How To Use White Wine For Cooking And Substitutes To Use

Learn to use it to elevate your dishes.

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Want to elevate your cooking? Do it with a splash of white wine! 

You may not know if but you may have been eating food that contains wine. Pasta vongole is a classic pasta dish with white wine. You might have eaten pork or chicken marinated with white wine. You might even have tasted it in that spiked hot chocolate you enjoyed so much over the holidays.  

You may be a little wary about using wine in your cooking but it's actually no different than using another ingredient. Admittedly, white wine is the easier wine to use since it's a light-colored liquid and can be used in almost any dish, unlike red which can stain your dish with its hue and maybe too robust in flavor to be used in some dishes. 

However, that should not cloud your judgment about using wine in cooking. If you're thinking of using wine in your dishes, here are the main tips to remember and use when you do: 

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This delicious tahong recipe is made super tasty from garlic and white wine.
Photo by Michael Angelo Chua
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1 Always use a wine you like to drink when cooking. 

This tip will always hold true to most anything when it comes to cooking and eating. If there is an ingredient that you do not like to eat, it's likely that you will rarely cook with it. This is the same for wine in cooking. If you are not a fan of the taste of a particular wine, why add it to the food that you are going to eat? 

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2 Remember to simmer or reduce the wine. 

Cook wine like it was vinegar. Vinegar, when added to food, is commonly simmered until the sharp acidity of its flavor has evaporated. The same needs to be done with wine. It's a great tip so that you are left with the main flavor of the wine, the underlying notes that make it delicious to taste and drink. This is the reason why wine for cooking also needs to be the same kind of wine that you like to taste and drink on its own.  

This deceptively simple soup hides a wine-and-cheese combo that's delicious.
Photo by Miguel Nacianceno
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3 You can substitute wine. 

If you stumble upon a recipe that calls for wine and you don't have any, you can use another ingredient in its place. Here are cooking wine substitutes for you to use:

  • • chicken or vegetable stock and broth
  • • grape juice
  • • apple juice or apple cider
  • • lemon or citrus juice
  • • vinegar
  • • water 

The most common substitute is stock, chicken or vegetable, so it's more neutral in flavor. You can use beef or pork stock if that's the meat you're using for your dish. You can also use fruits juices such as white grape for white wine, red grape juice for red wine, and apple juice or apple cider for either kind of wine. 

Lemon or calamansi juice and vinegar are both highly acidic ingredients to add to dishes that have wine but if the dish calls for the wine's use for its acidity, you can use this wine substitute sparingly to give it that tang that your dish may be missing. 

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You can also use water in the same amount as the wine and simmer it as stated in the recipe or omit it completely.     

Use wine for more than just drinking! Use it in recipes with confidence by using the tips we mentioned. White wine is not an ingredient to worry about when you see it listed in a recipe you want to try, but know that you have options when you decide to use it so you can taste the difference one ingredient can make in a dish.  

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.


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