Our reader bloggers were excited about the theme of this month's Virtual Supper Club: Cooking with Wine. Perfect for cooler months, wine is a key ingredient that can lend a distinct fragrance and another layer of flavor to your cooking, whether you're sauteing fish, simmering soup, or adding a splash to a dessert or side dish. Plus, it's enjoyable to sip while you cook.

"For me this would be a bit of a challenge," says Shelby, a Virtual Supper Club member who blogs about cooking on The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch. "I don't really drink wine much less know what to buy for cooking with it!"

As a general rule, you should cook with a wine that you'd enjoy drinking. But if you don't drink wine, that shouldn't stop you with experimenting with it as a flavor-enhancing ingredient.

Shelby consulted a wine-loving friend, who referred her to a Chardonnay for the Cheese Fondue with Apples recipe that she brought to this month's table. (That's her yummy-looking photo at left.) She says she was pleased with the results.

"It was great with apples," she wrote in her post, "but I also enjoyed it with some crusty French bread!"

I asked Associate Food Editor, Julie Grimes, for other good wine picks for this recipe. She suggested a riesling or a gewürztraminer would work well.

We hope you'll join us in uncorking a bottle to participate in this month's theme. Hope our menu inspires you.

October: Cooking with Wine Menu

Photo: Courtesy of Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch


Join the Club! The Virtual Supper Club is a group of Cooking Light readers who dazzled us with the idea of blogging CL recipes once a month. They live in two countries and several states, but get together (virtually) once a month to enjoy a seasonal menu of their choice. Please make sure to visit their blogs to read more and enjoy their great photos. If you're a food blogger and wish to join, post a link to your blog here or send us an email.