Many classic Italian and French recipes use white wine as an ingredient, where you are required to simmer the liquid until it reduces and the alcohol burns off. The wine increases acidity that can deglaze pans and break down the protein structures in meat. It also helps in bringing out the other ingredients. But, there are times when people don’t want to cook with wine, or are out of it. So, what are the non-alcoholic substitutes that you can use?
Ido Fishman recommends some options for you to explore:
- Apple cider vinegar
An excellent substitute that you can use for white wine is apple cider vinegar. It has an aged depth like the wine, along with its slightly sweet taste. You should add the same amount of vinegar, as the amount of wine needed in the recipe.
- Chicken broth
Ido Fishman Chef suggests that you use an equal amount of chicken broth to replace the wine required in the recipe. You can also use vegetable broth, if that’s what you prefer. This can add depth to the recipe, even if it causes the flavor to change slightly. If you are using salted broth, it is best to taste the dish you are making to determine if additional salt is needed.
- White grape juice
You can maintain the white grape flavor in the recipe by replacing white wine with white grape juice. It will be a tad sweeter than the wine, so you may have to add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar for balancing the flavor. However, Ido Fishman says that you should be cautious when you are using this in salty or savory recipes.
- Apple juice
If the recipe dictates that a sweeter white wine is needed, you can go with apple juice. It can provide the bit of sweetness you need, but you should bear in mind that it is sweeter than white wine. Therefore, just like white grape juice, you have to balance out the sweetness by adding a splash of lemon juice or vinegar and dial it back.
- White wine vinegar
If a dry white wine is needed in the recipe, Ido Fishman recommends that you use white wine vinegar as an alcohol-free option. As it is also made from white wine, you will enjoy some of the intended flavors, but you have to remember that it will be a bit more acidic. You can tame this acidity by diluting the vinegar with some water. A mix of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar should be enough for this purpose.
- Ginger ale
Many may regard this suggestion as odd, but the fact is that ginger ale can provide the same kind of sweet and dry taste that you get with white wine. You can use equal amount of ginger ale in a recipe that requires you to use sweet white wine.
In case you don’t have any of the aforementioned ingredients on hand and you have to find a replacement for white wine, Ido Fishman suggests you use water. ¾ cups of water are enough for replacing one cup of wine in a recipe. While you won’t be able to enhance the flavors with water as white wine would, but it will help maintain the liquid volumes as required. This ensures that your dish doesn’t turn out to be dry.
Some of the dishes that require the use of white wine include chicken piccata, steamed mussels and shrimp scampi, along with French sauces like beurreblanc and veloute. If you are making any of these and don’t want to use white wine, or don’t have it available, Ido Fishman recommends that you try out some of the substitutes mentioned above. These are a good non-alcoholic option for you to use when cooking your meals and most can provide you the same flavor and results that you would get from white wine.