There are days when I feel like wine is as close as we're going to get to true ambrosia.
Ambrosia, sometimes known as the food or the drink of the gods was said to proffer longevity or immortality. One myth says that Ambrosia was a nymph and nurse to Dionysus, the god of wine. She was turned into a grapevine when violence was done against her.
I think the message is clear; Ambrosia is wine.
Cooking with wine has many advantages, be it to marinate, roast, or simply as an ingredient to impart flavor.
Wine has a certain acidity, which helps tenderize meats, and are great to use in marinades. White wines tend to be more crisp and citrusy, and are a perfect addition to balance a creamy dish, or a heavily spiced one. Red wines tend to be richer, and can complement dishes by adding depth, and another layer of flavor. Another great advantage to using wine as a cooking liquid is that is reduces very well, and therefore can be used to make a variety of sauces and reductions to accompany your dish.
Here are some excellent introductions to the beautiful world of cooking with wine:
20 Red Wine Chili
Some recipes call for whiskey, rum, or beer to add to a chili, but the combination of red wine and tomatoes in this chili recipe brings a certain sweetness and acidity that ties all the elements together, and balances out the spiciness. Click here for the recipe.
19 Wine Chocolate Fondue
I don't see how this could possibly be anything but perfect. It's got two of my favorite things, and seems like the perfect romantic dessert. I think this could also be good with white wine and white chocolate or even chili (if you do this, or have, please tell me how it was!). You can find the recipe here
18 Vanilla-Sparkling Wine Pound Cake
This is wine cake with a wine glaze. It's like heaven heard my prayers and answered them twofold. Although it defeats the purpose a little bit, there's also a version where the sparkling wine is replaced by milk (but why bother?)Find the recipe here
17 Mushroom Risotto
Garlic is my favorite ingredient, but risotto is another one of my favorite foods, even when it's made without garlic. To me, it's an abomination that there isn't any garlic in here, but I feel that way about more or less everything. Plus, who am I to argue with the gospel according to Jamie Oliver? Now, risotto might not look like much, but it is seriously rich and creamy (also incredibly delicious). Because of its richness, we recommend you start with a small portion. You will go back for seconds. And for my sake, try it with garlic, it'll change your life. Find the recipe here.
16 Red Wine Tomato Sauce
This is a crazy easy recipe (poorly formatted, but nonetheless, a keeper). Try it, play with it – make it your own! I for one will make this and add garlic... lots of it.The recipe can be found here
15 WINE ICE CREAM
Sorry for the all caps, but I felt that my excitement needed to be properly conveyed, and I was REALLY EXCITED! This is also super simple and requires just a little arm power for which you'll be rewarded at the end. This recipe recommends that you TOP YOUR WINE WITH SOME MORE WINE, BECAUSE WHY NOT, THE WORLD IS BEAUTIFUL!
14 Coq Au Vin
This one is a classic for a reason. If you make some coq au vin, your house will smell amazing and that might be enough incentive for you to make it again... and again... and again. If that's not enough, it has brandy/cognac AND wine! The recipe can be found here
13 Anise Wine Cookies
This is essentially a recipe for liquorice and wine cookies. Bingo! These are supposed to be great for eating with your coffee, or for eating a whole batch of cookies all at once... Find the recipe here
12 Mussels in Wine
The Barefoot Contessa knows what's up. This is a nice recipe to really make those mussels shine, she bring some acidity with the white wine and tomatoes to complement that natural briny flavour, and of course a healthy amount of garlic. It meets my criteria. You can find the recipe here
11 Garlic Wine Sauce
You already know, I'm sure, that this recipe caught my eye for two good reasons, and you're not wrong. This would make an excellent sauce for a roast, a chop, a steak, probably even potatoes (my Canadian side shines through in these moments, and I feel compelled to try this with poutine). Find the recipe here
10 Mulled Wine
I see no reason why my list of recipes shouldn't include a recipe for wine. Sure, it's less of a team player and more of a star player in this case, but that's fine! Now, mulled wine is sort of like barbecue or steak, in that everyone feels like their recipe is the best and that all others are clearly inferior. I recommend this one as a good starting point, but there's no reason you shouldn't build on it and make it your own. There's nothing quite like having your own mulled wine spice mix you can pass on. You can find the recipe, or inspiration, as it may be here
9 Scallops with white wine sauce
Scallops are my favourite seafood, with a good sear and a simple sauce, you're good to go. You'll be tempted to eat them while you cook, but resist, it'll be worth it!The recipe can be found right here
8 Spicy Red Wine Spaghetti
I won't lie to you, I picked this recipe largely because it looks cool, but I promise it has other merits! It is vegetarian, and the combination of wine, tomato and goat cheese promises to be delicious, even for a meat lover. Since it isn't too saucy, hopefully it won't make as much of a mess as the traditional spaghetti and meatballs. I know, I said earlier that it defeats the point, and I stand by that, but you can make a kid-friendly version using beets for color! The original recipe can be found here
7 Wine Braised Pork Tacos
Tacos, bacon, wine? I'm sold. Just add some fresh cilantro when you're done! Find the recipe here.
6 Wine Jelly
It is time to bring our beloved PB&Js into the adult world with us. It's long overdue, actually. Find out how here.
5 Wine Hummus
Now, this is not technically hummus, because there are no chickpeas or tahini. The classic ingredients are replaced with pinto beans and wine in this interesting interpretation.
4 Wine and Rosemary Couscous
Does this not sound like the best side dish ever? Fresh, citrusy, herbal, simple. Sign me up. Find it here.
3 Wine Mustard
Okay, I am not a fan of mustard, but my mother loves it. She loves it so much that she has a whole shelf of it in her fridge. She loves it so much that I bring mustard back for her from my travels. Mustard is surprisingly easy to make. Last year she ventured into mustard making, so I learned how mustard is made. If it's your cup of tea, give this a try – you may never need to buy mustard again!
2 Red Wine Caramel Apples
This is a thing of beauty – it is apples dipped in wine-caramel. This may become a fall tradition. Just make sure you have a candy thermometer before you get started on this recipe!
1 Black Pepper-Raspberry Sorbet with Prosecco
I love herbs with fruit, spices with fruit, and I love Prosecco, so this is a match made in heaven for me. Preposterous, I know, but I'd eat this without the Prosecco as well. Find the recipe here.
Thank you for reading, and cook responsibly! Please let us know how these turn out for you if you try them!