Although wine is a popular ingredient for cooking, some people prefer not to use it. If you fall into this category, you shouldn’t have a problem finding good wine substitutes for your recipes.
Cooking with Wine
Keep in mind that cooking with wine has many benefits that can’t always be replicated by using wine substitutes. For example, the acidity and flavor of wine makes it an excellent base for a marinade. When cooked on the stovetop, the flavors of the wine concentrate and bring out the flavors of the main dish.
If you’re concerned about the level of alcohol in wine, be assured that most of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process. When you make wine into a sauce, you cook the wine until it reduces into a fine sauce that retains only the flavor of the wine but not the alcohol or sulfites. If you avoid drinking wine for personal reasons, you can still cook with wine.
Cooking Wine Substitutes
Even with all the benefits that wine has to offer, you may be unwilling or unable to use wine in your cooking. For example, some people prefer not to keep alcohol in their homes, or they may be allergic to alcohol or sulfites. Others may not be habitual wine drinkers, and don’t see the benefit in purchasing an entire bottle of wine when a recipe only calls for about 1/4 cup of it.
Whatever the reason for not cooking with wine, you can make some easy recipe substitutions. Simply pay attention to the flavors in the dish you’re making, and select a liquid that complements the dish in the same way that wine would have.
For red wines, you can substitute the following:
- Beef broth
- Cranberry juice
- Flavored vinegar
- Grape juice
- Tomato juice
- Vegetable broth.
White wine can be easily replaced with options that include:
- Chicken broth
- Ginger ale
- Vegetable broth
- White grape juice.
You can even use water as a wine substitute—sparkling water in particular goes well in lemon-based dishes.