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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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wine (in cookery), a topic touched upon under alcohol, has been clearly and specifically treated by Anne Willan (1989), who introduces it thus:

Wine can mellow to a remarkable richness when it is simmered in sauces, braises or stews. To avoid a raw taste, it must always be thoroughly reduced during cooking, red wine by half and white wine even more. First, the alcohol evaporates, then the wine concentrates so the finished dish is rich and mellow. This evaporation may be an integral part of the cooking process, as in the long cooking of a casserole or the simmering of a brown sauce. At other times the wine is reduced on its own, as when red wine is used to deglaze pan juices for a steak.