While strolling around your local grocery store, you may have noticed a category of wine that is not marketed as drinking wine, but cooking wine. Although you can put any regular drinking wine into a dinner dish, this set of wines is specifically made for cooking your stuffed chicken parm. But what is cooking wine?

Regular Wine vs Cooking Wine

wine, alcohol, liquor, ice, red wine, juice, cocktail
Alex Frank

The difference between the two wines is the quality of the drink. Regular wine is finer, more flavorful, and will have a stronger taste in your dishes. Cooking wine is a go-to wine that will add the flavor you need, but will not be enjoyable to drink, as the flavors it will bring won't be as potent.

Cooking wine is a great option to use because it provides the wine flavor and body without you spending the extra money to get a second fine bottle. Basically, it helps you reserve your nice wine for you to enjoy during the meal.

Types of Cooking Wine

wine, beer
Natsuko Mazany

According to Wine Folly, to choose the best cooking wine is to decide what flavors you need and are working with. They break the flavors down into six main styles: dry reds and whites, dry nutty wines, sweet nutty wines, sweet fortified reds, sweet whites, and rice wine.

Dry reds and whites are best with heavy dishes like stews and cream soups or wine-based sauces. Dry nutty wines are best for gravies and fish, like halibut. Sweet nutty wines are best with sweet nutty desserts and ice cream. Sweet fortified reds are good for rich sweets like chocolate desserts. Sweet whites are paired best with sweet fruit tarts or flaky fish. Rice wine is best in marinades and Asian dishes.

Where to Get Cooking Wine

wine, beer, liquor, alcohol, whisky
Caitlin Wolper

You can get cooking wine at most grocery stores, including Target and Aldi. You can also purchase cooking wines at specialty cooking stores which could have a wider variety. You can even order cooking wines off of Amazon, which definitely has a large variety to choose from. When looking for your cooking wine at the store, just keep in mind what flavors you want to achieve so you can pick the best fit.

alcohol, wine, red wine, cheers, glass, liquor, beverage
Caroline Ingalls

There is no need to wonder what is cooking wine, because the name literally gives it away. It is wine for cooking. Cooking wine is a great choice to keep on hand for your culinary adventures. It is less expensive than regular wines, and can bring a lot of body to your sauces and roasts. The best part about cooking wine? It allows you to keep your real drinking wine for yourself.