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Four wines ideal for cooking

If you love drinking wine, chances are you probably also enjoy great food. Try these four wines that are ideal for cooking if you're unsure what to use for various dishes.

Sure, there are some products labelled as 'cooking wines', but to craft really exceptional dishes, you may want to move beyond these run of the mill choices and select something with a more refined flavour.

You probably won't want to use a vino that you've been keeping in your cellar in a food recipe, as you are sure to want to drink it - but that doesn't mean you can't find a happy medium. Avoid compromising wine integrity when cooking with our guide to the best cooking wines.

Sauvignon Blanc

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Sav Blanc should be your go-to vino for cooking. Its dry, crisp flavours lend themselves well to many different dishes. Try to find a wine that has an alcohol content of 10 to 13 per cent - wines with higher amounts of alcohol will take longer to cook to maturity, and may not have the acidic quality you need when cooking.

Sherry

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Sherry has bright, nutty tasting notes that can complement a variety of dishes. Sherry is especially perfect for adding an extra flavour component to soups and stews. Amontillado and Oloroso wines are particularly great choices, according to Cooking Light magazine.

Petite Sirah

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If a dish calls for a dry red wine, Petite Sirah may be your best choice. Petite Sirah is especially good for pairing with lamb- and beef-based dishes.

Madeira

This lush vino offers nutty flavours and variety of tasting notes that can pair well with numerous dishes. Madeira is an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, and as such generates incredibly unique vinos.

Madeira can be especially perfect for use in Mediterranean dishes, beef wellington, gravies and mushroom-based fare.

What happens to the alcohol content of cooking wine?

Most people believe that as soon as it's cooked alcohol loses its alcohol content. While it does gradually cook off, the amount of time you keep the wine over heat will determine how much of the alcohol burns away. According to Cooking Light, 85 per cent of alcohol content usually remains after use in most recipes. It will take about 15 minutes of cooking time for 60 per cent of alcohol content to be cooked off.