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I've made a sauce with some white wine (with cream & tarragon) but it's really sharp (prob the wine was a bit old, or I didn't boil it off well enough - is there any way to fix it? and what's the most likely cause?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

If "sharp" means too much alcohol left, bring it back to a simmer and cook off more of it, then adjust with more cream if needed.

If "sharp" means too acidic, your options are:

(1) add more cream and other ingredients to dilute the acid (2) try to mask the acid with a bit of sugar (3) I guess you could try to neutralize the acid with a very small amount of something basic, like baking soda. But that seems like a bad idea, it will probably taste terrible.

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I kept on cooking it - added some stock and a little more cream. Tasted great - thanks :) – Martyn Oct 31 '11 at 21:49
Adding baking soda will react with any acid to form salts. So the food will taste bad. You're first suggestion of using sugar is probably best. Personally, I'd bin it an try again with a better wine. Always taste a wine before putting it into your dish. If the wine tastes bad then the resulting sauce will also taste bad. – Rincewind42 Nov 1 '11 at 5:30
@Rincewind42: Sure, but I think the OP (like many of us) clearly preferred to salvage the sauce, rather than throw it away, go shopping, and start all over before having dinner. – Jefromi Nov 1 '11 at 14:55

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