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Not A Fan Of Alcohol? Here Are 10 Non-Alcoholic Substitutes For Wine

Since ages, wine has been used not only for recreational purposes but also for the drink's many health benefits. Made from fermented grape juice, the flavourful drink is one of the best ways to incorporate fun and health. Moderate consumption of wine can be attributed to long life, protection against cancer and improved mental health [1].

Drank all around the world and used in cooking globally, wine has a special place in one's life. Okay, maybe not everyone but definitely a large majority. However, worry not non-wine lovers - because we have got you covered.

If you do not have wine at home or prefer using the non-alcoholic varieties, here is a list of options you can try the next time you are cooking.

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1. Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that can help manage inflammation, lower blood pressure and reverse atherosclerosis [2]. The rich, fruity flavour of pomegranate juice makes it one of the best substitutes for red wine (similar colour, flavour and acidity).

Replace red wine with pomegranate juice in recipes at a 1:1 ratio.

Tips: Pomegranate juice is less acidic than red wine, so you can mix it with a tablespoon of vinegar, giving it a stronger flavour.

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2. Cranberry Juice

Expert findings suggest that cranberry juice may prevent infections, UTIs, delay or reduce the severity of the chronic disease, and prevent age-related oxidative damage. For most healthy people, cranberry juice is safe - making it one of the best substitutes for (red) wine [3][4].

Replace red wine with cranberry juice in recipes at a 1:1 ratio.

Tips: Cranberry juice is naturally sweet, so it is best to use one that does not have added sugar. You can reduce the sweetness of cranberry juice by mixing it with a tablespoon of vinegar.

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3. Grape Juice (Red/White)

As wine is made from fermented grape juice, using grape juice as a substitute for wine will no go wrong. Apart from the rich flavour, grape juice has the potential to boost immune health and may lower some heart disease risks [5].

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Wine and grape juice have almost identical flavours and colours so that you can replace wine with grape juice at a 1:1 ratio.

Tips: You can add a bit of vinegar to grape juice to bring down the sweetness and increase the tartness and acidity.

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4. Apple Juice

Apple juice is completely free of calories and fat and can help lower cholesterol levels [6]. A glass of apple juice is packed with various essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K and folate and help boost your energy levels. A perfect substitute for white wine, apple juice has a similar flavour and colour.

You can replace white wine with apple juice in recipes at a 1:1 ratio.

Tips: Apple juice works best as a wine replacement for a small amount of wine in the recipe. In the case of a large amount, you may not achieve the exact flavour. You can add some vinegar to apple juice to add extra acidity and flavour.

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5. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. It adds a certain flavour to your food, taking it to the next level. From promoting hydration to aiding weight loss, this citrus drink is a great substitute for white wine [7]. You can also use lemon juice to tenderise meat.

Tips: Lemon juice should be diluted with equal parts of water before adding it to your dishes. If the recipe requires one cup of white wine, replace it with half a cup of lemon juice mixed with half a cup of water.

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6. Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is rich in nutrients like vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium, and has been shown to help reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease and some cancer [8]. Tomato juice has an acidic and a tiny bit of bitter flavour and can be used as a substitute for red wine.

You can use tomato juice in place of red wine at a 1:1 ratio.

Tips: As tomato juice has a different flavour from wine and tastes different, make sure to taste your food while cooking to check the flavour. As tomato juice has a minor bitter flavour, you can mix it with any fruit juice to bring forth a sweet flavour.

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7. Ginger Ale

Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavoured with ginger, which also contains lemon, lime, and cane sugar [9]. Ginger ale can be used as a replacement for white wine, mainly due to the similar appearance.

You can substitute ginger ale for white wine in equal amounts.

Tips: Ginger ale has a similar dry and sweet flavour as that of white wine but has different flavours. Ginger ale should only be used in recipes that can gel well with the ginger flavour.

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8. Wine Vinegar (Red/White)

Vinegar is commonly used in ingredient in cooking and contains acetic acid and water, and some compounds used in the production of wine. Red and white wine vinegar are great substitutes for wine in cooking as they have similar flavours and will not necessarily affect the taste of the dish [10].

Wine vinegar is more acidic than regular wine, so you need to dilute it before adding it to recipes; mix water and wine vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.

Tips: Red wine vinegar is best used with beef, pork and vegetables. White wine vinegar is best for chicken and fish [11].

Note: Wine vinegar may contain trace amounts of alcohol, but it gets reduced with cooking.

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9. Chicken/Vegetable Stock

Stock is made by simmering animal bones, meat, seafood, or vegetables in water and makes use of spices, herbs and vegetable parts to increase the flavour [12]. You can substitute stock for white wine when you want to add depth of flavour to your dish. Stock is savoury, less acidic and mild in flavour (compared to wine).

You can replace wine with the stock at an equal ratio.

Tips: Beef broth (deep colour and flavour) works best as a replacement for red wine. Chicken and vegetable broths are better replacements for white wine.

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10. Water

You can also use water in place of wine but do keep in mind that water will not contribute any flavour, colour or acidity to your dish. Water can be used as the liquid base and nothing more and prevent the dish from being dry.

Tips: You can mix vinegar with water to help enhance the flavour. You can use 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar and one tablespoon sugar can be used as a 1:1 substitute.

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On A Final Note…

Grape juice is the best substitute for wine in cooking. Always get familiar with the taste of the substitute you are using in place of wine, to avoid any mishaps while cooking and ruining your dish.

Read more about: wine non alcoholic substitutes
Story first published: Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 16:00 [IST]