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Cooking With Non-Alcoholic Wine For Sophistication

Cooking with Non-Alcoholic Wine

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Cooking with non-alcoholic wine is a subject close to my heart. Having spent over 30 years in the traditional wine and food world, I did a lot of cooking with wine.  Now I do the same, only with non alcoholic wine.  Cooking with non-alcoholic wine can work wonders! This basic ingredient can literally transforms the dish from simple to gourmet. Cooking with non alcoholic wine deepens flavors and makes them more complex, creating a rich and savory taste profile.  Non alc wine also adds acidity to the dish, which can help balance the flavors and tenderize meats. Plus, cooking with alcohol free wine adds moisture, keeping dishes succulent and juicy.

Overall, adding NA wine to a recipe just elevates the dish, giving it sophistication.

What Countries Cook with Wine?

Cooking with Non Alcoholic Wine


The French have certainly played a significant role in popularizing the use of wine in cooking, but they were not the first culture to do so.  Ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and Romans used wine in their cooking, incorporating it into sauces, stews, and other dishes.

In France, wine has been a staple ingredient in sauces, marinades, and braisesfor centuries, particularly in regions like Burgundy and Bordeaux, where wine production is a significant part of the culture.  While the French have certainly elevated the use of wine in cooking to an art form, they were not the first to recognize its culinary potential.


In Italian cuisine, wine is used in cooking in numerous ways. It is commonly used to deglaze pans and create flavorful sauces for pasta, meats, and seafood. For example, classic Italian dishes like “Risotto al Barolo” and “Chicken Marsala” both feature wine-infused sauces that contribute to their rich flavors.  You can make these dishes low in carb by using pressure cooked raw sunflower seeds instead of rice in the risotto.

Wine is also used in marinades for meats, particularly in dishes like “Brasato al Vino Rosso,” a braised beef dish cooked in red wine, and “Pollo al Vino Bianco,” chicken cooked in white wine. Additionally, wine is used in various Italian soups and stews, adding depth of flavor and complexity to dishes like “Zuppa di Pesce” (fish soup) and “Osso Buco” (braised veal shanks).

Desserts and Baked Goods:

Moreover, wine is a key ingredient in many Italian desserts and baked goods. For instance, “Zabaglione” is a classic Italian dessert made by whisking egg yolks, sugar (in our Keto case, a sweetener), and sweet wine (in our Keto case, a dry wine with pinch of added monk fruit sweetener) together until thick and creamy. Italy’s diverse wine regions produce an array of wines, each with its own unique flavor profile, and this diversity is reflected in the country’s culinary traditions. Whether it’s a hearty Tuscan red, a crisp Venetian white, or a sweet Sicilian Marsala, wine plays a fundamental role in shaping the vibrant and flavorful tapestry of Italian cuisine. We can substitute sweet Sicilian Marsala with a non alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc.  Add almond extract and a some monk fruit sweetner to the dish to get that Marsala flavor.



Spanish cuisine also incorporates wine in cooking, although perhaps not as prominently as in French cuisine. Spain has a rich culinary tradition, and wine plays a significant role in many Spanish dishes, particularly in regions where wine production is prominent, such as Rioja, Catalonia, and Andalusia. In Spanish cuisine, wine is used in various ways, including in marinades, sauces, stews (such as the famous Spanish dish, “Pollo al Jerez” or chicken with sherry), and even in desserts like “Dulce de Pedro Ximénez,” which features a sweet wine reduction.  Again, if we are making a Keto version of the dish, we must use non alcoholic wine low in sugar and add other ingredients to provide that ‘sherry’ flavor.


Germans also utilize wine in their cuisine, particularly in regions known for wine production such as the Mosel Valley, Rhine Valley, and Baden. German cuisine varies across different regions, but wine is often used in cooking to add depth of flavor to dishes.

In German cuisine, wine is commonly used in sauces, marinades, and braises, particularly in dishes featuring pork, poultry, and game meats. For example, “Rheinischer Sauerbraten” is a classic German dish of marinated and braised beef roast where wine, often Riesling, is a key component of the marinade.  We can achieve similar flavors in the recipe by cooking with non alcoholic wine.

Furthermore, wine is also used in the preparation of desserts and baked goods. German wine, particularly Riesling, is well-known for its sweetness and fruity flavors, making it a suitable ingredient in desserts like fruit compotes, cakes, and pastries.  For Keto versions use low glycemic berries and a sweetener like stevia or monk fruit sweetener in the compotes and cakes.

Overall, while Germany might not be as synonymous with wine in cooking as France or even Spain, wine still holds a significant place in German cuisine, especially in regions where winemaking is an integral part of the culinary culture.


Greece has a long history of using wine in its cuisine, dating back thousands of years to ancient times. Wine holds cultural and symbolic significance in Greek society, and its use in cooking is widespread.

In Greek cuisine, wine is often incorporated into dishes in various ways. It is used in marinades for meats and seafood, in sauces for stews and braises, and in dressings for salads. One classic Greek dish that features wine is “Kokkinisto,” a stew usually made with beef or lamb that is simmered in a tomato-based sauce with onions, garlic, and spices, often including a splash of red wine for added flavor.  You can also tenderize meat with a crisp non alcoholic white wine high in acidity.

Moreover, wine grape leaves are used to wrap foods like dolmades, a popular appetizer made with grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat.  For your keto version you can stuff the leaves with herbs and ground meat, leaving out the rice.  Or you can add a rice substitute to achieve a dish closer to the authentic one.  Palmino rice is delicious.  Cauliflower rice would become too mushy.

In addition to savory dishes, wine is also used in Greek desserts and pastries. For example, “Moustokouloura” are traditional Greek cookies flavored with grape must (freshly pressed grape juice) or sweet wine.  You can achieve a Moustokouloura flavor in your keto dish but cooking with non alcoholic wine low in sugar and adding cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar-free caramel extract.  These ingredients can mimick the flavor of Moustokouloura.

Many countries around the world incorporate wine into their culinary traditions, often reflecting the local wine culture and regional ingredients.

Here are a few more examples:

  1. Portugal: Portuguese cuisine often includes dishes that use wine, particularly in sauces and marinades. Wine is also used in traditional Portuguese dishes like “cozido” (a stew) and “bacalhau” (salted cod).
  2. Austria: Austrian cuisine features dishes that utilize wine, especially in recipes from wine-growing regions like Burgenland and Styria. Wine is used in sauces, stews, and desserts, adding depth of flavor to dishes like “Wiener Schnitzel” and “Sachertorte.”
  3. Switzerland: Swiss cuisine incorporates wine into dishes such as fondue and raclette, where wine is often used to flavor the cheese. Wine is also used in Swiss cooking for sauces and meat dishes.
  4. Hungary: Hungarian cuisine includes dishes that use wine, particularly in hearty stews and sauces. One famous example is “Goulash,” a beef stew flavored with paprika and often cooked with red wine.
  5. Argentina: In Argentine cuisine, wine is used in cooking traditional dishes such as “asado” (barbecue) and “empanadas.” Wine is also a key ingredient in some sauces and marinades.
  6. Chile: Chilean cuisine features dishes that incorporate wine, especially in recipes influenced by Spanish and indigenous traditions. Wine is used in sauces, stews, and seafood dishes.
  7. South Africa: South African cuisine includes dishes that use wine, particularly in Cape Dutch and Cape Malay cooking. Wine is often used in stews, sauces, and marinades, contributing to the unique flavors of dishes like “Bobotie” and “Cape Malay curry.”

You can cook with non alcoholic wine to replace the traditional wine in almost every recipe possible.

Can You Cook with Non-Alcoholic Wine?

Cooking with Non Alcoholic Wine

Yes, you can cook with non alcoholic wine, as stated above.  Cooking with non-alcoholic wine offers several benefits. First, it’s suitable for those of us who prefer to avoid alcohol altogether, for personal, health, or religious reasons.

Additionally, non alcoholic wine low in sugar often contains fewer calories and sugar compared to its alcoholic counterpart, aligning well with dietary preferences such as Keto or low-carb.

Can I Substitute Non Alc Wine For Regular Wine In Recipes?

Yes, you can generally substitute non-alcoholic wine for regular wine in recipes that call for wine as an ingredient. However, it’s essential to consider that non-alcoholic wine might have a slightly different flavor profile compared to traditional wine. The non alcoholic one might have a different acidity level, so you may need to adjust the seasoning or other ingredients in your recipe accordingly.  Also check the label before purchasing to ensure the wine is low in sugar.  Any sugar in wine will have to be added to your daily carb macros.

How Does Non-Alcoholic Wine Affect The Flavor Of Dishes?

Non-alcoholic wine can add depth and complexity to dishes, similar to regular wine. However, since it lacks alcohol, it may not impart the same intensity or richness that alcoholic wine does. The flavor profile of non-alcoholic wine varies depending on the brand and grape varieties used. Experimentation with different brands and types can help you find the best match for your dish.  The alcohol in traditional wine adds viscosity or thickness to the recipe, as well as flavor.  You can mimick the alcohol but using non alcoholic wine and then adding avocado oil.  The oil is tasteless but will add that viscosity to the dish.

Is Alcohol Free Wine Suitable For Cooking?

Yes, non-alcoholic wine is suitable for cooking. It can be used in recipes that call for wine as an ingredient, such as sauces, marinades, stews, and braises. Since the alcohol content has been removed, non-alcoholic wine won’t affect the flavor of your dish in the same way that alcoholic wine does, but it can still add complexity and depth.

What Dishes Work Well With Zero Alcohol Wine?

Non-alcoholic wine can be used in a wide range of dishes, including  Keto pasta sauces, risottos (using rice alternatives), soups, and sugar-free desserts. It pairs well with poultry, seafood, vegetables, and meats. You can use it to deglaze pans, add flavor to marinades, or simmer into savory sauces. Experimentation is key to discovering which dishes work best with non-alcoholic wine and how it complements different ingredients.

How Do I Store Non-Alc Wine For Cooking?

Non-alcoholic wine should be stored similarly to regular wine. It should be kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, heat sources and vibrations. Once opened, it’s best to store non-alcoholic wine in the refrigerator to maintain its flavor and quality. Make sure to seal the bottle tightly with its original cork or a wine stopper to prevent oxidation.

Can I Reduce Non-Alcoholic Wine For Cooking?

Yes, you can reduce non-alcoholic wine for cooking just like you would with traditional wine. Reducing non alcoholic wine concentrates its flavors and creates a richer, more intense sauce or glaze. Simply simmer the non-alcoholic wine in a saucepan over medium heat until it has reduced to your desired consistency. Keep in mind that since non-alcoholic wine doesn’t contain alcohol, it won’t reduce in the same way, so the flavor profile may differ slightly.  Again, you may want to add a splash of avocado oil to mimick the mouthfeel that alcohol normally adds to a dish cooked with wine.

Can I Use NA Wine In Keto and Low-Carb Desserts?

Yes, non-alcoholic wine can be used in desserts to add flavor and complexity. It pairs well with chocolate, sugar-free fruit-based desserts, and creamy desserts like Keto tiramisu or Keto panna cotta. You can use it to soak Keto sponge cakes, flavor sauces and glazes, or create wine-infused sugar-free sorbets and sugar-free  ice creams. Just be mindful of the sweetness of the non-alcoholic wine and adjust the sweetener levels in your dessert recipes accordingly.

Are There Any Health Benefits To Cooking With NA Wine?

Non-alcoholic wine offers similar health benefits to traditional wine, such as antioxidants and polyphenols found in grape skins. However, since the alcohol content has been removed, non-alcoholic wine contains fewer calories and no alcohol, making it a healthier option. It’s important to note that non-alcoholic wine may still contains sugar and should be consumed in moderation.  Hunt for non alcoholic wines with the lowest sugar possible.

Can I Use Non-Alcoholic Wine In Place Of Vinegar In Recipes?

While non-alcoholic wine can add acidity and depth to dishes, it’s not a direct substitute for vinegar. Vinegar has a stronger acidity and distinct flavor profile that non-alcoholic wine lacks. However, you can use non-alcoholic wine high in acidity like Sauvignon Blanc to deglaze pans, create pan sauces, or add depth to marinades in a similar way to vinegar. Experiment with small amounts to see how it complements the other flavors in your dish.

What Are Some Tips For Cooking With Non-Alc Wine?

Non Alcoholic Wine Chardonnay & Smashed Brussels Sprouts

Here are 14 tips for cooking with non-alcoholic wine:

  1. Choose Quality Non-Alcoholic Wine: Just like traditional wine, the quality of your non-alc wine will impact the flavor of your dish. Select a non alcoholic wine that you enjoy drinking on its own and that complements the flavors of your recipe.
  2. Consider Flavor Profiles: Pay attention to the flavor profile of the non-alcoholic wine you’re using. Whether it’s fruity, dry, earthy, or robust, choose a wine that enhances the flavors of your dish. If you’re choosing a dish with earthy ingredients, such as mushrooms or root vegetables, choose an earthy wine like non alcoholic Pinot Noir.
  3. Use in Moderation: Use in moderation to avoid overpowering other ingredients.
  4. Reduce the Wine: To intensify the flavor of the non-alcoholic wine and remove excess liquid, consider simmering it in a saucepan before adding it to your recipe.
  5. Pair Thoughtfully: Just like with traditional wine, consider the pairing of the wine used in the recipe with the non-alcoholic wine you choose to sip with dinner. You may want to use the same wine for both. Certain flavors complement each other beautifully, enhancing the overall dining experience.

And more tips…

  1. Marinate with Non-Alcoholic Wine: Use non-alcoholic wine as a base for marinades to infuse meats and vegetables with flavor before cooking.  Use non alcoholic wines high in acidity.
  2. Enhance Sauces and Gravies: Non-alcoholic wine adds depth and complexity to sauces and gravies. Incorporate it into pan sauces or reductions for added flavor.
  3. Braise and Stew: Use non-alcoholic wine as a braising liquid or in stews to tenderize meats and add richness to the dish.
  4. Different Wines for Different Dishes: If you’re making a white sauce use white wine. If you use red wine in a white sauce, it will make the sauce turn grey.
  5. Substitute in Recipes: You can often substitute non-alcoholic wine for traditional wine in recipes without significantly altering the flavor. Experiment to find the right balance for your tastes.
  6. Taste the Wine: Taste the non-alcoholic wine before adding it to your dish to familiarize yourself with its flavor profile.
  7. Adjust: Adjust the seasoning in your recipe to balance the flavors, since non-alcoholic wine may be sweeter or more acidic than the traditional wine.
  8. Change It Up: Experiment with different brands to find the best match for your dishes.

What Are Keto and/or Low-Carb Dishes With Wine You Can Prepare?

Cooking with Non Alcoholic Wine

Here’s the list with the ingredients for each dish, including the type of wine typically used:

  • Coq au Vin: Chicken pieces, bacon, mushrooms, onions, very few carrots (not Keto and optional), garlic, thyme, bay leaves, chicken broth, red wine low in sugar (NAPinot Noir).
  • Beef Bourguignon: Beef (such as chuck roast), bacon, onions, carrots (not Keto and optional), garlic, mushrooms, beef broth, tomato paste low in sugar, thyme, bay leaves, red wine low in sugar (NA Pinot Noir).

  • Chicken Marsala: Chicken breasts or thighs, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, chicken broth.  This dish classically uses Marsala wine that offers flavors of figs, nuts, caramel.  Marsala wine is high in sugar and contains alcohol, so it’s a no go. Instead use NA Sauvignon Blanc low in sugar and add a splash of vanilla or almond extract.
  • Shrimp Scampi: Shrimp, garlic, butter, lemon juice, parsley, white wine low is sugar (NA Pinot Grigio).
  • Beef Stroganoff: Beef (such as sirloin or tenderloin), onions, mushrooms, beef broth, sour cream, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, white wine low in sugar (NA Chardonnay).

And a few more dishes…

  • Risotto alla Milanese: Palmino rice, onions, garlic, chicken or vegetable broth, saffron, Parmesan cheese, NA Pinot Grigio
  • Red Wine Braised Short Ribs: Beef short ribs, onions, carrots (not Keto and optional), celery, garlic, beef broth, low-sugar tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, NA Merlot
  • Wine-Braised Lamb Shanks: Lamb shanks, onions, carrots (not Keto and optional), celery, garlic, lamb or beef broth, low-sugar tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, NA Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce: Beef tenderloin, shallots, garlic, beef broth, butter, Dijon mustard, thyme, NA Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Mussels Marinière: Mussels, shallots, garlic, butter, parsley, NA Sauvignon Blanc


  • Wine-Braised Chicken with Mushrooms: Chicken pieces, mushrooms, onions, garlic, chicken broth, thyme, NA Chardonnay
  • Pork Tenderloin in White Wine Sauce: Pork tenderloin, shallots, garlic, chicken broth, Dijon mustard, cream, thyme, NA Chardonnay
  • Wine-Poached Pears: IPears, brown sugar substitute (Swerve Brown Sugar), cinnamon, vanilla bean, lemon zest, NA Riesling
  • Zabaglione: Egg yolks, monk fruit sweetener, sugar,  NA Sauvignon Blanc, vanilla extract
  • Coquilles St. Jacques: Scallops, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, butter, parsley, Keto breadcrumbs, NA Chardonnay
  • Sole Meunière with White Wine Sauce: Sole fillets, keto flour blend, butter, lemon juice, parsley, capers, NA Sauvignon Blanc
  • Spaghetti alla Puttanesca: Fiber Gourmet Spaghetti, tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, chili flakes, parsley, olive oil, NA Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ratatouille with Red Wine: Eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, NA Cabernet Sauvignon


  • Mushroom Risotto with White Wine: Palmino rice, mushrooms, onions, garlic, vegetable or chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, NA Pinot Grigio

What Are Other Keto Low-Carb Dishes That Will Taste Better With Wine?

Here are some other Keto Low-Carb Recipes that will taste great with a splash of added wine:


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