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Would there be any point to using sparkling wine over ordinary white wine, when the gas will escape in cooking? I suppose bubbly might have some variant flavor profiles, but Serious Eats says that beyond sweetness and tartness, picking different (flat) wines will impact the final dish but subtly or negligibly most times. Has sparkling wine got anything that straight wine couldn't offer, or might it give any trouble? Googling suggests it doesn't, but I want word to trust.

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  • Just to be explicit. the 'wine you'd drink' meme is not pertinent.
    – ariola
    Nov 11, 2023 at 18:10
  • Well, it's become a stock phrase, to the extent that your oblique reference was possible. And I've sometimes seen it thrown off in lieu of going into things. Whether any Funny Videos are based on it I wouldn't know...
    – ariola
    Nov 11, 2023 at 18:30
  • No. I'm not asking which wine is better but whether (degassed) bubbly differs in properties from wine. The Eats article doesn't mention sparkling wine. That's why I said the matter of quality/price wasn't pertinent.
    – ariola
    Nov 11, 2023 at 18:52

2 Answers 2

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Sparkling wines are more acidic than most still wines, and the acidity will be noticeable in your food even after cooking. They are not more acidic than some acidic wines like Vinho Verde, though, so if you'd normally use an acidic white in the dish, a sparkling will work. Or you can cut back other acids in the recipe.

The only place I can imagine the carbonation making a difference would be in batters, where it might supply some additional rise. However, there are very few batter dishes that use wine as an ingredient.

There are some dishes which expect, and need, sparkling wine. Zabaione, for example, or Champagne mousse. What these recipes share in common is that the sparkling wine is not cooked, since (as you guessed) doing so will cook off most of the carbonation. There are baking recipes that claim that using sparkling wine makes a difference, but I haven't found any from sources I trust.

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    There are a number of batter dishes that use beer as an ingredient that could have the sparkling wine swapped in as a substitute, and you could probably use it in a bread or cake as a leavening agent.
    – nick012000
    Nov 12, 2023 at 9:10
  • @nick012000 Batter, probably yes. Bread and cake - not if you are counting on yeasts, and the carbonation is probably too weak to be effective in quick bread or most cakes.
    – Stephie
    Nov 12, 2023 at 19:31
  • Cool. How is it that you say sparkling wine tends to be sweeter but Sneftel says "wine used for" sparkling tend to be dry?
    – ariola
    Nov 14, 2023 at 9:19
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    It turns out that @Sneftel is right and I'm wrong on this. While sparking wines taste sweeter, they aren't actually sweeter, it's a result of the carbonation and other differences in composition: vinifero.ch/blogs/discover/… ... so updating my answer accordingly.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 14, 2023 at 18:57
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Well, just to get it out of the way, carbon dioxide dissolved into water partially transforms into carbonic acid, which gives it a bit of a tang.

But that’s going to be entirely drowned out by the qualities of the wine itself. The wine which is used for sparkling wine tends to be quite dry and mineral, with no oak character.

Those are the only relevant differences for cooking with wine, other than in something like a gelatine where the gas would not be allowed to escape.

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