White Wine

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By James Peterson

Published 1991

When selecting a white wine for the kitchen, remember that the alcohol will evaporate when exposed to heat, leaving the nonvolatile acids contained in the wine. If the wine is reduced, the tartaric, malic, and other nonvolatile acids in the wine will be concentrated. White wine is best cooked or reduced with proteins—meat or fish—to attenuate its acidity. Sometimes, concentrated acidity is useful. An acidic wine should always be used in the preliminary reduction for a beurre blanc; Muscadet is traditional. Because beurre blanc contains such a high proportion of butter, the nervous tang of a wine’s natural acids is necessary to balance the richness of the sauce. French wines typically contain more acid than most New World wines.