Wine 201 – Cooking with Wine: Marinating

See…this is the fourth installment of cooking with wine. There was no possible way to cover all of this in one post.

For those of you new to the cooking game, marinations have two purposes…tenderizing meats and adding flavors. I point you to a previous post on marinades. I will also re-iterate a point about Marinades I made in that post:

Kate’s Rule of Thumb #1©:You should only use a marinade on a piece of meat that is either lacking in tenderness, lacking in taste, or both.

Keep that in mind when following the tips below.

  • - The better the wine, the better the taste of the food. Conversely, the lower quality of the wine, the better the chance your food will taste pretty strange. Choose your cooking wine accordingly (This is redundant is it not?).
  • - Use freshly opened wine. Wines opened two weeks or later should be looked upon with suspicion, as it probably has oxidized to the point of affecting the wine taste(See parenthetical above).
  • Use only ceramic or plastic dishes for marinades, as metal can re-act to the acidity in the wine, changing its flavor, often to its detriment.
  • Make sure that you turn the meat in the marinade at some point, to ensure adequate coverage.
  • The larger the piece of meat, the more time it will need to marinate.
  • Avoide marinating fish or shellfish in wine for longer than 90 minutes, as the acidity in the wine will actually cook the meat.
  • If you’re using a wine marinade that has been cooked beforehand, let it cool prior to using it, to avoid accidentally cooking the meat, even if only a little.


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