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"Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized." - André Simon.
Dry white wines are not only meant for drinking, but by using a good dry white wine, a delicious dish can be prepared. The process of making this wine is very simple. It is fermented till it contains the least amount of sugar and thus, maximum quantity of alcohol.

Dry wines are not sweet, but have a tart acid taste. Dry white wines are renowned for their lightness, clear amber color, aroma, and their stimulating acidity.

Remember 'always use a wine that you would also like to drink'!

Best Dry White Wines for Cooking

Chardonnay
Goes well withSeafood, pork, and chicken
Best for cookingRich and creamy gravy
Crispy clear wine, control its acidity while cooking
Calories per fl. oz. = 24
Sauvignon Blanc
Goes well withWhite meat (chicken, pork, and lobster)
Best for cookingLight and herb flavored sauce
Good wine to try as a beginner
Calories per fl. oz. = 24
Pinot Gris
Goes well withSeafood recipes
Best for cookingFruity flavored and light wine gravy
Full-bodied wine, use sparingly
Calories per fl. oz. = 25
Vermouth
Goes well withSeafood and poultry
Best for cookingHerb flavored sauce
Crystal clear wine that looks like water
Calories per fl. oz. = 32
Riesling
Goes well withSeafood
Best for cookingSeafood soups and bouillabaisse
Medium-dry, high in acidity hence is crispy
Calories per fl. oz. = 24

Recipes

Like red wine, white wine also prevents many cancer and heart diseases. Among white wines, dry white wines are extensively used for cooking. Such a wine is used to prevent the sweet flavor that a dish gets when cooked with red wine. Generally, while cooking, the alcohol content in the wine evaporates substantially, and only the flavor remains behind. Care should be taken while using wine for cooking. Too much of the wine might add a strong unsavory flavor, and too little of the dry wine might not give the desired flavor. Dry white wines for cooking are used to make light and creamy sauces.

Spicy Veg Risotto Recipe
This recipe for risotto using dry white wine, is a treat for vegetarians and vegans, and very easy to prepare. The ingredients you require are:
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2½ cups of vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups of rice (arborio)
  • ⅔ cup of dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper according to taste
  • Olive oil
risotto
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and fry them till light brown. Add green onions, garlic, bell pepper, and fry for 5 minutes on medium flame. Mix arborio rice and cook for a minute. Now, add cayenne pepper and pepper flakes. Pour half a cup of vegetable broth and let it be absorbed properly. Pour the rest of the vegetable broth and after a minute add the wine, half a cup at a time. Serve in a bowl, garnish with salt, pepper, and cheese.


Mussels in Creamy Sauce
This is one of the easiest seafood mussels recipes that uses dry white wine as one of its ingredient. A chardonnay will be a good choice for this recipe. If you cannot use chardonnay, you can use a regular dry white wine. Here is a list of the ingredients:
  • Around 30 mussels (cleaned and debearded)
  • 2 French shallots finely chopped
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 1½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1½ tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
mussels in wine sauce
For making the mussels sauce, take a large saucepan and cook the garlic and French shallots in simmering wine. Cook till the shallots and garlic look translucent. Mix the cream in the saucepan. Add curry powder to it. Steam cook the mussels by covering the pan for few minutes. Wait till the shells open wide, transfer these shells into a bowl. Discard the shells which do not open. In the saucepan, add the butter and whip. Turn off the flame. Add spring onions and parsley to the sauce and mix well. Serve immediately with Italian bread.


Quick Shrimp Scampi Recipe
This is a light dish, using dry white wine. The ingredients required are:
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ¼ cup of dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 13 jumbo shrimp
Make sure the shrimp are neatly peeled and deveined
shrimp scampi
In a pan, fry garlic, onion, and parsley in butter, till everything turns soft. Turn the flame low and add the shrimp. Stir for 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp in a bowl. In the pan, add the remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes. Pour this over the shrimp and serve hot with French bread.


Chicken and Vegetable Soup
This is a great recipe which you can enjoy during colder season or when you have the flu. The ingredients you need for this soup are:
  • Butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1 green chili sliced lengthwise
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 cup chicken pieces
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables of your choice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup of dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper according to taste
  • 1 tbs. chopped parsley
chicken soup
In a pan melt butter, then add bay leaves, garlic, green chili, onion, and turmeric. After a minute add the chicken and vegetables and stir for a minute. Then add the chicken stock and let the chicken and vegetables cook. Finally, add the wine and cook for few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley.


Simple Fish Marinade
Here is a simple fish marinade using dry white wine. You can prepare this marinade in few minutes. The ingredients you require are:
  • 1½ cups of fish of your choice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1½ chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper according to taste
fish marinade
In a bowl mix all the ingredients well. Then set aside the bowl for 30 minutes. When grilling the fish make sure you coat the fish completely with the marinade liquid, to get the maximum flavor.


While cooking...

Never use cooking wines to substitute dry white wines, as cooking wines are very sweet and might ruin the dish.
Substitutes for wines for cooking are lemon juice and vinegar, but they won't give the same flavor as dry white wine.
Refrigerate the leftover wine, and use it for cooking within 2 weeks.
Champagne also comes under the category of dry white wines. Hence, a good dry champagne can also be used for cooking.
Wine marinade helps to tenderize the outside of the meat, and keeps it moist while it cooks.
You can also combine soy sauce and pinot gris in equal proportion, with some chopped garlic and ginger and use it as a marinade.
You can use wine when cooking using a skillet on a stove, in an oven, or in a pressure cooker.
White wines can also be used to bake cakes. You can use wine in place of fat (like butter or oil) when baking a cake. This will decrease the calories while adding unique flavor to the cake.
Experiment cooking with wines and have fun to create flavorful dishes.

So, if you are not an alcoholic or a teetotaler, then you can enjoy dry white wine for cooking. And the best part is you can indulge in the flavor and aroma of the delicacy, because as rightly said by Louis Pasteur, "The flavor of wine is like delicate poetry". Bon appetit!