• Saturday, September 26, 2020

Making Dishes with Wine

Cooking with Wine
By , Galavante Contributor
May 13, 2014

If we haven’t made it clear enough already, we like wine in all its forms. We’d bathe in the stuff if we could, but for now, cooking with it will have to suffice. Cooking with wine follows a very simple rule: Never use a wine you wouldn’t drink. You experiment with wine-tasting – and now you can take the same approach with cooking. These three recipes, from a gooey fondue to a rich bolognese, are a great place to start. Cheers!

Fondue – Cheese and White Wine


6 oz bacon, small dice
4 shallots, small dice (approximately 1/2 cup)
8 oz Gruyere, shredded
8 oz Fontina, shredded
8 oz Brie, rind removed, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc)
ground white pepper to taste
1 loaf of crusty French bread or Focaccia cut into cubes
assorted blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini slices


Equipment needed
3- or 4-quart saucepan
box grater
1 slotted spoon
1 large bowl
fondue pot


Fondue, which is French for “to melt,” was a 1970s food fad that quickly faded. Regardless, this time-honored dish is the perfect way to indulge in melted cheese and wine, all in the same pot.

Using a box grater, shred the Gruyere and Fontina cheeses into a large bowl. Add the small pieces of Brie cheese. Sprinkle the cheese with the cornstarch and gently mix the three cheeses, set aside.

In a saucepan on medium-high heat, add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. To the same saucepan, add the shallots and cook until golden brown about 4–5 minutes. When shallots are golden brown, add the 3 cups of white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently add about 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Gently stir the cheese as it melts in the wine. Continue to add the cheese mixture until all the cheese has melted. Stir in the cooked bacon and season to taste with white pepper. Transfer to a fondue pot. Serve with the bread and assorted vegetables.


Bolognese Sauce


1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground beef
8 oz pancetta, small diced
2 cups finely diced onions (approximately 3–4 medium-sized onions)
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine (such as a Chianti or Barolo)
4 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pasta – rigatoni


Equipment needed
1 large 8–10-quart saucepan
large stirring spoon
measuring cup
measuring spoons
box grater


Every chef and home cook in Italy – and probably the world over – has their own version of this sauce. This recipe mixes the traditional beef with veal and a bit more pancetta to round out the meaty texture and flavors. Soon, the aromas that fill your kitchen will tell you that the red wine, meat and tomatoes have become “Bolognese” – enjoy!  

In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add olive oil and pancetta. Cook for 3–5 minutes until pancetta begins to brown.  Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic; stir well. Cook vegetables with pancetta until vegetables have softened and onions are translucent, about 8–10 minutes. It’s fine if the onions start to turn a golden color – if the onions start to burn, lower the heat to medium. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for about 5 minutes so that all the vegetables and tomato paste have mixed together.

Turn heat to high and add all of the meat and sprinkle with salt. Let meat rest on the bottom of the saucepan for 3 minutes to allow it to start to brown. Stir the meat and continue cooking until all of the meat has been browned and it has released its juices, about 10 minutes.

Add the dry red wine and stir. Let the meat and wine come to a boil. Reduce heat to low medium and let simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano and stir well.

Let the sauce cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally (every 15 minutes). After the 1 1/2 hours, the total liquid in the sauce will have reduced almost by half; if it has reduced by more than half, add one cup of water. The Bolognese should now be a well-blended sauce and ready to eat.

Of course you need some pasta to go with the sauce and rigatoni is traditional.  Enjoy!

Blackberries, Apricots and Rosemary with Sauterne


8 oz blackberries, rinsed
8 oz fresh apricots (3 or 4 depending on size), rinsed, pit removed and cut into 6 or 8 slices
2 cups sauterne or a sweet wine
4 rosemary sprigs
1/3 cup sugar
4 oz crème fraîche

Equipment needed
1 1/2- or 2-quart saucepan
measuring spoons
large storage container


Making a simple syrup with the sauterne, sugar and rosemary results is an intense herbal flavor – a perfect marriage with the blackberries and apricots.

In the saucepan, add 2 cups of sauterne, sugar and rosemary sprigs. Turn heat to medium high, bring liquid to a boil and lower heat so that liquid reduces by half. When liquid has been reduced, discard rosemary sprigs, strain the rosemary liquid into a container and chill in refrigerator.

Place blackberries and sliced apricots in a large bowl and add chilled rosemary liquid. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve. Divide berries and apricots into four equal servings in a bowl. Scoop 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche on top of berries.  Enjoy!

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