Why I Put White Wine In Basically Everything

yes I cook with white wine a lot and the

simple reason is it's just a very

convenient source of sweetness and

acidity most foods are enhanced by some

sweet and sour and white wine goes with

most foods

it just doesn't contain any really

strong or particular flavors that would

clash with other flavors well why not

cook with grape juice it's too sweet

white wine is perfectly balanced between

sweetness and acidity why not just cook

with vinegar I forgot a love vinegar I

cook with it all the time but it's just

a lot more sour than wine and I

generally use it in things that don't

need some additional moisture when I

need to add some sweet and sour and some

moisture I reach for wine and a lot of

times in cooking you just need some

liquid any liquid for sous for stews

could be water could be stock but in

most things where I would use stock I

tend to use white wine plus this liquid

chicken bullion a carton of stock is

just animal solids plus water the

bullion is basically just animal solids

so why not take the water out of the

equation and have animal solids plus

wine why not cook with any sweet and

sour liquid that doesn't have alcohol in

it are you just a lush you're not gonna

get drunk off of food cooked with wine

and I'm gonna prove it to you in an

upcoming video alcohol itself can be a

really good thing to cook with Harold

McGee and his essential book on food and

cooking writes alcohol provides a third

kind of liquid in addition to water and

oil into which flavor and color

molecules can be extracted and dissolved

as well as reactive molecules that can

combine with other substances in the

food to generate new aromas and greater

depth of flavor this is why people put

vodka into tomato sauce even though

vodka is just alcohol and water it has

no flavor it's just there to extract

flavor from the tomatoes let's test that

half a can of crushed Tomatoes goes into

a pan with a pinch of salt and I'll cook

that for 10 minutes in a bowl it goes

other half goes in with a pinch of salt

and an ounce of vodka cook that for 10

minutes and into a bowl vodka tomatoes

are on the right the virgin tomato sauce

tastes fine the boozy tomato sauce

tastes noticeably better just fuller


flex alcohol can also be useful in

making pastry you have to add a certain

amount of liquid to the dough in order

to make it come together into a ball

that you can actually work with but if

you add too much water it'll react with

the wheat proteins and create gluten the

stuff that makes bread chewy you

generally want pastry to be crumbly not

chewy alcohol will make the flour wet so

you can shape it but it won't react to

make gluten so that pastry dough I made

with wine in my chicken pot pie video

not only have the lovely sweet and

floral qualities of said wine it was

also more crumbly as a result at least

in theory I'm a little bit skeptical of

my own reasoning here just because wine

only has about 12% alcohol in it I'm not

quite sure that's enough to make a

difference still tastes good though

isn't wine expensive dude this is three

dollars at Kroger is it good not really

but the things that make a good wine

really good are generally relatively

subtle you're not gonna notice the micro

in most foods you're just gonna notice

the macro the sweetness and the acidity

if those things are in check then you're

gonna be fine

okay you're selling me here what kind of

wine should I use not a sweet wine

unless the recipe calls for it no saw

turn no governs demeanor Pinot Grigio is

a classic grape for cooking wine and

it's generally what I use really good

all-purpose kitchen wine the sweetness

and the acidity of the macros those are

in check why not use red wine instead of

white sometimes I do I usually drink red

for sure when cooked red wine has this

lovely meaty dark strong flavor that can

be really really nice but red wines also

have a lot more tannins which means they

can get bitter and astringent when you

cook them way down if we put some Malbec

in a pan and reduce it to a glaze that

tastes real intense and not in a totally

good way if we reduce some Pinot Grigio

that tastes like sour candy lots of the

things that I cook with wine are already

pretty meaty and intense like my

Bolognese to my taste red wine in that

sauce is overkill I've tried it white

wine balances the dark meaty flavors

with brightness and sweetness in general

white is real

good at waking up flavors it just kind

of live-ins up everything for what it's

worth I think I really started to enjoy

my cooking and my drinking a lot more

when I released myself from the

orthodoxy that red wine must always go

with red meat and white wine must always

go with white meat to quote the great

chef Grant Achatz there know the rules

do whatever you want okay okay but I

don't drink alcohol not at all so what

can I use instead of white wine probably

lots of things but for white wine in

particular the first thing that comes to

mind is this white balsamic vinegar it's

a sweet vinegar too intense to use on

its own you don't want to use it in

combination with water or stock so let's

do a little experiment yeah I'd say use

one part vinegar too seven or eight

parts water stock but honestly I

wouldn't measure it I'd just splash a

little into the food cook it for a


taste it see if I like it repeats etc

but keep in mind this vinegar like most

vinegar is made from wine and therefore

has some trace amounts of alcohol in it

but then again so do many of the foods

that you eat including some that you

might not expect and that is going to be

the subject of next Monday's video