What can I substitute for wine in recipes?

7 Ways With Wineenlarge

Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

As Julia Child used to so often say, the best wine to cook with is one you consider good enough to drink. As a general rule of thumb, dry (non-sweet) wines work best in savory dishes, while sweet or fortified wines (such as port and sherry) are more attuned to desserts and sauces.

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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It depends on the recipe. If it's a dessert recipe where a sweet substitution would work, you can use an equal amount of red grape juice for red wine or white grape juice for white wine. In a savory soup or stew, try replacing the wine with the same amount of low sodium chicken or beef broth, but keep in mind that even low sodium broth is going to add lots of salt flavor to your dish. You may want to reduce or omit the amount of salt you use, or add it a little at a time at the end.

If the recipe calls for just a tablespoon or two of wine, you can usually just leave it out.

Marge Perry
Apr, 2010
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