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When to use red wine in cooking ?

Recipe with red wine

Red wine is the favorite drink of the French no wonder since it is one of the jewels of our gastronomy and of our wine-growing tradition. But wine is not only used for the tasting pleasure of the wine.

Indeed for centuries red wine has been an ingredient of many local recipes. Meat or fish poached in red wine without forgetting sweet recipes such as fruit in red wine and of course many stews and sauces. All these examples show that red wine match quite well with many dishes André Brunel estate is going to give you some advice to help you to realize simple red wine recipes.

Some kinds of dishes match better with red wine and its full bodied and tannic taste than other dishes.

Red wine sauce

When a sauce is made with the red wine, the wine must be reduced. The bases of these sauces are often almost similar whether for the wine merchant or winegrower sauce, The meurette ( a Burgundy speciality ) or the Bordelaise sauce , red wine will help to deglaze the juices of the meat with lots of shallots and aromatic herbs, then reduced. If you want to obtain a creamy sauce it must be whipped with butter afterwards.

These sauces are mainly served with best cuts of beef but also possibly with some noble seafood products such as salmon or of course « les oeufs meurette » (poached eggs).

  • Concerning the sauces, it will be, of course necessary to favor wines that go best with these sauces: for a regional dish ( Bordelais, Bourguignon …) we will choose a wine or a grape variety from the same region to keep a taste harmony. Since the wine will be reduced do not hesitate to choose a full bodied and tannic wine because, in addition and in all cases the heat ( of the cooking ) will reduce the power of the wine.

Poaching in red wine ? 

Red wine is particularly suitable for poaching meat, fish or eggs. To poach meat in red wine, it must be fully immersed in wine, flavored with onions, shallots and aromatic herbs. Then the meat must be cooked slowly / must simmer as long as possible. The advantage of this long cooking is that the meat or fish will be very tender as well as an egg which will have a smooth texture : concerning this recipe it is better to pair your meat ( beef , venison or poultry ) with fruit such as pears which are easy to poach. The salty sweet mixture will be ever better thanks to the full-bodied red wine.

Besides desserts can be also poached in red wine especially pears, peaches or figs, their sweet taste is enhanced by red wine making it more subtle. Refreshing dessert, perfect for the summer season it matches perfectly with a scoop of vanilla icecream.

  • For poaching, you can use a lighter wine like a Touraine or a Bueajolais. The wine has to be reduced with sugar and spices, then the fruit is poached in the mixture.

Red wine stews 

The greatest recipes of our region are based on red wine : let’s mention « bœuf Bourguignon » , « coq au vin » or « rabbit stew » / civet de lapin, for realizing the recipes, the meat simmers in red wine : In order to have a meat coated with the aromas of the wine and become more tasty it must mainate for at least 24 hours in a flavored wine before being cooked. After these 24 hours , the meat is tender and the flesh full of aromas. As to the bœuf bourgognon recipe using red wine, the wine from Burgundy of course can be linked with a sweet ingredient such as chocolate which will make the sauce more creamy and more homogenous.

  • For the marinades and the simmerings process we choose powerful and full-bodied wines such as Languedoc, Cahors or Bordeaux. The evaporation while the dish cooks will soften the wine so it must be a quite strong one.


And above all, let’s never forget this full of common sense coming from grand mothers : « You should never use a « plonk » or a bad wine when you want to make a very good dish cooked in red wine ! ».

Published : 2022-11-15

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