Does food cooked with wine taste like wine?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Does food cooked with wine taste like wine?

—Lavon, Sacramento, Calif.

Dear Lavon,

Wine not only adds flavor and moisture, but the alcohol in wine can dissolve both oil- and water-soluble compounds, which is why it’s great to use wine for deglazing. When you cook with wine, some of the alcohol will evaporate, but the wine’s core fruit flavors and acidity remain.

That’s why I believe the best wines for cooking are young, fresh and fruity, not dominated by oak flavors. Thankfully there are plenty of affordable wines that fit that description, as well as being good to drink on their own. Common advice for cooking with wine is that you shouldn’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink.

It depends on how much wine is in your dish, as well as how long you’ve cooked it, but yes, I believe when you cook with wine, you’ll be able to pick out the wine’s flavors, at least a little bit—and the wine will also be an obvious pairing choice to serve with the finished dish!

—Dr. Vinny

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