Learn to Cook With Wine Using These 7 Recipes

Cooking with wine is the best way to drink your wine and eat it for dinner, too. Wine can not only add flavor to your dishes — it also can help replace the fat found in oils and butters when properly substituted. Whether you’re cooking it with fish, enlisting it in a marinade, or simply adding it to your skillet to help your food simmer, it’s safe to say you can easily see the benefits of cooking with wine. The secret is knowing what recipes to use it in. Check out these 7 food formulas that flawlessly employ wine to enhance the flavor and moisture of the dishes they yield. Pour yourself a glass of the good stuff, and get to work on one of these classy recipes.

1. Salmon with Red Wine Sauce

red wine, appetizers

Source: iStock

When people think of cooking with wine, a white usually comes to mind. Not this time. This recipe from Food & Wine calls for a full-bodied red wine that will be the star ingredient of a rich sauce. The red wine sauce dresses a salmon steak that is cooked in the oven for just 8 minutes, and then it’s time to plate the good stuff and pour over the sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 salmon steaks, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds total)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 scallions, bulbs and green tops chopped separately
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Directions: Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the oil in a small stainless-steel, enameled, or nonstick roasting pan, and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Season the fish with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Put the fish in the hot pan; cook in the oven until just done, about 8 minutes.

Remove the fish from the pan, and transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off any oil remaining in the pan. Put the pan over moderate heat, and add the wine and the chopped scallion bulbs. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Cook until the wine is reduced to approximately 3 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, and whisk in the butter. Season the sauce with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Put the fish on plates, browned-side up. Sprinkle the scallion greens over the top. Spoon the sauce around the fish.