"Never cook with (a) wine you wouldn’t drink” is a popular adage about cooking with wine. Some people believe that cheap wine can be used in cooking, but after the alcohol evaporates, the food has the inferior flavor of a poor wine. “Never cook with wine that isn’t good enough to drink” has been cited in print since at least 1977.
Another saying about cooking with wine is “I love cooking with wine—sometimes I even put it in the food.”
20 January 1977, Valley News (Van Nuys, CA), “Let’s learn about wines: Don;t dump—turn your ‘undrinkables’ into winter warmers” by Ruth Ellen Church, sec. 5, pt. 2, pg. 10:
Here’s one exception to the rule “Never cook with wine that isn’t good enough to drink.” Take a tip from the ancients who knew that sugar (honey) and spices and heat could cover the taste of a bad wine.
30 November 1980, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, pg. 18E, col. 5 ad:
If there is a secret to cooking with wine, it is, never cook with wine that you wouldn’t serve to guests with the meal.
(Paul Masson wine—ed.)
12 July 1981, Mobile (AL) Press Register, “Cooking is Fun!” by Tommye Miller, pg. 9D, col. 1:
“When cooking with wine, as with the Tuscan Duck, don’t be intimidated,” adds Anna Teresa. “Think of it as another seasoning and select the wine you plan to drink with the meat as the ingredient. Never cook with wine you would not drink; during cooking, the alcohol evaporates leaving only the flavor and aroma. A poor quality wine could spoil a fine dish.”
30 July 1981, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Q&A” by Dotty Griffith, food editor, pg. 14E, col. 1:
Unless you have an aversion to drinking wine, the purchase of so-called cooking wines is unnecessary. Some experts insist you should never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink and even the makers don’t advise pouring yourself a glass of cooking wine.
19 December 1984, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press, “Wine is the magical ingredient that can make food taste better” by The Canadian Press, pg. 20, col. 3:
John Tait, wine consultant with the Ontario Liquor Control Board, says there are only two rules or cooking with wine: Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink, and cook with the wine you will drink with the meal.
“People often have the mistaken idea that you get the cheapest wine. That’s wrong because after the alcohol evaporates in the cooking, you’re left with the flavor of a poor wine.”
30 October 1997, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), “Cooking with Wine Successfully” by Cathy Thomas (The Orange County Register), Food, pg. 12:
The rule is, never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive; it just has to taste good.
The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook
By Joseph Hall and Elaine Sullivan
New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company
Remember, never cook with wine you would not drink.
A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery
By Nadia Gordon
San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books
Never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink, one of Catelina’s many admonitions and a convenient one for justifying the cafe-con-vino practice that plenty of people in Napa Valley would consider a daily blasphemy against both the bean and the grape.
The Rules: A Man’s Guide to Life
Edited by The Editors of Esquire Magazine
New York, NY: Hearst Books
Rule No. 40 Never cook with wine bought at a grocery store and labeled “cooking wine.”
Rule No. 41 Never cook with wine that you wouldn’t want to drink.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine and Food Pairing
By Jaclyn Stuart and Jeanette Hurt
New York, NY: Alpha Books
That’s why you should never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink by itself. Fine restaurants actually use good-quality wine in the kitchen.
A Kitchen Desk Reference
By Barbara Ann Kipfer
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
HINTS Never cook with a wine you would not drink, and be sure the wine’s flavor complements the food with which it is paired.
New York City • Food/Drink • (2) Comments • Tuesday, September 04, 2012 • Permalink
Well, it does have some point in it. wines are paired to specific cuisines. It should not be used if it would not blend well with the flavor.
You should not cook wine that you wont drink. A useful post