Substitute for wine recommended by Cook's Illustrated a few years

rosieoJuly 26, 2012

Does anybody remember what they recommended? It was in an issue maybe 3 or 4 years back. It was something that they said worked as well as wine in a recipe but they said it was cheaper, stored better, and was more versatile. Was it dry vermouth or ??

I don't care for the taste of wine, and don't keep any around, so I can't very well add a quarter cup or whatever to an occasional recipe. Though I do know that alcohol is important in some recipes and I'd like to use an effective substitute.

I should've picked up a bottle of whatever it was right away, instead of trusting my aging mind to remember it, lol.

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Vermouth works....but that's wine.
There are a lot of very cheap wines out there...many for $3 a 24 oz bottle....use what you need and freeze the rest....or make wine jelly...or give it to the mail man...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:21PM
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For white wine,you can sub a little diluted lemon juice, but red wine gives entirely different flavors.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:20AM
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When it's for a small amount like "a quarter cup or whatever" I'll use vermouth if I don't have another bottle open or about to be opened. It's cheap, you can buy small (half) bottles and esp if kept in the fridge it'll have a shelf life comparable to the rest of your condiments. i.e. at least 6 months in my experience. On the other hand, there's a good reason why so many recipes that call for dry white wine will say, "or chicken broth, or water."

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Someone...maybe Julia Child (?) me onto vermouth many years ago - mainly because you don't have to worry about it being too dry/sweet/acidic/etc. or other qualities that differentiate white wines. I always keep it on hand.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:52AM
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I had the same question a year or so ago, and Chase also recommended vermouth. She uses it in place of sherry, and wine. Vermouth *is* what Cook's Illustrated recommends.

I now do the same. But again, that would be for white wine, so it doesn't help for reds.

Unsweetened apple juice works for white wine, and I've read that unsweetened grape juice works for red, but it's harder to come by.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Sweet vermouth will work in some places for red wine.
And I don't think vermouth can sub for sherry....there is a flavor to sherry that can't be matched with vermouth...
And if anyone tried to put sherry in my martini...I would have their head!
I have heard that sweetened cranberry juice cocktail can sub for red wine....but not sure I wouold want that in my coc au vin....or boeuf burgoine

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I have used unsweetened cranberry juice and also pomegranate syrup in meat dishes. Nice but not at all like wine. And use a light touch with both. They can overpower with fruitiness.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:13PM
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After a trip to the island of Madeira a few years ago I have become quite fond of madeira. I usually have a bottle of medium-dry madiera in the liquor cabinet and once opened, it will last for months.

If a recipe calls for a small amount of white wine, I find that substituting madeira for the wine not only works, but it often will turn out better then it would have with wine.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Ditto on Vermouth (mom used it long before Julia Child popularized it for cooking) I also keep Sherry, Madiera or Port on hand to add when the recipe or marinade requires it.
Unsweetened grape juice, actually the must is called Verjus. It's not as easy to locate, but a good sub for some recipes. I also keep a variety of vinegars on hand including fig, balsamic (white & red), orange & other fruits, rice vinegar, red & white wine vinegar and the more common white & cider vinegar.

Another idea for cooking wines is to buy those half bottles which have screw tops and keep easily in the fridge between uses.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 1:01PM
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