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cooking wine suggestions

GQgeek

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I've started making the recipes in my french cookbook and a lot of them have wine. For recipes that call for red, they suggest a dry red, but also say that if you're going to use cheap wine for the sauce then it's better to omit it completely. The book makes the suggestion of using the lesser burgundies... They say the same thing for for white, but instead suggest using dry white vermouth as an excellent replacement since in the US it would be expensive to cook with wine made from pinot blanc.

Realistically, I'm usually cooking for one, so any bottled wine is out of the question because it will go bad long before I use it all up. So for boxed wines that keep, does anyone have any suggestions? And out of curiosity, once they've been opened, how long do they keep? I've never purchased boxed wine before.
 

itsstillmatt

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Get a vacuum thing for the wine and use a reasonable one to cook with.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Get a vacuum thing for the wine and use a reasonable one to cook with.

How long do they last when you use one of those?
 

skalogre

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Originally Posted by GQgeek
How long do they last when you use one of those?

I'd say a few days. Depends really. But if we are talking about wine used for cooking, it is less important.
 

Manton

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I have found through trial and error that the much-derided merlot makes the best choice for brown (roux or glace) sauces. Some chemist who wrote a sauce recipe book actually had a molecular explanation. For pan sauces with a lot of fond, try a Rhone. Target price should be around $10 to yield a decent sauce. There are decent $7.50 merlots, no decent Rhones at the price. Anything over $15 and you won't taste the extra money in the sauce.
 

Concordia

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There is a boxed wine called DTour that comes in white (a Macon) and red (a Cotes du Rhone). Supposed to last for nearly a month, and is the equivalent of maybe 3 bottles. Put out by Dominique Lafon, one of Burgundy's finest producers as a sideline. Haven't tried it, but the reviews are encouraging and the product fits your needs pretty well.

http://www.dtourwine.com/

If you go with regular wine packages, I would suggest the following:

Invest in a nitrogen canister. This allows you to spritz a little non-oxygenated air into the bottle before re-corking. Put it in the fridge and you've got several useful days of wear.

Investigate half bottles. You might not find everything you like, but a lot of Beaujolais, C-d-Rhone, cheap burgundy including the lesser Chablis can be found this way. Once you find one you like, get a case. Good cheap reds include Paralelle 45 CDR (about $10, and one of the most reliable out there), Beajolais from 03 or 05 (maybe too fruity for sauces). The sinking dollar means that good, cheap Bourgogne is no longer a reality, unless "cheap" means "under $20." Too bad. For cooking and drinking, it's one of the most food-friendly options out there.

Even if you don't always use halves, save one or two empties for use when opening a full bottle. Immediately fill the half and cork (after nitrogen, etc.). The other bit will suffice for the dish and a large glass for you.

Some of the wine catalogues have a nifty product that takes this idea to the logical extreme-- a pair of sealed decanters that take exactly half and quarter-bottles, respectively. When you open a bottle, fill each of those to the top (no air), seal with the glass plug, and use the last quarter-bottle that evening.
 

aarghh

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I use the Louis Bernard CdR - last I looked it was 8.99 at Cost Plus World Market.
 

horton

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Vermouth works great for most recipes asking for dry white.
 

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