Cooking with Wine: Easy or Overwhelming?

Woman cooking with wine in her kitchen

How Comfortable Are You Cooking with Wine?

When it comes to cooking with wine, are you eager to try new recipes or hesitant in the kitchen? Every has a difference experience level, so we wanted to hear from our readers. 

We asked our Bright Cellars’ community, “do you feel comfortable cooking with wine?” and here are the results.


  • 36% of respondents said yes, it makes me feel fancy (and it tastes better).
  • 35.2% of respondents said sometimes, if the recipe calls for it. 
  • 15.7% of respondents admitted no, I don’t know how but I would like to learn
  • 13.2% of respondents asked does drinking wine while cooking count?

We also asked our Bright Cellars Instagram community and got some fun responses: 

  • I always drink wine while I cook ????
  • I’d say I’m confident in the kitchen but I always want to learn more!

It sounds like a good amount of you are quite comfortable cooking with wine! For those of you who are just starting out or want to learn more, we highly suggest you subscribe to our Glass Half Full newsletter where we share recipes, techniques, and pairings!

Here are our favorite dishes to cook with wine, based on experience level! 

Cooking With Wine Beginner: Versatile Red Wine Reduction Sauce 

This versatile red wine reduction sauce can be used on anything, and it only takes a few steps! 


  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut up 
  • Coarse salt

Place 1 cup red wine in a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons butter, and swirl until butter is melted and sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Season with coarse salt. 

For this red wine reduction, we recommend our Obscura Cabernet Sauvignon. The dark fruit and warm, brown baking spices will bring complex flavors to your reduction and add richness to your dish. 


Cooking With Wine Intermediate: Mushroom Soup with Red Wine and Brie 

This flavorful red wine, brie and mushroom soup recipe is perfect for those who want to take their cooking to the next level. 


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 oz oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 4 oz baguette
  • 4 oz brie
  • salt and pepper

Melt the butter and garlic in a soup pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread each baguette slice with Brie. Place two slices in the bottom of each of four bowls. Spoon the soup over top to melt the cheese.

We recommend using our Voyage dans le vent Vin Rouge –  it’s from France (Bergerac AOC) and has layered notes of forest floor which will perfectly complement the mushroom umami. 

Cooking with Wine Advanced: Spring Coq Au Vin Blanc 

This coq au vin recipe is no joke! If you’re comfortable cooking with wine and would like to put your skills to the test, give it a try (and let us know how it turns out!)

Coq au vin recipe for spring
Image courtesy of Wine A Little Cook A Lot


  • 4 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2″ piece
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced (light green parts only, about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup Brandy
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

The night before, add chicken to a large bowl. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, thyme, lemon juice and white wine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with lid, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade (keep the liquid) and pat dry with a paper towel.

Remove crispy bacon pieces from the pan and set aside, keeping the grease in the pan.

Turn the pan up to medium-high heat and add chicken four pieces at a time. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until golden and browned. Set aside browned chicken. 

Turn the pan down to medium-low. Add onions, leeks, carrots and garlic. Cook until softened and slightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in Dijon mustard, then add flour. Stir and cook for 1 minute. 


What’s your favorite recipe with wine? Let us know in the comments!

Missed out on this survey and want to get in on the next? Subscribe to our daily newsletter, Glass Half Full. It’s chock-full of wine education, wine and food pairing tips, cocktail recipes, and current events in the wine community. 

Already subscribed? Come back every Monday for another fun wine-inspired survey question!



Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.