Some good dry red wines to use for cooking include merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet franc, according to Bon Appetit. When choosing the type of wine to cook with, it's important to consider the heartiness of the dish.
While drinking alcohol in excess may hurt your health, drinking red wine in moderation has many health benefits. A glass of red wine can protect against certain types of cancer, slow memory loss, fight weight gain and prevent cavities, according to Everyday Health.
Red wines made from grapes grown in humid climates have a higher resveratrol content, an antioxidant associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, than those grown in dry areas, reports Health911. Pinot Noirs from international regions are rich with this compound, as are berries and peanuts.
While it is possible to drink wine intended for cooking, according to About.com, these wines are not worth drinking. In some regions, however, teenagers have a history of buying cooking wines to get drunk because no identification is required.
A dry white wine such as a chardonnay is great for cooking a cream sauce, gravy or chicken, while the crisp and refreshing pinot grigio is best paired with shellfish and seafood. The acidity of a pinot grigio best complements fish, while the intensity of a chardonnay makes rich sauces.
Different types of red wine include Beaujolais, zinfandel, pinot noir, valpolicella and cabernet sauvignon. Beaujolais is a wine produced in the Burgundy area of France. It's made from the Gamay grape and has a light, dry character.
Food and Wine Magazine recommends Beringer's Private Reserve which they describe as a "benchmark for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon since 1976." They also mention Beringer's Founder’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon as another reliable, less expensive option.
There are between 0 and 6 grams of sugar in a glass of red wine, depending on the type of wine. The drier the wine, the less sugar. Dry and medium dry red wine has 0.5 to 2 grams of sugar, while sweet wine has around 6 grams of sugar.
Milk chocolate and dark chocolate can be paired with red wine, but it is recommended that the wine be sweet rather than dry. Very sweet chocolate is best paired with port, Madiera or other dessert wines, while semi-sweet chocolate is best paired with a sparkling red wine like Brachetto d'Acqui.
One of the sweetest red wines is port wine, which originated in the country of Portugal. This type of wine is often paired with desserts that are rich and made with chocolate.