White wine has been used in cooking since the Greek and Roman eras and is still a popular cooking liquid today. Both dry and sweet wine can be used, depending on what you're cooking. The alcohol in wine evaporates when cooked, enhancing the flavor of the food and makes it more sweet or acidic depending on the dish.
A couple suggestions follow on which type of white wine to use with what foods and ingredients. There are generally three main ways to use white wine for cooking which are explained below.
White wine can be used as a marinade, cooking liquid or as the final touch of flavor to a finished dish, depending on how it's used and what's cooked. White-wine marinade is a popular choice for fish and chicken and is often paired with lemon juice. White wine as a cooking liquid is a popular choice when making clams or mussels and is often paired with a creme base or simply used as the sauce's main ingredient.
With these two methods it is always best to add the wine early in order to let the flavor evaporate. Adding wine too late can cause a harsh unwanted taste to the dish. Adding wine after the dish is cooked is generally used for sweeter delights and is not recommended when using the wine to cook meat, fish or sauce.
Dry white wine is the most popular choice when it comes to cooking because it can be used to enhance the flavor of a variety of foods including fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, veal, light cream sauces, seafood soups and bouillabaisse. White wine also helps a tough meat like chicken to stay moist during the cooking process. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc are all popular dry whites used in marinades and cooking liquid.
Sweet white wine is usually used as the third way of cooking by adding it to the dish right before serving. This is typically used for sweet desserts like apple strudel or trifles. Sweet white wine goes great with fruit concentrated dessert plates as it balances the sweet with the sour of fruits in favorites like cherry tortes, poached pears or lemon custard. Sweet white wine also complements brown sugar.