Early on in culinary school I was taught to use good drinking wine for a recipe and never anything labeled cooking wine. Come to find out, “cooking wine” is made from bad wine, practically on its way to vinegar! Cooking wines also have a lot of salt added. Remember that when you use wine in a recipe, most of the time you are reducing it quite a bit, so you will concentrate the flavors. If you start out with something that tastes really bad, then you usually end up with a bad tasting result.
I don’t always have an open or leftover bottle of wine in my fridge, so I keep these Sutter Home 4 Pk Wine Splits on hand in my pantry so that I can open a fresh bottle of good wine for any recipe. I like being able to open only what I need when I need it. They’re also priced well at around $6 to $8 for the pack. That’s not bad for getting 4 tiny bottles for 4 different recipes! I usually keep the Chardonnay for recipes that call for white wine and Cabernet Sauvignon for recipes calling for red.