General Question

chian's avatar

Why did this red wine ruin my food?

Asked by chian (554points) January 20th, 2010

Oh my god. So i cooked my usual roast chicken, easy peasy in the same way i do every time, including adding red wine. After like 5 minutes the whole kitchen starting smelling up like some sort of acidic smell which caught in your throat and stung your eyes like pepper spray. It was overwhelming, i could barely get back in to remove from oven. It is not the oven because i tested it without the food and the food has this smell and taste. The only reason i can see is that the red wine was biological. Does anyone know about this or why this happened? Is this normal with biological wine? I have never seen this before!

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26 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

well, i thought all wine is biological. but as for the smell, only thing i can think of, was it vinegar wine of some kind maybe?

Snarp's avatar

@poisonedantidote I believe in this case that biological means what Americans generally call organic. I don’t see how that could be the problem. The only thing I can think of is that the wine had gone horribly bad before you started.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Snarp ahh, no added crud in it. hmm yea, thats true, the wine could have gone bad. @chian was the cork dry?

Snarp's avatar

OK, I don’t have much real insight into this, but we can play detective. Do you clean your oven with any chemicals? If so which ones and how recently?

What else is in this recipe?

What kind of pan?

HTDC's avatar

It could be that you put it in the oven on a too high heat. I think you’re supposed to let the wine slowly heat up. Which is why you had the overwhelming, acidic smell after just 5 minutes in the oven.

downtide's avatar

My guess is the wine had gone off (possibly an imperfect seal with the cork) and had turned to vinegar.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Next time,I’d drink the bottle of wine and everything will be lovely :)

downtide's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille not if the wine’s turned to vinegar… :-x

chian's avatar

The wine was fine, biological (sorry thats how we call it in Greece!!!) / organic…was drinking it day before and i do know my wines quite well, also oven hasnt been cleaned inside for ages so not that, it was just so weird!!! the other stuff in pan was usual, rosemary, potatoes, thyme, oil salt etc….

nicobanks's avatar

Is there nothing you can identify as unique to that situation? (Because you say you normally use wine in this recipe, right?)

If no, then it must be that something was off—it could have been the wine, but it’s being organic isn’t the cause. I can’t even imagine an off wine causing that kind of situation. A burning sensation in the eyes?? Why would bad wine cause that? Sounds, like you said, like pepper of some kind. Or perhaps melted plastic or chemicals? Sorry I couldn’t help more.

filmfann's avatar

Cooking with wine is a sweetener. You should use cooking wine, not regular drinking wine.

nicobanks's avatar

@filmfann What’s wrong with sweeteners? I love cooking with wine! (Never encountered described problem before.)

filmfann's avatar

Absolutely nothing is wrong with sweeteners. Cooking wine is a very good sweetener, and I use it in my spagetti sauce. It is just that you should use cooking wine, rather than regular wine. Cooking wine is cheaper, and more effective.

nicobanks's avatar

@filmfann Oh I get it now. I thought you were saying cooking wine wasn’t a sweetener. I’ve never used “cooking wine” ... never even seen it! Is it specially-labelled as “cooking wine”? Do you buy it alongside regular wines or is it sold in grocery stores or something? Where I live alcohol is strictly regulated and only sold in specially-licensed stores. Alcohol of any kind could never be sold in a grocery store, and I’ve never seen “cooking” alcohol at the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). Interesting!

filmfann's avatar

I am not sure where you would find it, since you live in a LCBO area.
We find it near cooking spices.

susanc's avatar

@filmfann. Cooking wine is actually un*drink*able wine that’s marketed as “cooking wine” because it’s very sugary, hence your identification of it as sweet. Most reputable cookbooks/chefs will tell you that if a wine’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with in a serious way. I myself agree that a “cooking” wine is just fine for something very assertively flavored like spaghetti sauce.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@filmfann: There’s nothing wrong with cooking with drinkable wine. @susanc is correct. If you watch cooking shows you’ll notice that the hosts, especially those who cook with alcohol frequently, such as Emeril Lagasse always cook with very high quality wines and spirits.

Wine isn’t always used as a “sweetener”. It can have many functions in a given dish, such as adding acidity, a bite or “kick”, adding depth and richness. It will only act as a sweetener if a sweet wine is used, which is the exception to the rule in most American cooking.

warribbons's avatar

someone put poison in your wine

Darwin's avatar

@filmfann – I was always taught that if a wine isn’t good enough to drink, then it shouldn’t be used in cooking. The simple act of applying heat to it will not magically change the flavor into something better.

chian's avatar

Guys, the wine was fine, I even tested it again after—- neither did i have some strange thing in my oven!!! Myabe it is just one of the those weird things that happened to me!
@warribbons i think maybe your right!
@filmfann I never even know about “cooking” wine, at least in meditteranean countries i dont htink this is the norm at all, in fact i think drinking wine adds incredible flavours and especially in a roast chicken a very sticky sweet almost tamarind ish sauce on potatoes and celery!
@susanc i totally agree

Anyway i had to take everything out, wash, start again with another red wine, not organic and it was fine…

Who knows what the mystery was!!!

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

In my experience, cooking wines are loaded with sodium and various other additives and they are the only wines that I’ve ever found that even say for cooking on the bottle. All other wines omit such a description. I’ve used regular and fairly inexpensive wine for cooking nearly my whole life and have never once had an adverse reaction because of it. I’d have to bet that there’s some other reason for the smell you encountered, such as; the wine turned into vinegar, some type of mold may have affected the wine, possibly some other contaminant made it’s way into the wine or it was due to some other ingredient.

chian's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly i agree, i mean what else could it be!

filmfann's avatar

@chian are you using a gas oven?

filmfann's avatar

Sometimes Gas Providers miss-mix the odor they put in the gas. do you think it could be that?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@filmfann – My uncle worked for the gas company for years and if it was a case of over-mixing the ‘stench or sulfur dioxide’ used in natural gas, it would’ve been evident before the food was even put into the oven.

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