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Top 5: White Wines for cooking with

By Amber Rolt on 18/06/14 10:00 AM

The summer cookbooks are coming out, and it’s time to incorporate more wine to your meal, not in a glass, but at the heart of the action. A dry, crisp white wine is the most versatile style of wine to cook with, and goes well with many summer dishes. As wine cooks with the food, it is absorbed, and subtle nuances that might sway your decision when choosing a wine to drink don’t need to be considered. So don’t worry about spending a lot of money on wine that you are going to be cooking with, it’ll be better spent buying quality ingredients.

Crisp White Wine

Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are all suitable for cooking with, and work well as they have a moderate alcohol content and a high acidity. The low alcohol content means that they won’t take too long to reduce, and the acidity is crucial to the flavour.


If you are a keen cook and haven’t already got a bottle of Sherry in the kitchen, go out and buy one now. It can add an extra dimension to almost any dish, can be used for deglazing, with cream sauces and goes great with light starters.


Marsala is traditionally used with chicken or veal, but can also be used with decadent Italian desserts such as zabaglione which are perfect for summer.

Sparkling Wine

Don’t leave the bubbles just for drinks before the meal, get them involved in the kitchen too. Champagne vinaigrette or sorbets are delicious. Most of the bubbles dissipate during cooking, so if you don’t want to cough up a whole bottle just to try a new sorbet recipe, grab that leftover bottle from last night and start experimenting.


Let’s not forget that fortified wines also have a very important place in the kitchen. This Portuguese wine from the islands of Madeira is dry and crisp, and works well as an aperitif. In the kitchen, use it as a sauce as a savoury addition to gravy in classic beef dishes. Alternatively use it just as you would use Sherry when cooking, and don’t hold back as it can be used in virtually any recipe.


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