Caymus Vineyard in Napa Valley, California produces two types of Cabernet Sauvignon and a Zinfandel. If you have a bottle or two of these high-quality, full-flavored wines, you can use them for more than just drinking. You can easily work red wine, such as the Cabernet Sauvignon, into recipes that will please your friends and family members.
The key to incorporating red wine into recipes is to not overdo it, or the flavor will overtake the whole dish. When used subtly, the wine can greatly enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. Although wine is traditionally used in Italian recipes, you can use it in other types of cuisine as well.
If you have a bottle of wine that has been opened for a while and you don't want to waste it, use it in your recipes, and then open a fresh one from a winery like JJ Buckley Fine Wines for drinking. Older wine will still taste delicious when worked into your favorite dishes.
Here are some ways you can easily and creatively incorporate red wine into your recipes:
1. Pasta Sauce
One of the most popular ways to use red wine in cooking is in pasta sauces, whether you make it from scratch or add it to a bottled variety. Make your favorite marina sauce, using fresh or canned ripe tomatoes, olive oil, onion, Italian seasonings such as basil and oregano, and other ingredients you desire.
Add red wine early into the cooking process, so that it has time to simmer and cook down, which will reduce the strong alcohol taste. After all of the alcohol is cooked out of the wine, it will lend a rich, robust flavor to the marinara sauce.
2. Baked Beans
To put a gourmet twist on a typically casual dish, add red wine to your baked bean recipe. Instead of serving up the canned version at your next summer get-together, create a flavorful sauce using red wine and tomato paste, which will add a bit of sweetness to the beans without using sugar.
If you can, marinate cooked white beans in the wine and tomato sauce a day prior to serving it to enhance the flavor.
3. Fudge Brownies
Red wine isn't just for savory dishes, as you can use it to make rich and delicious chocolate fudge brownies. You can make the batter from scratch, or just add the wine into a packaged brownie mix to make them taste homemade.
You can even add dried fruit, such as cranberries, as well as nuts, to the batter to create a more complex flavor profile.