What Wine To Substitute For Cooking Sherry

Cooking sherry is a common ingredient in many dishes, but it can be hard to come by. If you’re looking for an alternative, there are a few options that can work just as well. In this article, we’ll look at some wine substitutes for cooking sherry so you don’t have to miss out on your favorite recipes. You’ll learn about dry and sweet white wines, dry and sweet red wines, as well as other alternatives that could do the trick. Read on to find out more!

Dry White Wines

If you’re looking for a dry, flavorful drink to use in your recipes, try a crisp white – it’ll make your dish sing! Dry whites are usually made from Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay grapes and tend to be lighter-bodied than red wines. They can range in flavor from citrusy and grassy to full of tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. The acidity of these wines makes them great for pairing with salty dishes like fish, creamy sauces, and light pastas. Without being too sweet or overpowering the flavors of your meal, they will enhance any recipe that requires a bit of sherry-like character. Moving away from the dry whites now…

Sweet White Wines

When it comes to cooking, you don’t have to miss out on the sweet flavor of sherry. Try a white Moscato or Riesling for that same sweetness! Sweet white wines are perfect when you need something with a little more fruity punch in your dishes. Here’s a few of the best:

  • Gewurztraminer – Aromatic and full of flavor, this wine will add intense floral notes and hints of spice to any dish.
  • Muscat – This wine has a distinctively sweet taste that can be used in many different types of dishes. It adds an interesting depth of flavor and can really bring out the other flavors in a dish.
  • Moscato – Light, sweet, and slightly fizzy, Moscato is great for adding complexity and sweetness to any recipe. Its high sugar content makes it perfect for desserts as well!

Sweet white wines are ideal substitutes for sherry if you’re looking for something just as flavorful but with its own unique twist. From Gewurztraminer to Muscat to the ever-popular Moscato, there’s sure to be something that works perfectly in your next dish! Moving onto dry reds now…

Dry Red Wines

Discover the robust flavors of dry red wines for your next dish – from full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon to earthy Pinot Noir, you’re sure to find something that adds a unique depth to your meal. Dry red wines are known for their deep color and tannic flavor profile. You can use them in sauces and marinades, but pairing them with food is key. Name Flavor Profile
Cabernet Sauvignon Rich & Bold
Merlot Soft & Fruity Shiraz/Syrah Spicy & Full Bodied Pinot Noir Earthy & Fruit Forward

Dry red wines provide a complexity of flavor that can add subtle nuances to any dish. Whether you’re looking for boldness or subtlety, there’s sure to be something perfect for your recipe. From here we transition into sweet red wines; these offer a different set of flavors that pair better with desserts and cheeses whereas dry reds work best when paired with savory dishes.

Sweet Red Wines

Hey! Let’s talk about sweet red wines, like Port and Madeira. Port is a fortified wine that comes from Portugal’s Douro Valley, while Madeira is an island off the coast of Portugal known for its sweet and tangy wines. Both are great substitutes for cooking sherry in recipes and work well in sauces, glazes, or as part of a marinade.


You’d better pour some port in that dish if you’re lookin’ for a delicious, savory flavor! Port is a fortified red wine that has been aged for several years to give it its sweet and fruity taste. It can range from dry to sweet, with medium-dry being the most commonly used type for cooking. The sweetness of port pairs nicely with many savory dishes — like beef stews and braised meats — and makes them even more flavorful. When using it as a substitute for sherry in cooking, make sure to reduce the amount of sugar or other sweetening agent you use since port will bring extra sweetness to the dish. And watch out: too much port can overpower your dish! On to the next one…


Madeira is a fortified wine with a unique flavor profile, perfect for adding complexity to any dish! It’s an excellent substitute for cooking sherry because of its similarity in color and sweetness. Although it has a higher alcohol content than sherry, the flavor will still be intense without overpowering your recipe. Madeira also works well as an ingredient in sauces and marinades due to its ability to retain flavor when heated. For an added bonus, it can even impart some delicious smoky tones that you won’t get from other wines. From savory dishes to sweet desserts, Madeira is the perfect addition to many recipes!
Moving on from Madeira, there are plenty of other alternatives that can serve as a great substitute for cooking sherry.

Other Alternatives

If you’re looking to add a special touch to your dish, consider using an alternative that will represent the spirit of your creation – something like Madeira. There are several other substitutes for cooking sherry that can provide a similar flavor profile. These include dry vermouth, brandy, port wine, and even white wine with lemon juice. All of these options can provide a depth of flavor and sweetness while still maintaining the same culinary qualities as sherry.

Each option provides its own unique set of characteristics which should be considered when deciding which substitute will work best in the recipe. For example, brandy can provide a strong flavor while port wine adds sweetness and complexity. Dry vermouth also has some sweetness but it is less intense than port or brandy. White wine with added lemon juice can give dishes a slightly tart note to balance out flavors. Ultimately, choosing the right cooking sherry substitute depends on individual preference and what works well in each specific recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the alcohol content of the alternative wines?

When it comes to alternative wines for cooking sherry, you’ll want to consider the alcohol content. Whether you prefer a light and fruity wine or a bold and rich one, there are options for both. A white wine like Pinot Grigio has an average alcohol content of 12%, while a Cabernet Sauvignon can have up to 15%. Red wines like Merlot or Zinfandel usually range between 13-15%. Keep in mind that fortified wines such as Sherry will have higher amounts of alcohol, so if that’s what you’re looking for, go with something like Port which can contain 20% ABV.

How does the flavor of the alternative wines compare to cooking sherry?

When looking for an alternative to cooking sherry, it’s important to consider the flavor of the wines available. Generally speaking, alternative wines like dry white wine or port will offer a more subtle and slightly sweeter flavor than cooking sherry. These wines are often less complex in flavor than their sherry counterpart, but still can add depth and complexity to recipes that call for a cooking wine.

Are there any health benefits to using the alternative wines for cooking?

Imagine the aroma of a dish enhanced by an alternative wine. It’s full-bodied flavor adds complexity to a subtle yet sophisticated meal. But have you ever thought about the health benefits that come with using an alternative wine in your cooking? From reduced cholesterol levels to increased antioxidants, many types of wines can provide additional nutrition to recipes and offer health benefits that are not found in traditional cooking sherry.

Are there any other types of alcoholic beverages that could be substituted for cooking sherry?

You may be wondering what other types of alcoholic beverages can be used to substitute for cooking sherry. There are several alternatives that you could use, depending on your specific recipe and desired flavor. For example, white wine or dry vermouth make great substitutes for cooking sherry because they have similar flavors and aromas. Additionally, brandy or cognac can also work well in certain dishes, providing a bit more sweetness than the other options. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is a high-quality one so that your dish will turn out just as good as if you had used cooking sherry!

Are there any substitutes for cooking sherry that do not contain any alcohol?

Finding an alternative to cooking sherry that doesn’t contain alcohol can be a challenge. However, there are a few options available. You could try vegetable or beef broth as a substitute for the dry, nutty flavor of sherry. Another option is to use white wine vinegar with some sugar and salt added for sweetness and flavor. Adding some herbs, such as thyme or oregano, also adds depth and complexity to your dish without adding alcohol. Finally, while it might not replicate the exact taste of cooking sherry, you could also use apple cider vinegar in place of the sherry when cooking.


You’ve now got a better idea of what wine to substitute for cooking sherry. Whether you choose a dry white, sweet white, dry red or sweet red wine, you know the flavor will be close enough that your dish won’t suffer from the substitution. But don’t forget there are other alternatives out there too! With careful consideration and experimentation, you can discover the perfect wine to bring out the best in your culinary creation. So go ahead and experiment with different wines – you might just find your next favorite recipe!

Recent Posts