Take a look at the ingredients listed on the jars of pasta sauce in your kitchen pantry and you will likely find red wine listed more often than not. A small amount of the right red wine has the potential to transform an average Italian dish into a spectacular one. Red wine contains a variety of important compounds that dramatically improve the flavor of sauce as well as other cooked dishes.
Alcohol’s Role in Flavorful Sauce
The alcohol in wine triggers the release of flavor molecules into sauce, making every ingredient it contacts taste that much better. Alcohol also dissolves fats, empowering sauce ingredients to release their nuanced flavors. Other liquids and fats such as broth, water, olive oil and butter do not trigger a similar dissolving and subsequent flavor release.
As long as the alcohol is given sufficient time to cook off, it really will make the sauce taste that much better. The best chefs in the business cook wine-infused sauce to the point that half the wine is cooked away. Once the alcohol burns to this level, the sauce’s flavor begins to concentrate, providing quite the delicious taste.
Red Wine Acidity
Ask anyone who has paired a red wine such as Merlot with a dish featuring red tomato sauce about the experience and you will find the tomatoes burn straight through the wine, giving it a flat taste. Low-acid wines like Merlot are overpowered by the highly-acidic tomato sauce used in pasta dishes, pizzas, etc.
This is precisely why truly elite chefs rely on wines like Chianti Classico for dishes featuring tomato sauce. Chianti’s primary grape, the sangiovese, has the precise level of acid necessary to perfectly jive with that found in tomato sauce.
Perform a Taste Test
If you are still undecided as to whether red wine belongs in tomato sauce, perform a blind taste test. Have a family member or friend prepare two separate pasta dishes: one with red wine-infused sauce and the other with plain sauce. Give each a try and you will likely notice the pasta, pizza or other entrees topped with a sauce containing red wine tastes superior. Red wine’s bold flavor really is the x-factor of the world’s best tomato sauces.
However, any old red wine will not suffice for truly tasty tomato sauce. Our chefs abide by this mantra when it comes to using red wine in tomato sauce: “If we won’t drink it, we won’t eat it.” This means you won’t find any table wine, wine from a box or any other subpar wine in our tomato sauce. Our tomato sauce contains only the highest quality, most palate-pleasing red wine guaranteed to please your taste buds.