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Ask the audience - cook or drink?

Was given this at work by a sleazy, lecherous Boris Johnson lookalike.

Opened it to cook with in a beef stew as I feared for its quality. De-glazed the pan and took a swig out of curiosity. It’s not going to set the world alight, but is actually rather pleasant. Still plenty of fruit and acidity with very smooth tannins.

So, quick poll please:

  • Cook with the claret - it’s tasty, you won’t regret it
  • Open another dubious gift and drink the claret

0 voters


Thanks all for your votes. A little more of the wine in question went into the stew, but not so much as to jeopardise a few glasses later this evening. Didn’t bother to open anything else, or I might end up with another tempting oddity to finish up!

Stew isn’t until tomorrow, but it’s working out ok so far, despite the reduced amount of wine.

Late reply, but applicable generally (cant remember where I read this… Oz Clark perhaps?):

Drink the gifted wine if it’s decent, use something cheap in the stew (after a few hours any refinement / lack of… is long gone). HOWEVER add a splash of good wine to the gravy when finishing it - livens up the sauce & gives it character.


A wise old man, a lover of both wine and good food, told me many years ago: “if it is not good enough to drink, do not put it into your food”! This is a rule I still try to observe!


I often realise that, as the cook, I’ve drunk more before putting the food on the table than during the meal.


Oh yes, I know that feeling

I always cook with wine, even when baking cakes.


With trifle, I kike a drop of sweetish sherry in it. But not so much that it overpowers the other ingredients.