5 tasty recipes with wine (so you can drink more wine)

Let’s face it, we could all use another reason to drink more wine. If you spend any time in the kitchen whipping up meals then you know wine serves multiple purposes, working as a medium to conjure up inspiration or as an ingredient to round out a meal. A splash of red or white is all you need to liven up a recipe, plus it sets you up to offer a perfect pairing when the meal is served.

What's the best wine to use?
Take our advice and slowly back away from the grocery store “cooking wine”. You can do much better, and your taste buds will thank you. If the recipe calls for a white, choose something with lower alcohol (11-13%), dry, and acidic. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc work make good choices. For reds, take the same approach – lower alcohol, low tannin, high acid. Avoid tannic, oak-laden reds, as they’ll add a bitter component to the food. Try a Pinot Noir, Rosso di Montalcino, or Barbera.

Skillet Chicken with Bacon White Wine Sauce

Crispy chicken skin, salty bacon, sweet shallots and a tangy white wine sauce…that’s the kind of dirty kitchen talk that’ll have you mounting the butter quicker than you can say “mise en place”. And it keeps getting better because you only need one pan, which means cleaning up a breeze, assuming you didn’t splatter all over the stove.

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Drunken Cheesy Bread

With a name like this, you know it’s gonna be tasty. This is a spin on the classic Croute au Fromage, and you can easily take it in a few different directions. No ham? Substitute shrimp instead. Maybe add a fried egg on top. The choice is yours. Just make sure you don’t go heavy on the wine, or the bread will be too soggy – which leaves more for your glass.

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Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Mussels with Garlic Wine Sauce

Some people are scared of cooking mussels. All it takes is one bad mussel to ruin your night and scare you away from every trying them again. The secret is to make sure every single one is tightly closed. If you see one slightly open, tap it and see if the shell snaps closed. If not, toss it.

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Photo by Melanie, A Beautiful Bite
Photo by Melanie, A Beautiful Bite

Beef Brisket in Red Wine

Is there any meal more capable of warming you up on a cold winter evening? Melt in your mouth brisket braised in red wine, with some potatoes and carrots makes for a straightforward and totally delicious dinner that will feed your family for days.

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Photo by Ellen Silverman
Photo by Ellen Silverman

Shrimp Scampi

The first time I made this I was amazed at how simple it was. You only need a few ingredients and you end up with a dish that’ll have your guests pinching their fingers together and exclaiming “buonissimo!”. Bonus tip – buy the pre-peeled prawns to save a few minutes, along with the humiliation of de-veining the little buggers.

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Do you have a favorite recipe that uses wine? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Meisner

Mike is the resident content creator for the Last Bottle blog. When he's not spilling wine on his keyboard he can be found wandering the aisles in the warehouse with a Coravin in hand, whispering to bottles "This will only hurt for a second".