Best White Wine For Cooking

So, you have several friends coming over for a party. It wouldn’t exactly be the best manners of a host if you didn’t at least try to prepare some food. Unless, maybe, you plan on going out for food at some point, or ordering take-out to your place.

Whatever the reason, unless there has been a strictly agreed-upon rule for no one to bring food, there needs to be at least a little food.

Fortunately, you have a few different recipes in mind for your guests to try for themselves.

However, without the right additions to it, it’s not only likely to not have much taste to it, but it is also going to be a dry meal that is going to leave most people unsatisfied.

This is why, among many other reasons, wines are a popular addition to many meals. However, simply using any old wine for any old recipe won’t cut it, either.

If you want to make the best possible meal, whether it is for yourself, your friends, or your family, you’re going to need to pick the right one for your needs.

In this article, we are going to go over some of the best white wines that you can use in just such a cooking situation.

We’re going to be covering what each of our entries does well and where they fall short, as well as going over some extra details that can help you decide on a wine of choice when you are out there making your purchases.

BEST WHITE WINE FOR COOKING

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Starting off our list strong, we have this excellent example of Pinot Grigio from an excellent name when it comes to wines, Three Wishes.

Compared to its red counterpart, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio has a much more crisp flavor that is refreshing to both the tong and the stomach to taste and drink, making it the perfect way to perk up a meal that you may be worried is a little muted in terms of its flavor.

As for the seller, Three Wishes is a company that is known for providing reliably high-quality wine for a very reasonable price.

Add to the fact that their Pinot Grigio is very easy to source, which means that this is an easy go-to white wine if you are looking for something to add to your meals.

Their alcohol content also means that they aren’t going to take forever to reduce down to the right amount for your meal, speeding up the whole cooking process along the way.

So, if you are in a hurry and need something tasty, easy to get, and help cook food quickly when compared to other white wines, you should grab a bottle of this!

Pros

  • Incredible value for money, especially when compared to other kinds of Pinot Grigot that you can find on the market.
  • With a light and fruity flavor to it, it is the perfect way of adding a hint of citrus to your meals.
  • Three Wishes Pinot Grigio is the perfect way to perk up a variety of seafood and other dishes, from scampi to pasta!
  • This Pinot Grigio will also take less time to cook than other types of wine.

Cons

  • The bubbliness of this wine might not be to everyone’s taste, as it adds a texture to subtler foods that may not complement them,

Also Available From: Vivino

BEST WHITE WINE FOR COOKING

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Of course, no list of the best white wines for cooking would be complete without at least a mention of some variety of Sauvignon Blanc. And for this particular variety, we have selected a fine example of it in Joel Gott’s Sauvignon Blanc!

Sauvignon Blancs are often used as both a substitute or replacement for foods with high acidity contents, such as lemons, limes, and even vinegar in some cases, which makes this wine a great way of saving on buying other ingredients.

After all, why buy three ingredients for cooking, when you can get just one?

Partly because of this, Sauvignon Blancs are probably one of the most versatile types of wines that can be used in cooking and can be used in a wide variety of different meals as the base for a good sauce or marinade.

We may have said that there isn’t a one-wine-fits-all-recipes at the beginning of this guide, but Joel Gott’s Sauvignon Blanc certainly does come close. You can use it for risottos, shellfish, and other seafood. Even pasta dishes taste great with it!

In particular, Joel Gott’s Sauvignon is the perfect way of adding a touch of fruitiness to any of these recipes, thanks to its inclusion of tropical sweet fruits such as pineapple, mango, and even peaches, whilst still balancing its dryness.

If you’re looking for a wine that can go with a variety of meals, it’s tough to go wrong with this Sauvignon Blanc!

Pros

  • Many Sauvignon Blanc is excellent as a base for marinades and other sauces when it comes to cooking, and Joel Gott’s variety certainly delivers on that!
  • Joel Gott’s white wine has a fruitiness, unlike many other cooking wines. With plenty of tropical flavors packed in!

Cons

  • Whilst the fruity flavors tend to come through with this white wine, you may be struggling to add any further depth beyond that initial punch.

Also Available From: Total Wine

BEST WHITE WINE FOR COOKING

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Chardonnay isn’t often a white wine of choice when it comes to cooking, often being considered a much-too bitter variety for cooking, and reserved only for drinking. However, this unoaked variety by Toad Hollow happens to be an excellent exception to that trend!

For starters, Toad hollow is a winery that has over 20 years of experience under its belt when it comes to making its white wines, which started with this variety. So you know that they have a winner on their hands with this Chardonnay!

This particular Chardonnay is the perfect way it adds richness to the food that you were struggling to find for your recipe.

This is why these types of white wines are often paired with cream sauces that are used in a recipe, such as cooking succulent creamy chicken or other meats.

If you feel like your beef or chicken recipe needs a little extra thickness, this is the right kind of chardonnay to go with.

Plus, if you love a little extra fruit taste in your meals, then the extra mango and melon flavors clean up nicely for that extra burst of fragrance to your nose and mouth, whilst staying beautifully crisp.

In short, if you need a chardonnay, stick with this variety, and you can’t go wrong!

Pros

  • A beautifully rich white wine that adds tons of flavors to your food, without feeling too acidic on the mouth.
  • Straight from the vineyards of an experienced winery, this is a very reliable chardonnay for cooking, thanks to being fermented in steel barrels.
  • There’s just a touch of extra fruitiness, thanks to the flavors of melon and mango coming through.

Cons

  • This unoaked variety, whilst great for enhancing recipes with a touch of richness bitterness, isn’t going to work with every dish. Check to see if your recipe recommends it.

Also Available From: Total Wine

BEST WHITE WINE FOR COOKING

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Back to the Sauvignon Blancs again for this guide, we have another white wine that is a perfect base for many recipes, this time from Black box with their delicious take on this classic wine variety.

Straight from the Vineyard in California, this winery does all you could ask for from a classic Sauvignon Blanc, whilst having a ton of extra flavors to boot. 

Being both light and medium-bodied type of Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is perfect for people that want the flavor of their Blanc to be tasted, but not to be overwhelmed. This makes it perfect for cooking seafood of all kinds, from fish to clams to muscles, to oysters.

Not only that, but the extra citrusy hints, with elements of grapefruit, mean that you won’t need to rely on extra lemon or lime to get the right kind of acidic punch for your food.

Pros

  • Lovely and fruity flavors from its citrus elements make it perfect for seafood dishes.
  • From a Winery that has plenty of experience creating all kinds of delicious wines, both for cooking and drinking.
  • The clean and light flavor will not overpower whatever food you are cooking, especially if it is strong seafood.

Cons

  • Whilst an excellent kind of Sauvignon Blanc to get when done right, the quality between purchases seems to fluctuate a little.

Also Available From: Total Wine

BEST WHITE WINE FOR COOKING

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To round off our list, we have something a little different from the rest of our picks, in the form of this Dry Sherry by Fairbanks.

Dry Sherries in general have a pretty unique place when it comes to using them in cooking.

For one thing, the variety of different Sherries that you can buy with different levels of dryness and flavors is incredible, you can have incredibly sweet types or drier types that are very much a flash-in-the-pan when it comes to their flavors.

This sheer variety has often been what has confused cooks with this type of white wine, and why it is often considered a dessert wine by most people.

However, many people, including Fairbank’s winery, have come to see the use in adding a dash of this white wine to your food at the end of the cooking process, with a slight punch of acidity to go with your cooking flavors. 

Of course, this doesn’t stop Dray Sherry from being an excellent drinking wine too. It is this versatility that makes this such an excellent wine to use in your cooking.

So, if you are looking for a wine that is great for sipping as it is for sizzling in a pan, try out Fairbank’s Dry Sherry!

Pros

  • A versatile wine that doesn’t just go well with creamy bases, but also for drinking too!
  • Add a citrusy and nutty flavor to your food with this white wine!
  • Has these great flavors, whilst also not overpowering your food.

Cons

  • Whilst many Sherries can be used for both cooking and drinking, this may not be ideal for drinking along with your food.

Also Available From: Total Wine

Buyer’s Guide

As you can see, there is quite a lot of variety when it comes to the kind of cooking wines that you can find out there.

However, there are also plenty of white wines that we simply did not have the time to discuss in this piece. After all, with a field as vast as this spirit, it’s not exactly easy to cover everything.

So, if you don’t find our recommendations quite meet your needs, make sure to keep these factors in mind when you are out searching for the right white wine for your cooking.

Drinking Vs Cooking Wines

One of the first things that you may notice when looking for white wines to cook with is the way that many types of white wines are marketed to people.

Generally speaking, many wineries will also sell their wine as either ‘cooking wine’ or ‘drinking wine’.

Whilst this sounds like a helpful distinction to make for buying customers, you should exercise some caution when considering buying cooking wine over drinking wine.

Not only is cooking wine generally of lower quality for your food but several extra additives can often throw off the balance of tastes that your wine has in it, such as salts and artificial flavorings.

With this in mind, if you are looking to get the full flavor of good wine in your food, you are probably going to be using some classic drinking wine in your cooking.

Type Of Wine Used

Because many types of drinking wine are often better for cooking with than many dedicated cooking wines, the type of wine you use will have a very noticeable effect on the flavor of your food.

We have already mentioned what types of white wines have what effects on cooking, such as Sauvignon Blanc being excellent for sauces and bases, and Dry Sherries benign great for cream dishes.

There are a few other types of white wines that can be used for cooking, however:

  • Dry Vermouth, whilst being a fortified wine, is an excellent wine that is great for adding just a touch of bitterness to many shellfish and meat recipes, such as pork, chicken, and oysters.
  • Marsala is an excellent type of white wine for cooking, thanks to its dry and light texture, but is a great way of learning how to cook with white wine in general.
  • Champagne, arguably the most iconic of white wines, has a bubbly texture that goes excellently with a whole range of cooking recipes, both for preparation, as well as for sipping.

Make sure that you take the time to figure out which type of white wine might be best for your recipe and skill level.

Dry/Light White Wine Vs Deep White Wine

We have mentioned several times how dry wines are often an excellent way of adding flavor to your recipe. But what does that mean?

Dry wine, whilst often having a distinct flavor, also tends to only keep its flavor for as long as it sits on the taste buds. Meaning that once swallowed, the flavor goes with it and doesn’t stay around.

Pricing

Whilst you may think that a higher price tag means that the wine will be better for cooking, it is not that simple.

Keep in mind that when cooking, you will be burning a lot of the wine off to be left with the flavor in your recipe. This means that, if you use an expensive wine, you may end up wasting a lot of it. Try to find a balance between quality and price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Already Corked Wine?

Not only can you use wine that has already been opened, but we highly recommend it! Rather than simply letting it go to waste, using older wine is a great way of saving money, as well as avoiding pouring it down the drain!

What If I Don’t Have White Wine for A Recipe?

If this is the case, don’t worry. As we have already mentioned, many wines often act as substitutes for other acidic ingredients, such as lime, lemon, or vinegar. Simply use these ingredients instead if you have them.

Are Deep/Heavier Wines Good For Cooking?

Whilst not ideal for savory meals, stronger wines that are sweeter are great for desserts and other sweet recipes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, when it comes to picking a white wine for your meal, you’re spoiled for choice. The only thing you have to decide now is which one to use for yourself!

Rachel Edwards