The Gift Of Wine… To Your Cooking

The Gift Of Wine… To Your Cooking

You stare at that bottle in your kitchen, maybe it’s a thoughtful gift to you via WINE4RUNNERS.  You open the bottle, releasing its wonderful bouquet, gently swirl around your wine glass.  Upon approval, you set aside another glass for your meal – not to drink but to add its wonderfully complex flavors to the dish you are preparing!

Wine can add new flavor dimensions to your dishes, quite simply with its mere addition.  Just keep in mind a few things when cooking with wine…

If You Love TDrink it, Cook With I(INot, Don’t Use It!)

A bad tasting wine is more than likely to ruin your dish.  At least to your taste buds.  In Cooking, only the alcohol disappears but the complex flavors- good or bad- are mostly retained and will impart on your meal.

Proper Pairing Counts In Cooking

The rule for wine in cooking should follow the “light-colored wine for light-colored meat; dark-colored wine for dark-colored meat” principle.  Though when drinking with the meal, this rule is generally left to preference.• Red Wine – Beef, Lamb, Wild Game, Duck, and Goose• White Wine – Chicken, Fish, Turkey, Shellfish, and Pork

It is also best if the wine is added at the start of cooking so its alcohol has a chance to properly burn off, while imparting its rich vibrant flavors.   

Wine Can Tenderize Meat

Wines have acids and tannins that can tenderize the toughest cuts of meat. If you are planning to braise cuts of beef such as Chuck Roast, Hangar Steak, or Brisket, you can use Cabernet Sauvignon as the base marinade and tenderize the meat.

However, if the meat is marinated for a long period, it could have a gamey taste when it’s cooked. Instead of 24 hours, try marinating the meat for only 8 hours. That should be enough time for the wine to add flavor to the meat without drastically changing its profile.

Additional Ingredients Are Needed To Balance Out The Flavors Of Wine

Although wine has a lot of discernible flavors, you will need a second – sometimes even a third or fourth ingredient – to balance it out. It comes down to the specific flavor profile you are looking for. 

Do you want a sauce that is has a slightly salty aftertaste? Do you want a creamier sauce with textures that cling to the mouth? Does the wine have a dominant fruity flavor that needs to be rounded out by a bit of sweetness?

In a lot of dishes that require wine, ingredients such as chicken or vegetable stock, all-purpose cream, and strained tomatoes are used to balance out the flavor of the wine. 

With these tips in mind – here are some recipes to try.


Shrimp Pasta In Garlic Butter White Wine Sauce (15mins Preparation)

Chardonnay is an excellent choice of white wine to cook seafood pasta, chicken, and pork dishes. Including (ahem..) our Wine4Runners Chardonnay from Paso Robles California which has a great balance of different citrus flavors in combination with the subtle notes of pears, honey, and apricots. 

This pasta dish is quick and delicious!  Perfect to fuel your runs in the day ahead.

Ingredients:• 2 pounds of raw, jumbo shrimp• ¾ cup Chardonnay• 1 pound pasta; linguine or spaghetti• 4 tablespoons butter• 4 cloves garlic; minced• 4 cups chicken broth• 1 cup heavy whipping cream• ½ cup Parmesan cheese; grated• ½ cup fresh parsley• ¼ cup fresh sage; minced• 1 lemon• 2 cups of water

Directions:1. Cook the pasta in a pot of water; add oil and salt to the water. If the pasta takes 10 minutes to cook, turn off the heat after 7 minutes. The pasta will finish its cooking in the pasta sauce.2. Place a deep pan over medium heat and melt the butter. 3. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the color has changed to bright orange. 4. Add the garlic, sage, and Chardonnay. Cover the lid and allow the shrimp to cook for another 3 minutes.5. Add the pasta and finish cooking for another 3 minutes.6. Remove from the heat and mix in cream, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix the pasta well. 

Braised Beef Short Ribs In Red Wine Sauce (15mins preparation; 3hrs Oven) 

Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful red wine for cooking red meats particularly beef and lamb. Including (ahem..) our Wine4Runners Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles California, which has a rich, fruit-forward style with perfectly balanced acidity.

This dish is best done and enjoyed on weekends.  

Ingredients:• 6 Beef Short Ribs; approximately 400gms• 500ml or 2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon• 2 tablespoons of butter• 1 tablespoon of olive oil• 3 cloves of garlic; minced• 1 large white onion; chopped• 2 pieces of celery ribs; chopped• 2 medium-sized carrots; chopped• 2 tablespoons tomato paste• 500ml or 2 cups of low-sodium Beef Stock or Beef Broth• 2 sprigs thyme• 2 pieces of bay leaves• 2 teaspoons salt• 2 teaspoons pepper

Instructions:1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.2. Generously season the beef short ribs with salt and pepper.3. Place an ovenproof stove pot over high-heat to melt the butter; add the olive oil to keep the butter from burning.4. Brown all sides of the beef short ribs. 5. Once the beef short ribs are perfectly browned, set it aside.6. Lower the heat and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Stir constantly to keep the vegetables from burning. 7. Once the vegetables are softened, add the garlic. 8. Add the tomato paste; stir around and cook for 1 minute.9. Pour in the Cabernet Sauvignon and beef broth. Stir around until the tomato paste has dissolved, then add the thyme and bay leaves.10. Add the browned beef short ribs; mix them in the stew to make sure the ribs are submerged in the red wine broth.11. Close the lid and place the pot inside the oven and cook for 3 hours.

You can serve this braised beef short ribs dish straight out of the pot or you can perform a wine reduction to thicken the sauce.

Wine Reduction Technique:1. Separate the beef short ribs from the sauce. Take great care that the fork-tender meat is not separated from the bone.2. Strain the juices from the pot to separate the vegetables.3. Return the sauce to the pot and bring it to a simmer. 4. Keep the lid open and stir constantly to keep the sauce from burning.5. Check if the sauce has reached your desired level of thickness. 

Plate the dish by adding the beef short ribs, the vegetables, before dressing with a generous serving of red wine sauce. Serve with baked potato, rice or lightly-buttered pasta.


If you have wine at home, consider it as another key ingredient for your cooking.  And you’ll have an excuse to reward yourself with a glass to develop your appetite!  

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community. Also, check out our selection of fine California wines ( You may want to gift a friend – or yourself – after a tremendous race event!