CategoriesSG Wines Blog

Cooking with white wine

adding white wine to a dish with text overlay, "Cooking with White Wine"

Have you thought about other ways to enjoy your handcrafted wine? Perhaps you sometimes enjoy it in a spritzer, or as part of a cocktail, or maybe even fortified (see this post for how to fortify your wine). But how about using it in your cooking?

Wine is an essential ingredient in many food recipes, often adding that extra zing that can turn a good dish, lip-smackingly great.

There are many reasons wine is used in cooking, but there are four key wine components that complement or contribute to certain food flavour profiles perfectly; acidity, tannins, alcohol, and of course, flavours.


Wines that are high in acidity are particularly good in meat sauces and marinades, as the acidity helps to tenderise meat.


Wines with high tannins are great in strong flavoured, hearty dishes as tannins act as a pallet cleanser. The wine also benefits from the proteins in food as they bond with tannins, lessening the wine’s astringency.


Alcohol has an interesting effect on food, as it doesn’t add flavour, but improves other flavours in the meal by helping to dissolve fats and releasing flavour molecules in foods, in a way that oils, water or broth cannot. It’s important, however, to use the right amount of wine and cook most of the alcohol off so your dish doesn’t taste too boozy.


Different wines’ varying flavours complement different types of food, but as a general rule, light flavoured wines pair well with delicate meals and full flavoured dishes appreciate a bold and flavourful wine. To provide some inspiration, here are two recipes that include white wines. Look out for red wine recipes in a future post.

Spaghetti with White Wine Sauce

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Recommended wine to use: SG Wines Pinot Grigio Style (Gold or Platinum)

  • 450 g dried spaghetti
  • 355 ml (just under half a bottle) of white wine
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 7 g fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60 g Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated, plus more to serve
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
lifting spaghetti out of a pan of boiling water
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water until al dente, 2-3 minutes less than called for. Just before draining, save one cup of pasta water and keep on the side for later.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or frying pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes then add the wine. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 4-7 minutes until the liquid has slightly reduced. Stir in the lemon juice and pepper flakes.
  3. When the pasta is al dente, transfer it and half of the cup of pasta water into the wine sauce. While constantly stirring, gradually add the Parmesan, then the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 2 minutes, until all the cheese has melted. Add more of the pasta water as needed until the sauce becomes smooth and glossy.
  4. Serve up the pasta and top with grated Parmesan.

White Fish with White Wine Sauce

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 12 mins

Recommended wine to use: SG Wines Chardonnay Style (Gold or Platinum)

  • 2 white fish fillets (boneless, skinless)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ shallot finely chopped
  • 160 ml white wine
  • 125 ml heavy cream
  • 15 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar (or more lemon juice)
  • Finely chopped parsley to garnish


white fish with white sauce and potatoes
  1. Season your chosen fillets of white fish with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the fish fillets to the pan. Allow to cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Check internal temperature is 55°C. Place fish to one side.
  2. Using the same pan, cook the shallot, white wine, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half (approx. 3 minutes).
  3. Add the cream and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to low and add the cold butter one cube at a time while stirring.
  5. Add the fish back into the pan and spoon the sauce over the fish for a couple of minutes.
  6. Serve with your choice of sides and garnish with parsley.

So, why not give it a go and stretch the enjoyment of your wine to cooking, with a glass in hand as you cook up a storm.

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