If you or someone you are cooking for has an allergy to wine, or is in alcohol recovery you need to know what to use in place of wine in your cooking. Also, if you don't have wine on hand and you want to make something that calls for wine, you really need to know what you can use in its place. Many cooks are hesitant to use wine substitutes, but with a little practice and some patience you can soon use wine substitutes with ease and success.
Red Wine Substitutes
Good red wine substitutes for cooking are nonalcoholic wine, apple cider, beef broth, tomato juice or water. If you need to replace an earthy red wine then try grape juice with a touch of red-wine vinegar or rice vinegar. Cranberry juice can substitute for sweet red wine. When the red wine adds body to the dish you may be able to use beef or vegetable broth or a combination of the two.
White Wine Substitutes
To substitute white wine in recipes, you can use nonalcoholic wine, white grape juice, apple cider, apple juice, chicken broth or water. If you need to substitute a sweet wine such as champagne then go with a sparkling white grape juice or a sparkling apple cider. If your dish calls for a Chardonnay, which has a buttery flavor, then choose chicken broth. When replacing a dry white wine use white grape juice with a bit of lemon juice.
Cooking and Marinade Substitutes for Wine
You can use apple juice or apple cider in most dishes that call for wine in cooking. To substitute for 1/2 cup of wine in your favorite marinade recipe use 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. It is very important to identify the flavor the wine called for brings to the recipe. This will help you figure out whether to use grape juice to replace sweet wines or to dilute and sweeten vinegar to replace a stronger wine.
Will Using Wine Substitutes Ruin the Recipes?
There is no wine substitute that gives you exactly the same flavor as wine. If you begin by identifying the flavor that the wine brings to the recipe, you are better able to choose the right wine substitute. Making substitutions in your favorite recipes may take a bit of trial and error, but for those who should or must avoid alcohol, it is well worth the effort. Once you get the hang of identifying the flavor you are substituting you will find it much easier to pick a wine substitute.
Once you get adjusted to picking out the flavor you need to replace, cooking can become like a treasure hunt. You never know when you will discover a gem. Every recipe gives you a chance to experiment and identify what will become your new go-to wine replacements. Good luck and good substituting.