What can I substitute for red wine?

In this brief article, we will answer the question,”What can I substitute for red wine?”, and discuss what red wine is, and describe briefly some of the substitutes for red wine.

What can I substitute for red wine?

Red wine vinegar, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, ginger ale, red grape juice and lemon juice can be used instead of red wine.

Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made by fermentation and is highly acidic. It contains acetic acid and water along with other substances found in wine. Red wine vinegar is a good alternative to be used in cooking as the flavours are similar.

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is a drink which has a rich juicy flavour and is fairly acidic. The aroma, and the colours along with flavours are quite similar to red wine and can be substituted as a non alcoholic beverage in cooking. It can also be mixed with vinegar to increase the acidity and thus produce a stronger flavour. 

The juice of pomegranate is also very nutritious as it is rich in antioxidants and is popularly known and consumed to decrease blood pressure, making it a healthier alternative to red wine.

Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice is another healthy alternative to red wine. It has a tart taste with similar colour, a rich acidity and a rich flavour which are comparable to red wine. It is naturally sweet and does not need the addition of sugars in recipes. 

On the other hand, the sweetness in the recipe in which the cranberry is used as a substitute for red wine, can be decreased by mixing with 1-2 tbsp of vinegar. The nutritional profile of cranberry makes it beneficial to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, and is also rich in antioxidants which reduces the risk of inflammations and cancers.

Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale is a carbonated beverage in which the ginger is added for flavour. It also consists of lemon, lime and cane sugar. It is also high in acid which makes it suitable for the tenderization of meat , breaking down the proteins present in meat, making it chewable. 

The dry sweet taste may be similar to red wine, but they can only be used in recipes which require or go well with ginger flavours.

Red grape juice

Red grape juice is an excellent substitute for red wine as red grapes are the main ingredients used for the making of red wine. It has a rich nutritional and flavour profile and can be used as a non-alcoholic alternative. Vinegar can be added to the juice to decrease the sweetness, and increase the acidic content to increase tartness. 

The rich presence of polyphenols makes it very beneficial to enhance immunity, and lower the risk factors responsible for health diseases, such as hypertension.

Chicken, beef or vegetable broths

Chicken, beef or vegetable broths or stocks can be used as a replacement for red wine. The stock is made by simmering animal bones in hot water. Spices and vegetables are added to the stock to enhance flavours. For the purpose of enhancing the flavours, they are a good non-alcoholic substitute for red wine. 

Apple juice 

When a recipe requires wine in small amounts, apple juice can be used as a replacement. As discussed above with other types of juices, adding vinegar to apple juice adds to the acidity and flavour to food. It is suitable for making sauces to marinate some food dishes. 

Lemon juice

Lemon juice is well suited to boost flavours. The natural acidity present in lemon juice makes it ideal to be used in marinades to help in the tenderization of meats. The tart taste of lemon juice makes it suitable to replace red wine in cooking in equal amounts to prevent the taste of lemon juice from overpowering the taste of the whole food. 

The high nutritional value of lemon juice also makes it a healthier alternative. Half a cup of lemon juice consists of more than 90% daily requirements of vitamin C, with significant amounts of potassium, Vitamin B, Vitamin E and magnesium.

Other FAQs about Wine that you may be interested in.

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In this brief article, we answered the question,”What can I substitute for  red wine?”, and discussed what red wine is, and described briefly some of the substitutes for red wine.