Cooking with Red Wine Powder

As many of you know, Wine Barrel Gourmet uses a dehydrated form of red wine to flavor our soups and pasta mixes. We receive so many questions about this ingredient that I wanted to share some of them, along with the answers.

What is red wine powder? Red (or burgundy) wine powder is simply spray-dried red wine, with just enough corn starch based products added to keep the powder free-flowing.

What about sulfites? All wine has naturally occuring sulfites, and white wine actually contains more sulfites than red wine. Thus, there are sulfites present in the red wine powder, but so few that they are undetectable.  And, even if they were detectable, heating causes the sulfites to evaporate. In fact, all of our products have been approved for the Feingold Association’s safe-food list. The Feingold Association offers a program that helps food sensitive people eliminate artificial flavorings and colorings, artificial preservatives, aspartame, and salicylates from their diet.

What about alcohol? There is no alcohol in the red wine powder. None, nada.

Why use red wine powder? There are many benefits to using red wine powder. It is convenient, especially if you don’t normally have wine in your home but want to cook a dish that includes wine. Red wine powder is easy to store – just put it in the cupboard! Since red wine powder is so lightweight it is a great ingredient to carry when hiking or camping. And red wine powder is an easy way to add a boost of flavor to dishes.

Does red wine powder offer the same health benefits as red wine? Yes, red wine  powder has all of the antioxidant health benefits of red wine, without the alcohol. Both red wine and red wine powder are healthier options than cooking wine. I have mentioned it before, but it is best to avoid cooking wine. Cooking wine has added salt, so when you cook with it you are increasing your food’s salt content and not its flavor!

How do you use red wine powder? To reconstitute, add red wine powder to equal amounts of water and use in recipes as you would bottled wine. You can also add red wine powder directly to recipes. Two tablespoons of red wine powder equals about 1 cup of wine when used for flavoring.

What are some cooking ideas?  Do keep in mind that adding red wine powder will cause whatever you are cooking to turn a shade of pink (depending on how much you use). My favorite use of red wine powder is in soups, especially bean soups like lentil or vegetarian chili. Red wine powder also makes a great addition to salad dressings, tomato or other sauces, a red wine deglazed sauce and marinade. You can add red wine powder to apple cider or white vinegar in lieu of red wine vinegar. Use red wine powder to make a beautiful  pink custard, served with wine macerated berries, or make your own red wine sorbet. A couple of tablespoons of red wine powder added to chocolate cake improves richness and flavor.

Where can we purchase red wine powder? Despite being such a useful product, red wine powder is difficult to track down. You can find burgundy wine powder at Spices, etc.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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