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How Do I Choose the Best Wine Marinade?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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In choosing the best wine marinade, you should keep in mind what type of food you are marinating and choose a wine and marinade that works well with it. If you are making beef or red meat, for example, then you should typically use a marinade that includes red wine, as this flavor is often best when paired with such meat. For chicken, on the other hand, white wine is often preferable for a marinade. You should also be sure to choose wine that you like for your wine marinade, and not use any wine in your marinade that you would not drink.

The best wine marinade for a particular dish often depends a great deal on what kind of dish you are making. In general, you should consider the type of wine that would work well with the dish you are preparing, and choose the same kind of wine for your marinade. This means if you are making a wine marinade for use with red meat, such as beef or lamb, then red wine is typically the best choice. The flavor of red wine in the marinade is likely to accompany the natural flavor of the meat quite well, and can often be used for a pan sauce.

On the other hand, if you are choosing a wine marinade to be used with fish or chicken, then a marinade with white wine may work better. White wine often enhances and works well with the more delicate tastes of chicken and fish, which is why white wine is frequently served with it. Using this guideline, you can then look for different recipes for the best wine marinade for your tastes and the dish you are making. You can, however, always go against this standard and choose a red wine for marinating chicken or white wine for a beef marinade, which can introduce unusual and unexpected flavors into a dish.

Regardless of what type of wine marinade you choose, you should always choose wine that you would actually drink. There are many types of “cooking wine” that are low quality and you would never drink these wines from a glass. The process of cooking the wine does not make its flavor any better, however, so you should cook with wine that you already like. You can typically enjoy the same wine used in your wine marinade with the dish itself when you serve it.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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