I missed this topic somehow. I'm not a chef by any means but I love to cook. I was thinking a few years ago about again cooking with wine. One of my sponsors found the real information about alcohol "cooking out" At the time I was going through a divorce and my desire to cook with wine was likely more a product of that than any culinary need.
All The Alchohol Does NOT Evaporate!
I can't locate the link to the USDA study that actually tested for retained alchohol but the chart at this link agrees with what I saved as a wordpad document.
http://homecooking.about.com/library/ar ... ohol12.htm
Liz Scott's The Sober Kitchen
is a pretty good cook book. I bought a few and gave them as gifts. This cookbook uses NO alcohol. I guess I'm a little anal about it but I don't use the vanilla extract (or any other) containing alcohol. I also read the Dijon-style (like grey poupon) mustard labels to find the very few without wine. After a while checking labels becomes second nature. They stick wine in things you don't think about.
I know of a few in the program who do eat dishes prepared with wine or other spirits and one that cooks with wine. That's between them and their sponsors. I can't do it.
You'll hear about "alcohol soluble flavors". OK, but if those flavors are there with alcohol. they will still be there without the booze. Tomato sauces are often mentioned as requiring wine to bring out those "alcohol soluble flavors" . I just took a quick look at Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking
and didn't see one tomato sauce recipe that used wine. There might be one or two hidden in there but clearly wine isn't required.
A big problem with many restaurants is that they add alcohol at the very end of the cooking so very little evaporates. I know what's in most dishes but I do ask occasionally. I've also ordered dishes that do not normally contain alcohol that obviously did when they arrived. I sniff and send it back if there is any doubt. Anything with alcohol in it is not what I ordered. Restaurants will also tell you that all the booze cooks out leaving only the flavor.
That is patently wrong, but anyway, I really don't think I need that flavor either.