Cooking with wine

Dear chef, what are some of your favorite applications of wine when cooking?

Ask the chef


Dear chef, I hear so many people say they love to cook with wine, but I don’t know where to start. What are some of your favorite applications of wine when cooking?


“Wine has many applications in the culinary world. I use it mostly for deglazing a pan, adding flavor/acid to braised meat dishes and for enhancing poached dishes.”  — Chef Will Overacre, Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana

Poaching pears in mulled wine on grey table, flat lay
Traditional German braised beef cheeks in brown red wine sauce with carrots and onions offered as closeup in a cast iron Dutch oven on an old rustic cutting board
A chunk of meat glaze stirred into a deglazed pan

Poaching: This method involves simmering food in a wine-based liquid, resulting in tender, flavorful dishes. While poaching pears in red wine is a classic example, the technique can be applied to various ingredients. Simply bring your wine-based poaching liquid to a simmer in a saucepan, then add your choice of meat, vegetables or fruit. Simmer until tender and fully cooked, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully. 

Braising: Braising combines both dry and moist heat to tenderize and infuse flavor into ingredients. Begin by searing meat or robust vegetables in a pan to develop color and taste. Then, add wine to the pot before transferring it to the oven for slow cooking. For beef or pork, opt for a robust red wine, while lighter white wines complement chicken or fish. 

Deglazing: This technique involves adding liquid to a hot pan to lift the flavorful bits stuck to the surface after cooking at high heat. After sautéing or roasting meat, fish or vegetables, remove them from the pan and discard excess fat, leaving the browned residue. Pour in a small amount of wine, enough to cover the bottom by about 1/4 inch, and bring it to a boil while stirring vigorously. Cook until the alcohol evaporates, leaving behind a syrupy, fragrant liquid.

Chef Will Overacre, Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana

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