The general rule with cooking wine is if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it. However, if there is an old bottle of white wine sitting in your fridge that you either don't like or that has lost its edge due to oxidization, you can attempt to cook with it. Never use old wine that has gone sour or that has been sitting opened in the refrigerator for more than three weeks. Cooking with sour wine will yield a sour product.
Risotto is a usual go-to dish for using up white wine. Dry white wine works best for risotto, however, you can use a semi-dry to sweet white wine, such as a Riesling, without ill-effect. Wine is only used in the initial dousing of the rice and is followed by multiple additions of broth. Only between one and two cups of wine should be used for a risotto.
A classic way to prepare a pot of steamer clams is to cook them in white wine. Place a large pot on a stove top or barbecue grill and fill with scrubbed clams. Pour an entire bottle of white wine over the clams and add one stick of butter, salt, pepper and any other herbs you desire. Let steam until clams open. Since the clams are served with the wine sauce, it is important that the wine be palatable.
Seafood Soups and Stews
White wine is often paired with seafood as a serving wine, therefore, it can also be used as an ingredient. Add unwanted white wine to any seafood dish that requires extra liquid, such as a seafood stew, soup or even as a basting liquid for fish or scallops.
Use white wine as a base for a gravy or sauce poured over seafood, pork chops or even baked chicken. A white wine sauce, similar to a red wine sauce, is thickened with butter and a starch such as cornstarch or wheat flour. Mix the gravy in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until thick.
- Photo Credit Opening a wine bottle image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com
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