I know how to drink beer, but I don't know how to cook with wine.

Greetings, friends.

As the title of this thread indicates, I know my way around a beer can. However, I do not know how to do anything with wine. I think I know what I like, but I’m not a wine drinker by any stretch of the imagination. Having said that, I do have three different wines at home right now and I’m making a recipe that requires a cup of full bodied red wine. I want to use the best of the three wine options in the recipe, understanding that I’ll be drinking the remaining wine that doesn’t get used in the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/mushroom-bourguignon/

And here are my wine options:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/83999627@N00/6696170783/

In case you can’t tell from the photo, the wine options are (a) Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel; (b) Gouguenheim Malbec from 2008; or © Yellow Tail Cabernet - Merlot.

I bought the Bota Box a few weeks ago because I had it at a friend’s house and I thought it tasted good. (The preceding sentence describes my wine specifications pretty well.) The Malbec was a Christmas gift I received in 2008 and I’ve been afraid to open it because I didn’t want to waste it on myself if I wouldn’t like it. The Yellow Tail was left at my house after a party last summer.

Incidentally, I’m making my Mushroom Bourguignon with a gourmet mushroom base that cost me $23, so I don’t want to blow this recipe on the wine.

Any guidance you can provide would be much appreciated!

Well, “Bourguignon” typically means a Burgundy, aka Pinot Noir, but it’s not going to be bad regardless of what style of red wine you use (but it will be different). All the ones you linked will work.

I’d probably go for the Yellow Tail, because a Cab-Merlot blend will be fruity and big. The Zin would work as well, but Zin can sometimes have a gamey edge. The Merlot would be wonderful, but I’d tend to want to drink that and cook with one of the others.

This is helpful. Thank you!

Use the Yellowtail and drink the others. Malbecs can be marvelous, but I’d still prefer to drink them rather than cook with them. The Zin could go either way.