Julia Child, the famously funny cook, once said, “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food . . .”
Whether you are an at-home cook, or a more serious chef, this is a saying that rings true for many – if not all – food enthusiasts.
Chef Mynhardt Joubert, who is as much a food enthusiast as he is a wine lover, said wine symbolises familiarity and a cosy family.
“The kitchen has always been the heart of my home – the ‘spiritual centre’.
“It is where every kind of conversation happens near pots simmering on the stove.”
He gave the following tips:
Which food needs wine?
It strongly depends on what you are cooking, but only one thing is certain: I love cooking with good wine and I cook with the same wine I drink – you can definitely taste the difference.
What are your wine no-nos?
I never cook with wine that’s been standing open for longer than two days. The oxidation has serious effects on the flavour.
Do you decide to use wine during planning or when cooking?
It depends. Sometimes I’m cooking for a menu that needs specific wines which suits the dishes.
It is wise to taste test as many wines as possible with your food or change some main ingredients based on your first taste reaction.
How do you select a red or white wine to use?
That also depends on the recipe or what taste you want to create. My habit is to stick to red in winter and white in summer.
Do you cook with sweet wine and how?
My recipe for French onion soup calls for a good deal of sweet wine.
Macerating or marinating summer fruit in chilled noble late or a KWV classic collection Moscato can turn up the notches of what was a boring fruit salad.
Can people get drunk from eating food cooked in wine?
Unlikely. Scientifically speaking, alcohol starts evaporating around 78ºC degrees so most of it is boiled away before you eat.
What are the wines that you should never cook with?
NEVER cook with wines that you would never drink yourself. It makes the decision of what wine to use much easier.