May 12, 2023


Cooking with Wine
Have you encountered cooking recipes that say to add a cup or two of red or white wine into your food recipe? That means you should use a good drinkable wine that is a “value wine” I define a “value wine” as a quality wine that is inexpensive and worth much more in cost. My personal maximum cost is $10 per bottle. Whether it is a cup or two, it must be palatable since the leftover should be consumed as you cook. My Texas “go-to’s” are Becker Iconoclast Cabernet Sauvignon for under $9 a bottle for a red wine and Becker Chardonnay for around $9 for a white wine. You could go cheaper, but the ultimate goal is to have your dish come out as a gourmet delight.
Speaking of cooking with wine, everyone seasons their food while cooking to meet their tastes. It is fine to season your wine to your taste. The seasoning must be done on a highly reduced measure since the wine has a tendency to amplify the tastes, including your seasoning. Start off with very small amounts of seasoning and I mean SMALL!. For those super tasters in last week’s Wine Walk, you could add sugar to your wine to sweeten it. I would try about a third of a demitasse spoon of sugar in your wine to sweeten the wine for starters. By the way, German winemakers and some winemakers in Canada and northern USA add sugar (lots of it) to the grape juice before fermenting. This is called Chaptalization and is used more than you would think in order to get the sugar levels in white grape juices to produce wine alcohol at the 10 to 12% levels. Other suggested seasoning techniques include:
• A fleck of black pepper to bring out the pepperiness n your red Zinfandel or Shiraz
• A slight dash of “extract of vanilla” to bring out the “oakiness” in your barrel-aged wines.
• Float a small sliver of strawberry in your Rose’ to bring out the fruit
If you want to go all out in seasoning your wine, why not make a pitcher of sangria with a fruit-forward white wine like an unoaked Chardonnay or low tannin red wine like Grenache infused with slices of oranges, apples, melons, raspberries and such. Chill this down with ice for a great Summer Sipper! In the Winter, gently heat up your wine and add sliced oranges, cloves, cranberries, raspberries, and cinnamon. Make sure your wine is low in tannins like a Grenache or GSM red blend or you will feel the tannin tartness come through in your mouth.
Mother’s Day and Wine
Treat Mom like a Queen with a bottle of her favorite wine with a pink bow on the wine bottle neck. Perhaps, you could consider to make her day special with a concert at a local winery equipped with a picnic basket of Mom goodies. Bring your Mom, folding chairs, and picnic basket to Bernhardt Winery for a Michael Jackson Tribute Concert starting at 6:30. Get there early for a tasting of their bevy of wines including their Antiquity Chardonnay which was the Reserve Grand Champion Wine at the recent Houston Rodeo Uncorked. There are a lot of ways to make Mom feel special, especially with wine!

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