If you are preparing for dinner and realize you do not have the cooking wine on hand that your dish is calling for, don’t be so quick to dismiss that recipe! There are several alternatives for red or white wine for cooking, and you probably have them in your kitchen!
We use wine for cooking to add acidity, color, flavor, or sugar to a dish. It can also deglaze a frying pan, provide moisture, or tenderize meat. Knowing the function of wine in your recipe will be helpful in choosing the best substitute. Here’s a good list of what to use instead, when a recipe calls for wine.
1. Red and White Wine Vinegar
Vinegar is a staple in every home’s kitchen! It consists of acetic acid and water, as well as other compounds present in wine. This can also be produced from coconut water, apple cider, malt, or rice.
A red or white wine vinegar makes an excellent cooking wine substitute! Both produce flavors that are very similar to wine. Don’t worry about the vinegar, as it will not affect the taste of your dish. However, wine vinegar is more acidic than regular wine. Dilution may be necessary before adding any to your recipe. You can mix water and wine vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.
Wine vinegar is most useful for liquid-based recipes, including marinades and salad dressings.
Red wine vinegar is perfect for beef, pork, and vegetables, while white wine vinegar works better with fish and chicken.
Wine vinegar also contains trace amounts of alcohol, which is further reduced with cooking. However, if your diet restricts alcohol, you should avoid wine vinegar.
2. Pomegranate Juice
Who does not enjoy this rich, flavorful juice? Pomegranate is fairly acidic and is great at boosting the flavor of just about any dish!
It is the best substitute for red wine in cooking because they have comparable acidity, aroma, and flavor. If you want a stronger taste, you can add a tablespoon of vinegar. This works best with salad dressings and sauces. You can also use it in a glaze for vegetables.
Pomegranate juice does not just add flavor to your favorite recipes; it also contains antioxidants, which are helpful in lowering your blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
3. Ginger Ale
If you do not have white wine for cooking, look for ginger ale in your kitchen! This carbonated soft drink, flavored with ginger, makes an excellent meat tenderizer. You can use the same amount of ginger ale as you would white wine. However, though they have the same dry and sweet tastes, this is best used in recipes that require a slight ginger flavor.
4. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice, a tart beverage, is yet another excellent substitute for red wine in cooking. Since this juice is already sweet on its own, it is best used in dishes that do not call for more sugar. Otherwise, the dish may taste sweeter than expected.
You can reduce the sweetness of the juice by mixing it with a tablespoon of vinegar before adding it to the recipe.
Cranberry juice is also very healthy! It can help prevent urinary tract infections. It also contains high amounts of antioxidants that fight disease-causing inflammation.
5. Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable Stock
Did you know that the broth or stock you use in sauces and soups also makes a great cooking wine substitute?
A broth is made by simmering meat, seafood, or vegetables in water. Herbs and spices are often added to increase its flavor. Generally, a broth or a stock is used to tenderize and simmer meat. These are the same functions of wines in cooking, hence a good non-alcoholic substitute!
The beef broth has a deeper color and flavor, making it a good substitute for red wine in cooking. Chicken and vegetable broths, on the other hand, are better for white wine dishes.
You can replace wine with the stock at an equal ratio. However, remember that stock is savory and less acidic. It may produce a milder flavor compared to wine. If you need that extra flavor, add a tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of stock in the recipe.
These are just some of the best non-alcoholic ingredients you can use as cooking wine substitutes. Some may replace wine equally in recipes, while others may require other ingredients for additional flavoring.
However, if you want to keep the original flavor when making that perfect dish, you can always run to a nearby grocery or liquor store. Are you looking for a liquor store in Vail, Colorado? Village Warehouse Wines and Spirits is just a few minutes away! Visit us at 101 Fawcett Road #130 Avon, CO to get the best brands of wine for your cooking and drinking!