Cooking With Red Wine - Keeping You Warm This Winter

Red wine - the perfect accompaniment for a wide range of pairings including red meat and gamey, rich yet decadent dishes. With famous red wines spanning from many regions and countries such as France, Italy, Spain, The USA, Argentina, Australia, Germany & South Africa - there is more than likely a wine that is perfectly suited to compliment your favourite meals.

Red wine is fantastic for more than just drinking - a range of red wines are ideally suited to use for many different recipes including rich stews and sauces that can be used in a variety of dishes. As there are many different red wines that you can use for cooking - we have chosen 2 wines ranging from a red wine under £10 that is perfect for cooking as well as a selection of one bottle under £50. Whatever your budget - there’s bound to be a red wine that suits your desired recipe. We have also included our selected recipe for Beef Bourguignon that is hearty and will be sure to keep you warm this winter. 

Choosing the Perfect Red Wine to Infuse into Your Dish

Before selecting the wine that you are going to use - you will need to consider the flavour profiles that are available. The secret in finding the perfect red wine to use whilst cooking a recipe is to study the flavour profile and then compare this to the taste of the dish. Due to the higher quantity of tannoids that are present in red wine - it’s also important to bear in mind that the reduction of the wine will produce a sharper taste. When starting to learn how to cook with red wine - simple additions that are used to enhance the flavour are highly recommended such as a sauce to accompany pasta or a splash of red wine with your bolognese.

You’ll need to consider the type of red wine that you are going to use with your favourite dishes & experimentation is key here! Consider a lighter addition such as a Pinot Noir for tomato dishes compared to a heavier Cabernet Sauvignon to beef based dishes and stews. We’ve selected 2 wines which may help you when you are starting out and help you build a basis for your red wine related recipes.

Tesco Finest St-Chinian / French - £9 (Under £10)


A highly luxurious choice with an affordable price-tag, this full-bodied wine has a range of flavours encompassing the fragrant bush plants of Southern France. The smokey notes included in this wine makes it the perfect accompaniment to red meats and dishes including rosemary. Consider this in combination or for a reduction when making dishes such as steak with rosemary or other rich recipes with red meat.

Domaine Bousquet Pinot Noir 2013  / Argentinian - £13.95 (Under £50)


As discussed - Pinot Noir is perfectly suited for tomato dishes or other dishes that have a lighter matching or balance with the acidic flavours. Domaine Bousquet Pinot Noir 2013 is a smooth and velvety wine which is a great value for money, especially in the under £50 bracket. Consider the fruity tones of this wine for a lighter red wine that can be enjoyed with a wide range of meats and sauces. Consider adding this as a reduction to many of your favourite pasta sauce recipes.


Beef Bourguignon Recipe - A Wonderful Dish for Winter


A perfect, hearty meal to enjoy with all of the family. This recipe utlises all wine and no stock to ensure a rich - decadent beef dish is achieved.

All Ingredients

- 1.6kg of braising steak (from the butcher is best) which is cut into large chunks.

- 3 bay leaves.

- A small pinch of thyme.

- 2 bottles of red wine. Can be of cheaper variety but choose for flavour.

- 2 tablespoons of oil.

- A choice between 3 larger carrots or 6 normal carrots - chopped into chunks.

- 2 onions, roughly chop these.

- 3 tablespoons of plain flower.

- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée.

To Serve

- Small knob of butter.

- 300g bacon lardons.

- 500g of peeled pearl onions or peeled, small shallots.

- 400g mushrooms, cut in half.

- Finely chopped parsley to serve.

Making the Dish


- Pour the 1.6kg of braising steak once cut into large chunks into a large bowl. Add your 3 bay leaves, 2 bottles of selected red wine and add some pepper. Cover the bowl and leave in your fridge overnight.

- Heat your oven to 200C / 180C (if you have a fan oven) or at gas mark 6. 

- Put a colander over another large bowl and strain the meat, keeping the wine.

- Heat one tablespoon of your oil into a heated frying pan to brown the meat in batches. Once browned - transfer to a plate and repeat until all steak is browned. Pour some wine into the now empty frying pan and bubble the wine to release any caramelised elements that are stuck to the pan.

- Heat one tablespoon of your oil in a large casserole dish then fry 3 large or 6 small carrots once cut into large chunks and 2 roughly chopped onions until they start to colour. Stir in 3 tbsp plain flour for 1 min, then add 1 tbsp tomato purée.

- Add the beef and any juices. Also add the wine from the frying pan and the rest of the wine with herbs. Season then simmer, give a rigorous stir and then cover.

- Transfer to your oven then bake for 2 hours until the meat is highly tender. Cool (you may freeze this for 3 months for later use.)

- To serve the dish - Completely defrost overnight if you have chosen to freeze. Place on a low heat to warm through the dish.

- Whilst this is occurring, heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan. Add the 300g of bacon lardons and 500g of pearl onions (peeled) or small shallots (peeled.) Sizzle for 10 minutes or until brown and you observe the onions soften and colour.

- Add 400g of halved mushrooms and fry for another 5 minutes, then stir into the stew. Serve with chopped parsley.