Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Translating Cookbook Wines

I have found that when cookbooks recommend wines to use in recipes, they are far too specific about what kind of wine you need. Often times they recommend wines that are more expensive than what you need as well. Here is a list of wines that are often recommended for cooking with my alternate recommendations:

Chianti - Any Sangiovese (the grape predominantly used in Chianti) will do. You can probably get a generic Tuscan red for cheaper.

Red Burgundy - A cheaper Pinot Noir will do. All red Burgundy's are Pinot Noirs and they tend to be more expensive than other Pinots. You don't need a $20 bottle to cook with. Ask for a generic French Pinot Noir.

White Burgundy - white Burgundy's are Chardonnays. Ask for a generic French Chardonnay.

Barolo - Why cookbooks tell you to cook with Barolo I don't know. They start at $40 a bottle at the low end. Instead, ask for a regular Nebbiolo, the grape used to make Barolo.

Rosso di Montalcino - Rachael Ray often recommends this one. Don't listen to her, any Sangiovese or Tuscan red will do.


Sailor said...

What about a substitute for dry sauterne in cannoli shells?

Rebecca said...

Sauternes is always a sweet, white Bordeaux. There are dry, white Bordeaux that are quite inexpensive. We carry two under $11. Another option is to use a Sauvignon Blanc.