Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What’s a good wine substitution for red Burgundy in boeuf Bourguignon?
—Sue, Frankfort, Mich.
Boeuf Bourguignon (or “beef Burgundy”) is a dish from the Burgundy region of France. It’s a beef stew that’s slowly braised in red wine, usually with carrots, onions and garlic, and garnished with mushrooms and bacon. It’s traditionally made with red Burgundy, a wine made from Pinot Noir grapes. But it’s really OK to use other red wines. Years ago, chef Thomas Keller shared a recipe with us where he suggests using a hearty red like a Cabernet Sauvignon.
I have two criteria for picking a cooking wine, and they’re connected: Don’t cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink, and the best pairing for the meal is usually going to be the wine used in the recipe or one very similar to it.