TWC Leaf
Search Categories

Wine Tour India - A unique Blend of Hospitality & Knowledge

Updates From Facebook

Guest Column
winenews_previous winenews_next
Sanjeev Kapoor
Sanjeev Kapoor
The author is a renowned Master Chef, Columnist and very popular Television Host.

Savour the Wine Flavour

11 - feb - 10

I always say when you cook do so with a smile. Food turns out to be tastier! But as gourmet chefs look for more and more intriguing ingredients to improvise their cooking, they do reach out for those little known herbs and those little known ethnic spices. That way, Indian cooking is always an enriching experience as it is a masterful blend of regional spices and ingredients.  

Wine as an ingredient 

When I travel out of the country, I carry the word that Indian cuisine is number one in the world. But there are many unexplored territories in our cuisine yet. There is so much to explore and excavate. My travels also take me to the lands of the French and the Italians and it is there that we see one unique ingredient on the kitchen shelf: wine. Well, not so much to fortify the cook, but a little bit of it to fortify the food! I remember a long time ago we used beer to mix batter for pakore in the hotel industry.

Coming back to wine. Wine has a rich, complex flavour and it adds new dimensions to sauces and casseroles and risottos. Other regions that use wine, though of a different category, are Japan and China where rice wine or sake is as essential as soy sauce, or as essential as salt is to food. Crystal clear colourless sake in used in Japanese cooking to remove strong flavours and enhance delicate ones. Mirin, a sweet amber coloured rice wine is used as a seasoning for sushi and with dark soy sauce as an ingredient in marinades and for basting grilled foods such as teriyaki when it forms a sticky golden glaze.  

Choice of white and red wine 

So, what does a new cook look out for? If you are contemplating white wine know that it is dry and best used in fish, seafood and chicken stews and sauces. It is also a favoured ingredient for deglazing pans when one is making sauces for grilled, broiled and fried meats. One step ahead is desserts and white wine can fortify a sorbet beautifully. 

Now let us look at red wine. As it is more able bodied in flavour than white wine it lends its nuances favourably to meats, poultry stronger than chicken as also fish preparations that can take strong flavours. Enter a French home and it would be a normal thing to see even vegetables getting a tablespoon of wine or kidney beans or there might be a special dessert of poached pears and macerated strawberries. Yes, the French really wine and dine! 

Cooking with wine? Some tips for you 

  • Wines need to be reduced in quantity before they can be added to food. Boil rapidly uncovered with a few minutes. This reduces them and also concentrates the flavour. This is also known to reduce their acidity and drive off the alcohol. Here, in case there is any objection, let me clarify that the whole objective of using wine in cooking is not to swamp the dish with alcohol but to add flavour.

  • The judicious cook also knows that the best quality ingredients give better food on the table. Use the best wine you can afford in cooking as cheat, rough wines, so called ‘cooking wines’, may well ruin a dish and mar the flavour of more costly ingredients. If a wine is not good to drink, it is certainly not good enough to cook with. But the fact is that the hotel kitchens still use cooking wines as good wines are expensive and not really in league with kitchen budgets. But at home do use any good quality wine left over from the party that can be used for cooking within a week’s time of opening the bottle.

  • Of course wine, especially when used as the basis of a marinade, can tenderize all types of cuts of meat.

  • Use a wooden spoon when cooking with wine - the odd taste of metal is all too easily transferred.

  • As wine loses its flavour soon after opening, if you use only a small quantity from a bottle it is advisable to transfer the remaining wine into a smaller bottle and re-cork it. Ideally the wine should be used within a week of opening the bottle.

Don the apron! 

Now what would you cook if you did wear a smile and had wine on the kitchen shelf? Here is a recipe to get you started.  



Arborio rice      1 cup

Fresh button mushrooms, chopped   8-10

Yellow zucchini, small cubes    1 small

Broccoli, separated into small florets, chopped ¼ medium

Asparagus tips, chopped     8-10

Olive oil      4 teaspoons

Onion, chopped     1 medium

Vegetable stock     3¼ cups

White wine      3-4 tablespoons

Salt       to taste

Black peppercorns, crushed    6-8

Parmesan cheese, grated     4 tablespoons



  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and sauté onion till soft. Add Arborio rice and continue to sauté for two more minutes.
  2. Add half of the vegetable stock and cover and cook for two to three minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and zucchini and mix well. Add the remaining vegetable stock, white wine, salt and crushed peppercorns; mix well and continue to cover and cook till almost done.
  4. Add broccoli, asparagus, two tablespoons Parmesan cheese and cook for two to three minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Reach Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor at For more exciting recipes, information, kitchen secrets log onto


Champions League

Zlatan: "I think I'm like wine. The older I get, the better I get." #UCL

Sat Oct 03 21:15:01 2015

October 1st: "I'm actually really looking forward to a month off booze!" October 3rd: "Wine doesn't count" #stoptober

Sat Oct 03 16:47:00 2015
Lilly Singh

Hey @NICKIMINAJ I'm flying to Trinidad for my show this month. If you want to buss a wine with me on stage, I mean... I wouldn't say no =) x

Sun Oct 04 02:30:12 2015
Shelly Bodenstein.

Glass of wine to help me sleep at night, cup of tea in the morning to help me wake up. ☺️

Mon Oct 05 03:59:13 2015

RT @beadsoul: LIVE on #Periscope: Cloudy with a chance of wine 🍷🍷🍷 #winescope crafty sesh #scopetober πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ”¨

Mon Oct 05 03:59:10 2015
BuzzFeed Style

WARNING: This image is upsetting and disturbing @SejalDhruva

Mon Oct 05 03:59:04 2015
coso dipinto; vicks

RT @stevehowey: shameless cast dinner. @primeprovisions @shanolahampton #wine #steak #chicago

Mon Oct 05 03:59:02 2015
Wine Warehouse SDale

I posted 6 photos on Facebook in the album "Friends Of Wine Warehouse"

Mon Oct 05 03:59:01 2015
Quigley Fine Wines

Traveled to #Italy & want to reminisce over a artisan wine? Let our #WineConsultants help you find that perfect #varietal 619.795.7043

Mon Oct 05 03:59:00 2015
Laura Scarborough

@ToriDumitru no promises but sharing a glass of wine with you right now and good thoughts and many prayers. hugs!

Mon Oct 05 03:58:59 2015

Live Updates from Twitter


User Comments
It's from The Official Barbara Hambly Page an author phulisbed a book called Homeland on August 25, 2009.a0 The third comment in froma0Kristin who must be psychic since her post was used to comment on [url=]hcrvzppmunv[/url] [link=]uulnwnrzh[/link]
Saw the cheesemaking class litnisg on Craigslist for 7/29/2012 .. do you still have a vacancy? ThankYou !! June ps, I can't commit yet, but if you have a vacancy I'll see if I can get mom-care .
Designed & Developed by