Sunday always encourages me to do something more with dinner than on a weekday. My Wife has set aside some wine she recommended I use for cooking in case I might want to make beouf bourguignon – a favourite of hers. We have some left over wine (“left over wine”, to those unfamiliar with such a thing, is wine that did not get finished for some reason or another) from Friday that has yet to be consumed. I almost always put wine in the food I’m cooking and I usually use the wine I am drinking. I love cooking with wine as an ingredient because it has flavours that are almost impossible to find elsewhere. They often contain complex, natural flavours that if chosen right can elevate your dish from great to outstanding! Now, here’s the thing: is it still usable and at what point do we throw it away? This is important because bad wine will not make the dish better and can ruin it completely. When I am making dinner like spaghetti and meat sauce I will choose a red wine with bright acidity and I use that in my sauce. The acidity lends itself beautifully to the dish, complimenting the basil and roma tomatoes in the sauce. But these flavours are best when they are fresh. Old, stale or corked wines are not meant to be consumed – either in a glass or pan. Its like smelling a piece of sushi, deciding its no good, then you cook it up and eat it.
So remember: Cooking wine is the same as drinking wine… If you won’t consume it, then don’t.
Now, time to assess the “left over” wine.