What day is it?! WEDNESDAY!!! And what do we do on Wednesday?? WHINE!!! Oops.. I mean WINE!!! 😜 Although we might whine if we didn’t have any wine. That could… cause a… ruckus…. anyway! Lets do this!! As usual, I am not being compensated for this post. All opinions are truly mine.
So, some of you may wonder, “is she a wine expert?” The answer, no. Heck no! I just really love wine. I am however learning things about wine pairing and what not, and I figured I might as well take you all on the great wine adventure as I learn. Some of you may even wonder “Is she a wine snob?!” Oh dear, no. No no no. Hardly. Most of the wine I consume, is cheap. I don’t usually pay more than 17.00 for a bottle of wine, and that for me, is expensive. I’ll drink it out of a dixie cup too, I don’t care. I also know that just because I’m eating white meat like chicken, doesn’t mean I have to drink a white wine to pair it “properly”. I’m here to tell you what I think pairs well together. For me, there really are no rules when it comes to wine. To prove that, I’m going to go where no wine snob would ever dare to venture. The forbidden boxed wine!!! Dun dun duuuuuuunnnnnnn……..
And there’s one of them. In all it’s boxy glory. Now, I’ve chosen Franzia brand for this post, only because it’s the cheaper of the box wines. You’re probably thinking “hahaha! Like there’s an expensive box wine.” Actually there is, and maybe I’ll get into that in another post, but for right now, we’re going with ultra cheap. It fits my purpose for this particular Wine Wednesday post. For this post, it’s not about drinking it, it’s about cooking with it. Yes, you can drink the Chardonnay if you want to, if you like it. I personally don’t care to drink these two wines I’m featuring today, but I do keep them on hand for cooking. So lets talk about that. The first and foremost reason I choose cheap box wine to cook with, is because all of the flavor for cooking is there, without the expensive cost. Also, I know I’m not going to drink it because this kind is not my thing, and sometimes I never know if I’m going to need a little wine to add to whatever I’m making. Box wine is perfect for that. It has a long shelf life after opening, unlike bottles. If you open a bottle of wine, you really should use it within a day or two, and if you don’t like it to drink it, well, that’s just wine down the drain and that makes me sad. So, box wines for the win on shelf life after opening. Makes keeping it around for “just in case” a lot easier.
So my favorite thing to use the Chardonnay for is when I make cheese fondue for my husband and I, when we get a chance to do a little at home date night. We both are cheese lovers, and our favorite restaurant in the world is The Melting Pot. After we moved to Indiana, we found that we didn’t live close to one anymore. The closest Melting Pot is about 2 hours away. So armed with one of their cookbooks, and a wonderful electric fondue pot complete with the little fondue forks, I bring The Melting Pot to our dining room. The last time I was at the restaurant, I asked the manager what kind of wine they use in their fondues. He admitted they use… wait for it… box wine! No joke.
That’s not all you can use the Chardonnay for. A lot of cream sauces are made with a dry white wine such as Chardonnay, like a sauce you’d find in a Shrimp Scampi, it’s also great for deglazing the browned bits from the bottom of a pan to make a pan sauce for fish, chicken, pork and mushrooms. Basically speaking, it’s a great sauce wine. Maybe that’s where “lay off the sauce” comes from? 😝
Now for the red. This is the red I choose to keep on hand. The Cabernet Sauvignon works well in any recipe that calls for red wine. It has a strong flavor, so when it cooks down, it leaves behind a beautiful rich flavor. I love using this in my spaghetti sauce. I’ve also used it in a few marinades for beef.
Remember, I like to bring the Melting Pot to my dining room. They have a beautiful cooking style or broth, that you cook your meats in that we adore called Coq Au Vin. I use this red wine in that when I make it at home.
Anywhere you need a rich flavor, usually used with red meats, you’ll want this on hand. The number of things you can make using red wine is amazing! Anything from braised meats to chocolate cake. Yep, that’s right, you can make dessert with red wine. So you see why I keep these two on hand?
The next time someone poo poos about box wine, you can enlighten them, and let them know that box wine does have it’s place on the shelf with the others. I know some folks who enjoy drinking these two particular wines, but for me it’s only for cooking. That’s not to say I don’t drink box wine. I do, and perhaps I’ll get into that another Wednesday.