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Red Wine

Red Wine is an alcoholic beverage made by pressing and fermenting red grapes.

See main entry on Wine.

Cooking Tips

If you are adding wine to a bean dish, such as a cassoulet, remember that wine is acidic, and acids toughen bean skins, so the wine should be added only after the beans are boiled and you are ready to start cooking with them.


There are legitimate reasons for wanting to substitute wine: a policy of not having it in the house, of not being able to afford it, of not being willing to brave nasty weather just for 3 tbsp of it, or having just enough left for a glass from last night's very good bottle that you're not willing to toss into a stew.

Here are some possible substitutes; you need to decide what is appropriate based on what you are making.

    • Broth or stock;
    • Liquid from a vegetable;
    • Red vermouth;
    • Tomato juice;
    • Red wine vinegar (use a bit less);
    • Prunes really add a winey note to meat dishes;
    • Grape juice with a bit of vinegar added to it;
    • Non-alcoholic wine;
    • Another alcohol such as port or sherry, or even cola!

In marinades, for every 1/2 cup (4 oz / 120 ml) of wine called for, try 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of vinegar, 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of water plus 1 tbsp sugar. Or whiskey or beer.

Storage Hints

Replace the cork, store outside of fridge. Most reds should be okay for several days and still be drinkable. For more expensive or less-stable red wines, consider buying one of those vacuum bottle sealers to extend its life. If a bottle does go off or go vinegary -- say, an opened bottled several weeks old -- you can still use it in cooking if you boil it for about 10 minutes to remove any unpleasant flavours (or if what you are cooking will be boiled or roasted, anyway).

History Notes

The ancient Greeks called red wine "black wine." Food historians speculate they called it that because in the earthenware drinking vessels they had, it would have appeared black. The Romans picked up the term as well.

Language Notes

"Binu nieddu" is Sardinian for "vino nero".

Red Wine

Red Wine

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Also called:

Vin rouge (French); Rotwein (German); Binu nieddu, Vino nero, Vino rosso (Italian); Vino tinto (Spanish); Vinho tinto (Portuguese)


Oulton, Randal. "Red Wine." CooksInfo.com. Published 03 November 2003; revised 18 February 2011. Web. Accessed 06/21/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/red-wine>.

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