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wine substitutes for sulphite allergies

I was hoping you might suggest some alternatives to cooking with wine for people who are allergic to sulphites. I can use sake, vodka, scotch etc. but I was wondering how best to use an alternative. I do substitute lemon and distilled vinegar.

Comments

  • Sharon - the best substitution will depend on the recipe. If the main function of the wine is for its acidic notes, then a replacement of citrus or vinegar (white wine vinegar to replace white wines, red wine vinegar to replace red wines - look for vinegars that confirm they do not contain sulfites) is a good choice. If the wine is there to contribute more juicy, fruity notes, then you might want to think about using watered-down fruit juices combined with citrus. Pomegranate juice and lemon can be a great stand-in for wine if you're doing something like our Malbec-Poached Pears, while white grape juice and lemon is an excellent substitute in our Chicken en Cocotte with White Wine and Grainy Mustard. Hope that helps! - April D.

  • Hi Sharon - For deglazing a pan, stock or another liquor combined with vinegar or citrus juice is a fine substitute. I would stick with liquors that are relatively mild-flavored so they don't skew the dish too much - gin could be too herbal, whiskey/bourbon might be too smoky. I might consider making your own chicken and beef stock so you can make it a bit more concentrated and flavorful. You can freeze it in ice cube trays and pop as much out as you need when you cook. For pan sauces, I would add the stock only, reduce the sauce, and then add the vinegar or citrus juice at the end to maintain its acidity. Hope that helps! Best, Lynn C.

  • Thank you both! I can't use any type of wine vinegars (even the "no sulphites added" contain sulphites naturally) and will try the pomegranate juice and lemon and stock. I make shrimp with white wine and lime leaves, and roast duck with a wine reduction sauce and would like to figure out how to modify these. The duck might be able to handle these deeper flavours, not sure what to do with the shrimp.

  • Hi Sharon - for the shrimp dish, I would try shrimp stock or clam juice combined with lime juice (add the lime juice at the end). For the duck, I think April's suggestion of pomegranate juice and lemon would be great with the duck. Juices can sometimes end up too sweet when they are reduced but, in this case, I think that sweetness would be really nice with duck. Best, Lynn

  • Hi Sharon,

    When wine is heated, the alcohol evaporates. So you cannot get drunk. The sulphites in wine - which some people are allergic to - also evaporate on cooking. The aim of using wine in cooking is to get the concentrated flavour and essence of the wine.

    If you only need acidity, you can use the alternatives.

  • I'm wondering if there is proof that the sulfites would burn off in the cooking . I doubt it and would not chance it unless you have proof. Also concerned about balsamic vinegar how to substitute for it??

    Did you know baby Arrowroot biscuits have sulfites in them!! That is so crazy .

  • Hi Judy - We don't have any research to back up Leon's points about sulfites evaporating, but you can use apple cider vinegar and sugar to substitute for balsamic vinegar (assuming you are not allergic to apple cider vinegar). 1 tablespoon of vinegar combined with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, honey, or agave syrup should work. Best, The Milk Street Team

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