Best dry white wine for cooking?

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
4,314
352
Joined Oct 5, 2001
I was curious what is everyone's preferred "Dry" white wine when cooking. Not just vinyard but also the type of wine you prefer (Chablis, Pinot Gris etc etc).  It would be interesting to hear from a mix of pros and non pros. Typically I go with an inexpensive Chablis (think Aldi $4.00 options) that is drinkable. I am also curious if anyone uses Pernod for the dry white cooking wine. There is an old thread from 2005 regarding this but I wanted to hear some updated replies from the community.  
[thread="13494"]In Need Of A Dry White Wine For A Recipe  [/thread]
Thanks I look forward to the feedback.
 
90
44
Joined Jul 16, 2013
Non-pro.
Usually use really dry, crisp Rieslings. No real thought behind it, but it is my favourite grape and if im going to open a bottle for the cooking I probably will have a glass and I want to enjoy it.

But I would not use Pernod instead of wine, that anise flavour is really powerful. Good for enhancing fennel tho.

Oh, and my favourite dry white is A. Christmann
 
Last edited:
2,800
614
Joined Jan 4, 2011
It is my opinion and practice to use the same varietal to cook with that I will be serving/drinking with that dish. It doesn't have to be the same bottle, just the same varietal. I'm not going to cook with a $95 bottle. LOL. I find that Torrontés goes great with shellfish. Believe it or not ... a rich buttery oaky Chardonnay goes very well with prime rib. Yeah ... I know ... that sounds goofy, but I've done it a number of times. Never cook with anything that you wouldn't drink on it's own. 2-Buck-Chuck shouldn't be used for anything ... not even washing your car's tires.
 
1,483
240
Joined Jan 31, 2012
i cook with wine very often, even breakfast--poached, basted
even scambled eggs get a kind dose of white before finishing.
Ive cooked with many different whites, Chenin Blanc, Savignon
Blanc, even White Zinfandel, but would have to say my favorite
all around cooking white would be an inexpensive Chardonnay.
When I cook with Red it's usually a Cabernet--just all around nice
for color and flavour.
 
Last edited:
872
549
Joined May 28, 2015
Regarding using Pernot, you can't really just sub it for white wine - but it works fantastically well in fish dishes and as @JAH42  says, with fennel. I will try to hunt out a recipe...

As for white wine,  I'll use any white (cheaper the better!) except for sweet white in most dishes! I think most of the flavour gets burnt off anyway - well that's my excuse. It would be interesting to cook the same dish and then divide it in two and add a cheap white to one and an expensive one to the other to see if it makes much difference.
 
Last edited:
982
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
I like to use Orvieto Classico, Pinot Grigio, or a Sauvignon Blanc.  I use others depending on the dish.  Because Pinot Grigio is so popular now it is easier to find.  Unless I am doing a large recipe or am drinking the wine I use splits. 
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,509
998
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I tend toward crisp white wines; Chabils, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc (my first choice usually) or a Riesling that isn't too sweet.  I usually stay away from Chardonnay because of the oak in it and the conversion from malic acid to lactic acid which makes the wine rounder and more "buttery".  I like the sharp, crispness of wines that haven't been through that process, when it comes to cooking.  Of course there are always exceptions.  I also agree with KK.  I like to use Vermouth regularly also.  When it comes to Pernod (I don't usually keep Pernod around but I do almost always have some from of absinthe in house-both have that strong anise flavor) I don't use it often, but it does have it's uses.  It always gets used in my Creamed Spinach, and I will sometimes use it, along with white wine, in my Beurre Blanc to accompany fish.  Also a splash of it added to my base when making Hollandaise that will be turned into Béarnaise.
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
4,314
352
Joined Oct 5, 2001
@Pete  Yeah those are the top three I go with but lean towards Chablis. I never use Riesling but I don't see why you can't.
 
30
10
Joined Feb 5, 2016
I only use wines that I am prepared to drink :)  A dry Chardonnay is usually flexible enough for most 'wine' related recipes and there are many that aren't costly. 
 
182
25
Joined Sep 18, 2012
Pernod is not a wine but is a brand name for a strongly flavored anise liqueur. I know some chefs use the liqueur when preparing oysters.

Wines that I prefer to cook with are the same wine I would drink with the dish. Not all these wines need be dry. Marsala used in various veal dishes tend to be sweet as in Marsala all'Uovo - Italy's famous fortified wine from Sicily’s coastal city of Marsala. In regional cuisine, choosing a variety of wine from the region is not only very appropriate, it is almost obligatory. A Spaniard cooking tapas is not serving Chianti. Wine does not have to be expensive to be good to cook with but an undrinkable wine is better poured down the drain
 
1,483
240
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Though that does tend to be the accepted guideline,
I suspect there may be some discrepancies in what we all
consider drinkable vs not. Obviously any thing labelled
"cooking wine" etc shouldnt be bought, much less poured
into our heartchild veal dish. But others might consider a
low cost brand of Chardonnay for instance, to be junk as well.
Just sayin....:rolleyes:
 
965
86
Joined Apr 4, 2012
I keep dry vermouth around all the time, anyway, so often if I don't have a bottle of white I plan to drink open I will often use dry vermouth.

I often buy whatever dry white--or red, for that matter--that is being sold off at $4 a bottle at my neighborhood wine store to keep around for cooking.

Pernod is Anisette is Ouzo is Arak is Pastis is Sambuca is Raki by yet another name. Delicious but nothing at all like white wine. It's sweet and very heavily anise/licorice flavored. Pernod itself is a pretty disturbing color of yellow- green straight out of the bottle. You usually drink it watered down and iced. Once water is added to it in the glass, it turns cloudy white like Arak. It probably would be very good in seafood dishes, especially with fennel. 
 
182
25
Joined Sep 18, 2012
Though that does tend to be the accepted guideline,
I suspect there may be some discrepancies in what we all
consider drinkable vs not. Obviously any thing labelled
"cooking wine" etc shouldnt be bought, much less poured
into our heartchild veal dish. But others might consider a
low cost brand of Chardonnay for instance, to be junk as well.
Just sayin..../img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
The point is simply this, wines we consider good to drink have a pleasant taste. When those that do not (say a wine with little or no flavor) adding them is to dilute flavor not enhance it. It is not possible to make truely great food without good ingredients. Most "cooking wine", the ones specially manufactured for cooking, are poor substitues for the real thing. I suspect their comprised of esters and questionable artificial ingredients. Real food is not a facimile.
 
134
11
Joined Jan 4, 2012
I don't like dry wines for drinking, but made a pork dish using  Reserve Saint Olive Chardonnay. It came out pretty good :)
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom