What Can I Use Instead Of Marsala Wine

In the realm of culinary arts, wine acts as a superb ingredient to enhance the flavor profile of a meal. Marsala wine is often a go-to choice for this purpose. However, there may be times when you find yourself without Marsala wine or you may decide against using it for various reasons. Under these circumstances, knowing about different substitutes can be quite valuable. In this piece, I’ll share insights on several alternatives to Marsala wine, based on my personal experimentation and experiences.

1. Madeira Wine

Madeira wine is a fortified wine that originates from the Portuguese island of Madeira. It has a rich and slightly sweet flavor profile, similar to Marsala wine. Madeira wine is often used in cooking to add depth and complexity to sauces and gravies. Its nutty undertones and caramelized flavors make it an excellent substitute for Marsala wine in savory dishes.

2. Dry Sherry

Dry sherry is another versatile wine that can be used as a replacement for Marsala wine. It is a fortified wine made in Spain and has a dry and nutty flavor. Dry sherry works well in savory dishes, especially those that call for the use of Marsala wine as a deglazing agent or flavor enhancer.

3. Red or White Wine with Brandy

If you don’t have any fortified wines on hand, you can create a substitute for Marsala wine by combining red or white wine with brandy. This combination will mimic the flavors and richness of Marsala wine. Simply mix equal parts of wine and brandy to achieve the desired taste. However, do keep in mind that the exact flavor profile may vary depending on the type of wine and brandy you use.

4. Grape Juice or Stock

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative or prefer not to use any type of wine in your dish, there are a couple of options to consider. Grape juice can be used as a substitute for Marsala wine, especially in sweet recipes. It will add a fruity and sweet flavor to your dish. Alternatively, you can use stock (such as chicken or vegetable stock) to replace Marsala wine in savory dishes. While it won’t provide the same depth of flavor, it can still enhance the overall taste of the dish.


While Marsala wine is a popular choice for cooking, there are several alternatives that can be used in its place. Madeira wine, dry sherry, a combination of red or white wine with brandy, grape juice, or stock can all serve as suitable substitutes depending on the flavor profile you’re looking to achieve. Remember to adjust the quantities and taste as needed, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors to find the perfect substitute for your recipe. Happy cooking!