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best white wine to use in chicken picatta

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey there not a chef here , but I love to cook :) Had a question about white wine ? I usally use Chardonay in chicken dishes like Chicken picatta. Is that the best choice and once you open a bottle how long can you keep it in the fridge . Have one of those things you pump air back into bottle but do not know how long it will keep. Also the same with bottled sherry. Also can you use cream sherry in recipes denoting sherry so you do not have to buy both kinds. Thanks ... am sure I will think of other question to pop to you guys:)

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post #2 of 12
Me? I cannot keep an open bottle of wine long in the fridge. I normally drink it with dinner! :)

You can use any good quality dry white wine for your chicken, and nothing is going to explode if you substitute cream sherry for dry sherry. It'll just taste slightly different, that's all. If you follow proper cooking principles you probably won't care what sherry you use.

Kuan
post #3 of 12
The main thing to remember is: use a wine that's drinkable. Doesn't have to be the best of the best, but it should be one you could drink. (That's why "cooking wines" AREN'T.) And I'm with Kuan -- whatever table wine I used it to make the dish, I like to drink it with the food.

Do you mean that sucks the air OUT of the bottle? In any case, I've never seen a need for one of those; if I have part of a bottle left over, I just transfer it to a smaller bottle or jar. I usually use it (cook with or drink) within a day or two, anyway. Yes, there is some degradation, but not so much as to make the wine unusable.

The only exception to that is . . . sherry. We keep a bottle of fino or manzanilla in the fridge all the time, mostly to have as an aperitif. It's usually finished within a week to ten days. Keeps just fine.

The main difference using cream sherry is, of course, that it will make the dish sweet. If that's all right with you, sure, use it. But if you don't want that added sugar, stick with a dry sherry. This is one case where I find that an inexpensive, domestic "sherry" works all right for cooking , even though I personally would not drink it.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all :) yeah I stopped using cooking wines many many years ago . If you can not drink the wine why bother to use it in food. Now with red wines I never have a problem in using because I use one I like open it and drink the rest with dinner. White wine though I am not fond of at all to drink.
The thing that sucks out air is a pump thingy with a rubber cork that you use to get air out. Not to sure how long it works but its fine for a day or so .
post #5 of 12
Sarina:

I discovered those vacuum stoppers a while ago, and now use them for all sorts of wines. As the others have told you, there's some fall-off in quality with a normal wine. It seems to me the most noticeable decline happens between the day a bottle is first uncorked and the next time it is used. Thereafter, the decline seems to be smaller, or at least I notice it less. The drops in quality seem to be based on the number of times the bottle is re-opened, not so much the number of days it is kept. I have opened a bottle, vacuum sealed it, and then gone on a business trip for a few days, and when I got back, the wine seemed to taste like it normally does on the next day.

For really good wines, I wouldn't use the vacuum stopper; like Suzanne said, pouring into a smaller bottle and stoppering it without an airspace is the best way to keep it. (Catalog outfits like "Wine Enthusiast" and "Wine and All That Jazz" sell a set of carafes with stoppers for that purpose if you don't have some already.)

Fortified wines, like sherry, marsala, and port don't seem to degrade nearly as much with a vacuum stopper as normal wines. I keep bottles of those around for cooking and vacuum stopper them after each use, and they remain usable for weeks - sometimes literally weeks; I do a lot of cooking for one, so don't use a lot of anything at one time, and full size bottles of cooking wines can linger on for a long time. For example, I think the sherry in the cupboard right now is a bottle I bought at the end of February. I sampled it last night since I was using it for a stir fry (they say never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink, right? :D ), and while I could tell a difference between a newly opened bottle and that one, that had been opened and re-stoppered a few times, the difference wasn't objectionable.
post #6 of 12
brreynolds - spot on. I love the vacuum sealers, they keep the wine in pretty good condition, but not perfect...but I find them still drinkable after sealing them one time, but twice...eh....
For good wines, we can't seem to leave enough in the bottle to save. Cooking wines? yuck.
I think that any good white wine would taste nice in your chicken dish - but maybe try something Italian?
post #7 of 12
Has anyone tried the "Private Preserve Wine Preserver"? You spray the stuff in and it lays "down a blanket of protective gas on the wine's surface" that keeps out the oxygen. It uses nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon. Then you just stick the dry end of the cork back in. A guy at our wine store said he felt it kept the wine better than the vacuum stoppers. We've used it twice, but since we finished those wines the next day, it's hard to tell the difference.
Emily

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Emily

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post #8 of 12
Well, I will continue to be a curmudgeon and say that the only benefits of all those "wine keeper" gizmos are the profits into the makers' pockets.

I look at it this way: if I'm opening a really, really good bottle of wine, it will only be for drinking and I will want to finish it then. If it's just one of my everyday "house wines" that I'm using to cook with, I know that it can stand a day or two in the fridge in a smaller container to remain drinkable, or longer to still be all right for cooking. If it's plonk, I wouldn't have it in the house in any case, so it doesn't matter how well it might keep.

So why should I spend money for a canister of gas or piece of rubber or metal that does nothing I can't do with what I've already got hanging around? That just doesn't make sense to my, um, frugal self. Oh, all right, cheap -- but not when it comes to the actual wine.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #9 of 12
I'm not a big white wine fan so I don't keep that much of it in the house. For cooking I use dry vermouth because it is cheap, it keeps a long time and the quality and acidity are always consistent.

Jock
post #10 of 12
I'll go along with Jock. I use dry vermouth whenevrr I am making a deglazing style sauce. It boils off quite well beacuse of the increased alcohol content and the herbs and other? botanicals add to the flavor. If I were making a longer cooked white wine dish - coq au vin blanc, for example, I'd prefer a non-fortified, good drunking chablis or, even better, a champagne or cliquot.
Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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post #11 of 12
Jock and Cape Codder make a very good point: dry vermouth works well, and it keeps well without refrigeration. Sometimes, a screwtop is just the thing~ :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #12 of 12
Julia Child and I use dry vermouth unless a specific white wine is REALLY needed. Julia had the idea, I had the good sense to follow her.

Use what you want and screw the cap back on.

Do avoid very cheap vermouths; they're quite nasty. The brand names (Noly Pratt, Martini Rosso etc) are so cheap that the extra few dollars they cost over chaep ones make good sense.
Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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