’s also important to note that it will affect the flavor. This is why it’s very important that you use good flavored wines in your cooking. If you choose a poor quality wine for your cooking, it’s going to provide poor quality flavor to the dish. So if you wouldn’t drink it, then you shouldn’t use it for cooking.


Our blogger Steven Peters is a professional chef who went to school in Italy.

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