I laughed out loud this morning when I walked into the kitchen. There was an empty Beringer White Zinfandel bottle on the counter next to the stove. Horrors!
But actually, it was there for a reason. While we don’t imbibe the super-sweet pink stuff that swept the U.S. in the 80s and became THE wine for non-wine drinkers, the Grill-Meister uses it for his smoked salmon marinade. (That’s right, we’re getting the gift of Tom’s Smoked Salmon here at Glover Gardens today for our “Christmas 2017, Observed” – yay!)
The marinade doesn’t use a whole bottle of “pink”, as the Grill-Meister calls it, and we never drink the rest (perish the thought!), so I asked him to pour the rest of it into the soup pot where I was making stock overnight.
While much too sweet for us to drink, the “pink” is just fine for stock, even though Julia Child famously declared that one should never cook with a wine one wouldn’t drink. That rule has been debunked or was just completely misunderstood – the great Julia probably meant that we shouldn’t use so-called “cooking wine,” which has added salt and zero-added value. Check out what Food & Wine magazine had to say about using mediocre wine for cooking here.
And in case I offended anyone with my obvious distaste for white zinfandel, you’re not alone! Follow this early conversation between the Grill-Meister and me, when we were just starting to date years ago:
Grill-Meister: “What kind of wine do you like?”
Me: “Anything but pink! What do you like?”
All is well now, though, as the Grill-Meister’s palate has expanded nicely, and his wine of choice these days is always what’s right for the meal. He calls the white zinfandel “cloyingly sweet” but for marinating salmon before smoking it, he says, “Think pink!” See his recipe here.
All is well.
Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens