If you are cooking a dish and it calls for a cup of white wine, NEVER, under any circumstances use cooking wine. I mean even if the recipe calls for cooking wine, step away and go directly to your wine shop for Sherry, Marsala and your basic red and whites. Cooking wine is loaded with sodium. It’s like margarine. If a recipe calls for butter you don’t use margarine, it’s fake. Same principal.
I am a big fan of cooking with booze, a tip of the bottle here, a can of beer in the crock pot or even a hit of bourbon in a chicken dish. Yay for quick, delicious home cooked meals. I do not buy into the theory, you should only cook with wine that you would drink. I totally disagree. There are many wines I would never drink, but I sure would pour it in a chicken dish, in a freakin’ heartbeat.
Some great wines that I love to keep around the house are sweet and dry Vermouth. Vermouth is great to cook with, especially if you only need a small amount for a recipe, you can open the bottle and put it back in the liquor cabinet. Another sneaky tip is Sake. Sake is available in single portions, usually near sushi in the grocery store. Perfect to have around the house when you need a small portion of wine.
When you are making simple saute dishes and you get used to having little bits of wine on hand to give that added layer of flavor, you will always keep wine and beer stocked. Little four packs of inexpensive wine are handy too and they make Tetra packs, portions as small as three glasses, not only good for cooking, also good for taking to the movies.
A total pain in the ass tip is buy a tiny four pack bottle of wine 187ml and save them after you use them, if you have wine leftover, refill in the tiny bottles and keep in fridge. I never have leftover wine, glug, glug.
Always stock up on single beers, keep them handy for that day you decide to whip up some beef stew or chili. I have made delicious meals in the crock pot with Twisted tea lemonades, (and to this day, I do not know how Twisted tea lemonades made it into my fridge.) Guinness, pumpkin beer and believe it or not, one of my favorite beers to cook with is Bud Light Chelada.