Cooking with wine is fantastic. It gives depth to your dishes and provides an interesting, mature aroma. Any downside? You often have to open a bottle of wine, which you may not always be able to drink quickly. And that’s a shame, because letting beautiful products go bad is something we want to avoid as much as possible. Fortunately, we have a good solution!
The solution comes from cooking queen Nigella Lawson . A while ago she shared her kitchen must-haves in an Instagram live with the equally great Carla Lalli Music (if you don’t know her yet: change that quickly!). We listen carefully to the cooking secrets of the two heroines and took note of their tips.
Nigella’s tip: replace wine with vermouth
Nigella: “I’m not really a wine drinker myself, but I do want to be able to use it in recipes. To avoid having to open a bottle of wine every time that I’m not going to drink afterwards, I use red or white vermouth instead.”
Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored by plant ingredients with a strong aroma such as plants and herbs. Examples include wormwood (also used in absinth production), thyme, coriander, juniper berries, cloves, chamomile, and vanilla.
By fortifying the wine with alcohol or brandy, the alcohol percentage also rises to between 15 and 18 percent. This allows you to keep vermouth – unlike wine – much longer, even after you have opened the bottles.
This is how you apply it
Nigella also indicates that she simply replaces wine 1 on 1 with vermouth in recipes. White vermouth instead of white wine, red vermouth instead of red wine: it’s that simple.
Nigella also emphasizes that it is not only a practical tip, but that she also prefers the flavors of vermouth over those of wine. Vermouth is softer and yet more spicy in taste than sour or bitter wines. There is of course something to be said for making dishes even tastier than a splash of wine.
In short: you know what to do. A bottle of white and a bottle of red vermouth, on your shopping list. And now!
Tasty recipes with wine (or vermouth…)
- spaghetti vongole with brown butter and breadcrumbs
- Nectarines in red wine with tarragon and black pepper
- Bratwursts with fennel seed and red grapes