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What's a good red wine for cooking?

chef jimmyj

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Nice thing about Peter Vella Box Wine, you can play Galloping Gourmet and tap off a Glass or Three , to enjoy while you cook.

Now we will see how Old you guys are...JJ
 

gmc2003

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Boy do I miss the Boone's Farm Wild Mountain Grape days! In '78 &'79, my friends and I must have raised Boone's Farm Stock, 10%. Two bottles per was a typical Summer night hanging out and tinkering with our cars or at band practice. Good times...JJ
Same here and same time frame. Up at Lake Dunmore fishing for brookies during the day and drinking Boones at night around the campfire. Genny cream ale was also a must - since it was really cheap.

Ah the good ole days
Chris
 

chef jimmyj

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LOL! Many a Quart, Six and Case of Genny Cream has been consumed these many years...JJ
 

noboundaries

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You let air get to the wine and in many cases once the wine breaths the flavor dramatically improves. Can't tell you how many great bottles we've enjoyed by first opening and let breath for 1 -2 hours before consuming.
Yes, I understand letting a wine breathe. I get wine from an award winning home winemaker. Since it costs me nothing, the Merlot above was going to be used for cooking. I always take a sip at opening to ensure it didn't go bad or have cork rot. The flavor was not vinegar, but more like mouth-puckering fruit rind that had been soaked in grape juice. I put a vacuum wine stopper in it, pumped out the air, and stuck it in the fridge to decide what to do with it.

Two days later I needed fridge space and decided to dump the wine. We wash the empty bottles, remove the label, and return them to the winemaker for sterilization and reuse.

I took a sip standing at the sink and couldn't believe it was the same wine! Rich, fruity, smooth and delicious. I generally let reds breathe for up to 24 hours, but I've NEVER experienced a change in flavor like this bottle offered. Any ideas why?
 

mike243

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Weren't much wine around when I was a young pup, country club pony bottles were the bomb, wasn't a sign around that didn't have a dent in it lol, now days dummies shoot holes in them sad times now
 

bregent

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Yes, I understand letting a wine breathe. I get wine from an award winning home winemaker. Since it costs me nothing, the Merlot above was going to be used for cooking. I always take a sip at opening to ensure it didn't go bad or have cork rot. The flavor was not vinegar, but more like mouth-puckering fruit rind that had been soaked in grape juice. I put a vacuum wine stopper in it, pumped out the air, and stuck it in the fridge to decide what to do with it.

Two days later I needed fridge space and decided to dump the wine. We wash the empty bottles, remove the label, and return them to the winemaker for sterilization and reuse.

I took a sip standing at the sink and couldn't believe it was the same wine! Rich, fruity, smooth and delicious. I generally let reds breathe for up to 24 hours, but I've NEVER experienced a change in flavor like this bottle offered. Any ideas why?
So was it room temp the first temp, and chilled the next? Temp can obviously play a big part in what flavors come out.

I make my own wine (mostly cabs, zin, and Sauv Blanc) and notice when tasting samples, what I may have had to eat just prior, and even the time of day, can have a big influence on the flavor. I usually rack and bottle in the morning, and everything always taste good. The same wine later in the day might be meh.
 

noboundaries

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First tasting, room temp. Yep. Second chilled? Yep. Finished the bottle that night and it never got back to room temp. I don't chill most reds. Might have to keep that in my options when I open a bottle I'm not crazy about.
 
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chef jimmyj

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I really have some Contempt for many Expensive Wines. I can't help but wonder, as with many things, the Money is spent on the Name on the Label and not the Wine in the bottle.
When I graduated Culinary School, my Brother gave me a bottle of Opus One, $200 dollars. I saved it for a special ocassion. Upon opening it I was Far from Impressed! Chilled to 55°F and Decanted, it was just OK. On the other hand, when we opened one Restaurant I bought a piece of, we celebrated with $16 bottles of Col de Sasso. This Italian blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese was and is one of the best Wines I have had the pleasure to drink.
I, and really anyone, can only tell you what they like. Considering my Nectar of the God's may be the next guys Porta Potty Runoff, you have to try a bunch of Wines until you find YOUR Nectar of the God's. I can highly recommend going to any small Vineyards in your area and tasting what they have. There are some True Gems out there that are almost always inexpensive. And the relationship you develop with the Owner can lead to you being invited to taste and purchase their extremely limited bottles of exceptional Vintner's Reserve selections...JJ
 

DocShadownix

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I cannot stress enough...as others have said...don't cook with wine you won't drink. I have a nice wine cellar (~700 bottles) and use wine from that. Often , I seal mine wine (10 dollar system, nothing fancy - wine lasts 3-5 days with vacuum) and use wine that I opened a few days prior. Why spend $25-100 on ingredients to only ruin with a $10 bottle of bad wine. Good ingredients = good food. You don't have to go crazy (e.g. I don't use my expensive wine unless already open). That said, for a good lobster bisque, I have used REALLY good wine, since it is a main component. Cost does not define how good a wine is... just the CHANCE that is a good wine. For example, out of $10 wine, maybe 1 is good. Out of $100 wine, maybe 8 are good (and will cellar for 10-40 years). You can find good wine at any price point...you just have to taste it...I know, a hard job ;)
 

noboundaries

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The most I've ever spent on a bottle of wine was $35. I've had more expensive wines served to me, but my palate is not developed enough to justify the expense. I have a son-in-law who went through sommelier training. His advice in general...save your money because labels are just ink, paper, and glue.
 

forktender

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Wine people crack me up, airing a wine out is not going to make a crappy bottle of wine better or even more drinkable. Airing out a good bottle of wine isn't going to change it enough that most people are going to say "hey it's much better now". A good pour will do much more to aerate the wine than popping the cork an hour early or decanting.
 

sawhorseray

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My wife has a cabinet full of fine red wines, I don't much touch them. She pours the wine thru a gizmo called a Vinturi, it's pictured here upside down
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The wine is supposedly enhanced after being poured thru this thing, you don't have to wait a hour. I drink Gallo Family Cabernet Sauvignon, use it in my sausage, and when making crockpot Beef Bourguignon. It costs $7 for a big bottle at Walmart and tastes OK to me, wife says I drink enough scotch and bourbon to not know the difference in fine wines. She's right! RAY

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zwiller

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Wine has it place in cooking but for beef dishes sherry is the better choice and you don't need to use anywhere near as much. That said, boosting umami in beef dishes is really what took my game up. I use msg but plenty of other ways. Big batch of stew would get 1/2tsp. Also 1tsp dry mustard.
 

DocShadownix

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Wine people crack me up, airing a wine out is not going to make a crappy bottle of wine better or even more drinkable. Airing out a good bottle of wine isn't going to change it enough that most people are going to say "hey it's much better now". A good pour will do much more to aerate the wine than popping the cork an hour early or decanting.
Actually that is not true... it will enhance good wine; you are right that it isn't gonna make crappy wine great...(e.g. boon's etc.). Decanting wine is based on science. The above device does part (aeration), but not all of what is needed to happen to the wine to enhance flavor.

 

forktender

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Actually that is not true... it will enhance good wine; you are right that it isn't gonna make crappy wine great...(e.g. boon's etc.). Decanting wine is based on science. The above device does part (aeration), but not all of what is needed to happen to the wine to enhance flavor.

This is the most important paragraph in the whole article.
“There’s another very important aspect of decanting,” he says, “and that’s the psychological one. By treating a wine with respect, you’re creating expectations, and I think those expectations are often rewarded.”
Snake oil at best.
 

DocShadownix

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The same paragraph could go in any food or drink article. We do the same with food we smoke... oh the smoke ring... oh this oh that. Same with beer... the outside of the can affects sales just as much as the taste (or more). That doesn't inherently make beer snake oil. Presentation is part of what food is about, as much as the preparation. I would not discount decanting just because of that...
 

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