These are important differences that can dramatically alter the flavors of the recipe. Do not use wines in cooking that you would never consume, they will ruin the dish. Economical wines can be used whenlarge quantities are called for in the recipe. If small quantities are used to deglaze the pan or finish the sauce, then higher-quality wines work best. You can serve the remainder of the bottle during dinner. Cooking wines sold in markets contain much salt, additives and very little wine. Chardonnay is a good white wine for cooking, use cabernet or merlot as the red. Ports are fortified with brandy and work well in dessert recipes.