Wine Substitute for Cooking

It’s been a long time that I wanted to try some of the recipes with wine from my collection but due to religious reasons, I can’t do it. Actually I never tried drinking wine since the day I was born so I have no real idea of what I’m missing to taste by not using wine when cooking. Then few days ago I came up an idea of searching online what’s the best wine substitute for cooking, I wondered why I never thought of that thing before, then I was glad since I found loads of suggestions from various websites.

To summarize, wine contributes 4 things in every cooking taste which are:
1. alcohol
2. acidity
3. fruitiness
4. depth

The number 1 is the reason why I don’t want to include wine in my cooking so I think I should forget that thing. For the acidity, lemon juice is the best substitute, another alternatives are vinegar and any citrus juice. For its fruitiness, the best substitute that I found is apple juice and since the fruit flavor contributes sweetness to the wine sugar is also one of the good alternatives. For its depth, almost all chefs suggested stock, for example beef stock as a substitute for red wine and chicken stock for white wine, fish sauce and a few dash of light soy sauce are also good alternative for this as long as it is appropriate for the dish that you’re going to cook.

To sum it up, we can substitute wine with any citrus or acidic fruit juice with stock and light soy sauce.

Actually wine is a flavorful liquid, so, substitute with another equally flavorful liquid, keeping an eye on the properties you wish to emphasize: bright, sweet, salty, herbal, acidic, etc. So this means that you can make your own, try to experiment and trust your instinct. It will do a great wonder, trust me.

The picture above is the shrimp scampi that I cooked yesterday, the recipe calls for a white wine but I substituted it with mixture of fresh lemon juice, sugar and stock. Check the recipe here.

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  1. yara4ever

    This is soooooo useful i cant thank u enough rieaane.. i always search for recipes online according to their rating.. and every time i find the perfect one i see that they use wine 😦 so i cant do it and look for something else.. Thank you hon.. definitely great info 🙂

  2. I just keep it simple. For red wine I use red grape juice with a tiny splash of red vinegar. For white wine – white grape juice with a tiny splash of white vinegar. If I feel it needs more flavor, I add broth (beef for red, chicken for white).

  3. I’d always wondered what to use instead of wine and usually used Apple Cider Vinegar… Not sure how effective this is because I don’t know how wine tastes either!

    However, I’ve also heard that if you cook wine, boil it, it is no longer alcoholic. I’ve checked and this is true, but I would not advocate its use, even in this way, for many reasons. I’ve also heard that some soya sauces also contain alcohol and by cooking it, it is no longer alcoholic. For example, I checked Kikko’s Soya Sauce and it contained alcohol!

  4. Nice try. I’m sure you’ll be an expert of wine substitution if you keep trying. 🙂

    I like the fruitiness taste in my dishes as well, so sometimes I use pineapple and orange juice (squeezed fresh from oranges). It have a complex of sweet and sour.

  5. yara, you’re welcome 🙂

    Stinni, that’a great info., i will try that one…thanks 🙂

    Tooba, some cooks also said that cider vinegar is a good alternative, i never tried it though. Thanks for the info and having time in my blog 🙂

    Liliane, that’s right…as i said experimenting can do a great wonder in cooking. I tried pineapple juice also and my hubby likes it so much esp. when added to chicken, yummy!

  6. Mimi

    Nice tips, thanks for sharing!
    People always tell me that the alcohol evaporates when you cook it, but all the same I’d rather not use it. 🙂

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