I am a recovering alcoholic...what can I use in recipes that call for red or white wine?

  • Posted by: Bill
  • September 17, 2013


nutcakes September 23, 2013
Graham Kerr who also doesn't drink uses dealcoholized wine,
ChefJune September 18, 2013
All the above suggestions are great ones. And as you become more adept in the kitchen, you will come up with lots of unorthodox substitutions. For instance, we've found that Dr. Pepper (especially if it's gone flat) mimics the flavor of dry Sherry in recipes. Who'd'a thought?
ChefOno September 18, 2013

If it were me, I'd first consider alcohol's purpose in the recipe. Sometimes it's there purely for flavor but often, especially with wine, it's for the acid component as well as to carry alcohol-soluble flavors. Vinegars are excellent substitutes for the former, unfortunately there is no direct sub for the latter. Absent any tool, however, a good cook can work around the situation. If your dish tastes flat and dull, acid is often the answer.

On a related note, there's nothing particularly magic about deglazing with wine. Taste aside, plain water works just fine.

sexyLAMBCHOPx September 17, 2013
Also, add verjus to your list.
Pegeen September 17, 2013
Plenty of people need to avoid alcohol for various reasons - medication conflicts, etc. I'm sure there are web sites with great alternatives as mentioned above. But in brief, just substitute chicken, beef, veal, fish or vegetable stock. Or water. Vinegar is probably OK for some recipes but if fermentation/yeast is an issue, stock or water are usually a good substitute.
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 17, 2013
Check out this site that offers so many solutions to avoid wine/beer/sherry/vermouth: http://www.recoverytoday.net/archives/may/may08_scott.html
First, congratulations on your recovery. Secondly, depending on the dish you can use vinegar mixed in water, juice, or juice mixed in with water or in different combinations with each other. With this in mind, experiment . You will have a different flavor profile with the finished recipe but the call for alcohol in food is usually for the unique properties it offers (sugar/ flavor) in addition to deglazing the pan.

This is taking into consideration that you do not want to use anything that remotely tastes like alcohol, like the alcohol free versions of some drinks.
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