Choosing a cooking wine can be surprisingly confusing. Do you go with a Bota box or something nicer? Is an aromatic wine best? What about alcohol content, does it matter? First things first. While you don't want to glug a $50 bottle into your risotto, you do want the wine to be decent enough that you can splash some into your glass to sip on while stirring said risotto. Choosing a dry wine with good acidity, aromatics, lower alcohol, and a price that lands somewhere between $10-$15 is your best bet. Here are my best white wines for cooking to take into the kitchen.
1. Pizzolato Pinot Grigio
Pizzolato organic pinot grigio is a great kitchen staple, and it's not half bad to drink if you have some left over. The crisp, light fruit notes are perfect for keeping your dish bright. Try using this in a garlic white sauce for pasta or chicken. At just over $12, you can't go wrong.
2. Alois Lageder Dolomitti Pinot Grigio
Alois Lageder Dolomotti pinot grigio is a dry and delicate wine that will elevate any dish. At about $16, it's tough to beat. Organically grown in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, it has a mouthwatering mineral palate with notes of citrus, orchard fruit, wet stone, and green apple skin. Try including this wine in a dish of braised lemon chicken and spring vegetables, and be sure to save yourself a glass to sip on the side.
3. Starborough Sauvignon Blanc
Organic Starborough sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand has bright characteristics of ripe kiwi, citrus peel, fresh-cut grass, and passion fruit. The powerful aromatics with high acidity will go well with a spring risotto full of peas, lemon zest, and Parmigiano reggiano. Oh, and it's great to drink while you cook, too. Bonus: it only costs $13.
4. Erath Pinot Blanc
Organic Erath pinot blanc is clean with delicate floral aromas and notes of tart apple, key lime, white blossom, citrus pith, and a pleasant minerality. Slightly more rounded in body, it does well in rich sauces made for gnocchi or pasta. It doesn't come at a rich price, though. You'll pay around $12.
5. Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio
Mezzacorona pinot grigio has beautiful aromas of spring blossom and stone fruit. On the palate, it has crisp acidity with savory notes along with juicy citrus and pear. It will bring the perfect zing to chicken marbella. Seriously good value for what it is. It'll run you about $10.
6. Sheffield Very Dry Sherry
Sheffield Very Dry Sherry is key for deglazing a pan after searing the heck out of a slab of meat. It is also clutch when making a quick pan sauce for that chicken breast or pork chop. This sherry is dry and light with nutty characteristics, and it should be a staple in any kitchen. At only $8 per bottle, it's a great one to always have on hand, so you never run out.
7. Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery
Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery is great to have on hand for cooking. While it is significantly higher in alcohol, the aromatics and bitters go wonderfully with shellfish and other light proteins. It's loaded with bitter citrus, herbaceous notes, almond, and stone flavors. Luckily, it'll only set you back about $20.
8. Cantine Florio Marsala Fine Dry
Florio dry marsala is an affordable wine at around $15 per bottle. Used in chicken marsala, this wine adds richness to dishes with cream sauces that need that extra punch. Cantine Florio's dry marsala has all the luscious notes of dried fruit and nuts without the extra sugar or cloying flavors. Splash this amber-colored Sicilian wine into a pan with a pork loin or use it to make a decadent tiramisu.
9. Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin
The natural racy acidity and aromatic nature of sauvignon blanc make it a great cooking wine. Villa Maria sauvignon blanc private bin, from New Zealand, has aromas of gooseberry, jalapeño peppers, and nettles. Classic herbaceous notes paired with vibrant crisp fruit on the palate make it the perfect wine for making steamed mussels with garlic toasts. Up your cooking game with a bottle that costs around $15.
Wine for the Food and for the Cook
Cooking with the right white wine can make a big difference in your final dish. Think of these dry wines as a key ingredient that will bring a whole world of flavor and pizzazz to whatever you're making.