Updated on: 24 Sep 2021

9 Best White Wines For Cooking

Best White Wines For Cooking

Are you looking for a good dry white wine for cooking to use in your food recipes? Do you want to take your cooking to the next level and create flavorsome dinners? There are plenty of white wines you can use for cooking that will not break your savings account.

Cooking with white wine isn't just something chefs do to look good, adding quality white wine to your cooking will bring fruity and acidity t astes to your recipes. If you've ever been to a restaurant and tried white wine clam sauce or savoury chicken masala then you will know exactly what I'm talking about.

Before we get too far into the detail. I'll just give you my list of favorites below. You can read more about them further down.​

Best Dry White Wines for Cooking

Essential Information You Need To Know

To put it shortly, the best white wines for cooking are those that are dry and crisp. While you may enjoy those rich and oaky white wines to drink, they can become bitter during cooking and will not be so good. You may enjoy sweet white wines when drinking however these can actually caramelize and add unwanted sweetness to your meals. The motto here is, just because you enjoy drinking some white wines, does not mean they will be good for cooking.

Below in the video below is some more detail in relation to cooking with white wine or other types of liquors.

​5 Types Of White Wine To Use For Cooking

Before I go into detail about which white wines you can buy for cooking, let me first explain which five types of wine are best for cooking so you have a thorough understanding when choosing which white wine to buy.

1. Dry Crisp White Wines For Cooking

I have already explained that dry crisp white wines are the best choice if you're using it to cook but which dry crisp white wines are best? The first choice of white wine I would buy for cooking are Pinot Grigio, unoaked Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Another thing to note when choosing which dry white wine to buy is the alcohol percentage because you don't want anything too strong. Go for dry crisp white wines that have an alcohol percentage of 10 to 13%. The higher the alcohol percentage, the longer it will take to reduce and the less acidity it will add to the meal which is one of the main reasons why people cook with white wine.

Out of the three types of dry crisp white wines, Pinot Grigio is the most sought after for cooking as it is highly versatile. However the other two certainly have their advantages with the Sauvignon Blanc being first choice if cooking seafood dishes and unoaked Chardonnay being first choice if you're looking to add richness to your recipes.

This may sound odd but I would avoid buying white wines that are specifically labelled “cooking wines” because they actually contain additives and high salt levels.

2. Sherry For Cooking

There are some recipes that simply call for a splash (or more than a splash) of sherry to give it a bit of a kick. You can always keep a bottle of sherry in the kitchen readily available for when you want to add something extra to your soups or casseroles as it keeps for a while after opening. Sherry is best used when you want to deglaze, add a bit of depth to cream sauces and to accompany seafood dishes such as oysters.

3. Marsala White Wine For Cooking

It is pretty obvious what meals you can use marsala white wine in such as chicken marsala which is a classic and favorite among almost everyone and anyone. However not many people realize that they can use marsala white wine in other dishes too for added flavor… even desserts.

4. Sparkling White Wine For Cooking

Not many people would think to use sparkling white wine to cook however you most certainly can. It is ideal for champagne vinaigrette if you truly wish to show off at your next dinner party. It is also great to make sorbets too. If you have any leftover sparkling white wine after a party then use it to cook rather than throw it out. The bubbles in the sparkling white wine will dissipate during the cooking process anyway so leftover sparkling wine is perfect.

5. Madeira White Wine For Cooking

Madeira wine is made from the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira (hence the name of the wine). It is a fortified wine and comes in a number of different types. It is the type “Sercial” that is most favourable when choosing a Madeira wine to cook with though and is a perfect addition to a beef Wellington dish. It can also be used instead of sherry in almost any dish if you so happen to run out of sherry.

9 Best White Wines For Cooking

Now that you know which types of white wines can be used for cooking, it is time to find out which are the best white wines for cooking available on the market.

There are plenty of wines to choose from, but to make your choice easier, I made this list of nine white wines I frequently use for cooking.

1. Attems Cupra Ramato Pinot Grigio

Attems Cupra Ramato Pinot Grigio2014

As I already mentioned, Pinot Grigio is one of the most versatile white wines when it comes to cooking, so it is pretty obvious that I had a favorite one. I really enjoy cooking with theAttemsCupraRamato Pinot Grigio2014, this wine being perfect for fish and seafood, red meat or risotto dishes.

This wine, produced in Italy, is made according to a traditional recipe dating from the Republic of Venice. According to this practice, the skin of the grapes remains in contact with the must for 24 hours, giving the wine a distinctive coppery hue and a rich fruity flavor.

One of my favorite recipes is chicken with honey citrus glaze and pinot grigio. However, you could cook some spaghetti with seafood and pinot grigio too.

2. Pascal Jolivet Attitude Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Pascal Jolivet Attitude Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Another versatile white wine for cooking is the Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a delicate and fresh bouquet, its taste reminding of fresh grass with apple and citrus aromas. It is excellent for fish or seafood dishes, but also for cooking healthy vegetable side dishes.

But don’t be fooled by the subtle flavor of this wine. Sauvignon Blanc is also perfect for grilled meat. I actually love using Sauvignon Blanc when cooking grilled lamb, as it gives the meat a fresh, tasty, touch. This wine also represents an excellent choice for truffles or mushroom sauce, duck dishes or fruit salads. Don’t use it for spicy dishes though.

I always use this Pascal Jolivet Attitude Sauvignon Blanc 2013 to cook. It has a gentle texture and a well-integrated acidity that pairs well with almost all the Mediterranean recipes.

3. Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano White 2014

Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano White 2014

A wine that can add richness to almost all dishes is the Chardonnay. This wine typically has a delicious aroma of mature fruit, such as apples, pineapples, and bananas. Chardonnay wines slightly change flavor depending on where they are produced, as the taste of the grapes is different in different parts of the world.

When it comes to choosing a Chardonnay for cooking, I like very much this Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano White 2014 from Spain. This wine has a rich fruity bouquet and an alcohol concentration of 13.5%, being perfect for cooking.

Chardonnay can add a special flavor to many different dishes, including fatty fish or chicken. I like to use this wine especially for my special recipes, such as risotto with strawberries and thyme.

4. Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado Sherry

Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado Sherry

If you’re searching for the perfect wine to cook both main dishes and desserts, then a sherry wine should be your choice. I recommend you to try this Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado Sherry, produced in Spain according to the traditional aging methods.

I love cooking with this particular sherry mostly because it is originated from Manzanilla wine and has a more delicate body compared to the sherry originated from Fino wine. Its subtle flavors of almonds, aromatic herbs, and mocha, together with the alcoholic concentration of 17.5%, makes this sherry my number one choice when it comes to preparing fine dishes, such as veal with sherry sauce and grilled vegetables.

This sherry also gives a special flavor to thehomemade bread. When it comes to desserts, the sherry gives that extra touch to chocolate cakes or mousses and it can also be successfully used for the famous tiramisu.

5. Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2015

Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2015

Probably the less famous among the white wines is the Chenin Blanc. Despite being almost unknown, this wine is one of the oldest white wines in the world and has its origins in France.

Used in the past for the production of low-quality wines, Chenin slowly starts to regain its deserved position in the category of fine wines. It has a higher acidity compared to the most famous white wines and aftertastes of various fruits.

There are many wineries producing Chenin Blanc, but in my opinion, thisDry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2015 is the best choice for cooking. I usually use this wine when cooking Asian dishes. This wine from Creek Vineyard California has expressive aromas of pineapple, white pear and banana, with a fresh aftertaste of tangerine.

Chenin Blanc is an excellent choice for fish dishes and also for some desserts, such as Montblanc cake.

6. Ravines Dry Riesling 2014

Ravines Dry Riesling 2014

Mainly used for the finest dishes, Riesling is more versatile than one might think. Riesling has its origins in Germany, being a wine with a strong character and a delicious flavor of citrus and fruits.

Nowadays, Riesling is produced worldwide and the final character of the wine is influenced by the geographic area where it is made.

If I like to drink German or Italian Riesling, when it comes to cooking I recommend this Ravines Dry Riesling 2014 produced in New York. This wine is characterized by a delicate bouquet with intricate aromas of citrus, pear, apple, and flowers, being an excellent choice for the preparation of meat dishes, such as pork with Riesling sauce, veal scallop, or chicken with sour cream and Riesling.

If you wish to cook something more special, you could try a Riesling pudding with pumpkin mousse, grilled octopus with shrimp carpaccio and melon or stuffed seabass with mushrooms and shrimps served with beet hummus and stuffed pumpkin flowers.

7. Broadbent Rainwater Madeira

Broadbent Rainwater Madeira

One of the finest wines in the world, Madeira wine is excellent for cooking purposes too. Produced in the Madeira region in Portugal, this wine is aged in oak barrels for at least three years before bottling.

Madeira wine is produced in four noble varieties: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malmsey. The first two varieties are dry and medium-dry, and these are the varieties recommended for cooking.Although Madeira wine is produced in a cheap version for cooking purposes only, I wouldn’t recommend purchasing this variety since it is not as noble as the varieties destined to drinking.

.Instead, if you want to fully exploit the toffee-scented bouquet of a true Madeira, you could choose this Broadbent Rainwater Madeira. Rainwater Madeira is one of the lightest varieties of this wine and can be used for the preparation of both main dishes and desserts. You could use it, for example, for wild boar stew or braised lamb shank with Madeira sauce. When it comes to desserts, the most famous is, without any doubt, the Madeira cake.

8. Lanson White Label Sec

Lanson White Label Sec

Even if not many know it, sparkling white wines can be successfully used for cooking fine dishes. I usually use sparkling wines when I cook special dinners for family and friends, but you should know that sparkling wines are more versatile than you might think when it comes to cooking.

While you could use the finest champagne for cooking purposes, I believe that an excellent choice is this Lanson White Label Sec, a sparkling white wine produced in the Champagne region in France.

This wine has a delicate bouquet of white flowers and pear, being ideal for fish or seafood risottos. One of my favorite dishes is lobster cooked in champagne with pilaf rice, but you can also use this wine for Champagne risotto, a dish that will certainly impress your guests

.9. The White Knight Prosecco

The White Knight Prosecco

The Italian version of Champagne, the Prosecco, is the last wine on my list, but not for its importance. Prosecco is different from the champagne, or from any other sparkling wine, as a matter of fact, being produced only from the glera grapes that are typical to the northern regions of Italy.

Prosecco, namely The White Knight Prosecco, has a more fruity character compared to the champagne, presenting aromas of peach, citrus, apple and acacia flowers. I usually use this wine when cooking Italian dishes or desserts.

You could cook, for example, prosecco seabass rolls with bacon and grilled zucchini, lobster in seafood sauce with prosecco, shrimps with prosecco sauce or grilled salmon with prosecco risotto. Prosecco can also be used for meat dishes, especially when cookingveal and lamb.

Prosecco wine can be used for the desserts as well. You could use it to make a sweet prosecco sauce for a fruit salad or in the preparation of sweets, such as apple and plummousse with prosecco.


As you can see, there are many white wines that can be used for cooking purposes. Now, depending on the type of meal you want to prepare, you can choose the most suitable dry white wine for cooking from this list.And to not waste the leftover wine, you could simply serve it with your meal.

About the Author Tim Edison

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love of wine and interest in anything related to it ever since he was a little kid. Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it and has been addicted ever since. Having traveled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa and tasted a large selection of their wines, it is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here and take you along on the journey.

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  1. Very informative post. However, I’m still looking for an answer to a question…what is the best white wine to use when cooking rabbit? Specifically, this recipe…(I’ve been searching the internet but everything I find just says “white wine”)
    Dijon Mustard & White Wine Braised Rabbit

    Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Level of Difficulty: Easy Serving Size: 4 to 6 servings
    2 small rabbits, skinned and cut into pieces*
    vegetable oil, for cooking
    1/4 cup bacon, chopped
    1 onion, sliced
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 cups chicken stock, low sodium
    2 cups white wine
    1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    4- 5 sprigs rosemary, fresh

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