Dished cooked with wine

The Perfect Substitute to Traditional Wine in Cooking

Edenvale alcohol-removed wines can be used as a substitute for wine in cooking to avoid traces of alcohol in the finished dish while maintaining the flavour.

Edenvale: The Perfect Substitute to Traditional Wine in Cooking

There is nothing more exciting for an aspiring home cook than finding the perfect recipe for a dish that you’ve been wanting to try. However, when wine is included in the ingredient list, various questions may arise. Is it safe to cook with wine? What if there are still traces of alcohol left in the dish? If I leave out the wine, will the dish taste the same?

Wine is an important ingredient in cooking for many cultures and cannot be easily left out if you want your meal to be as deliciously rich and complex as it should be. Thankfully alcohol-removed wines offer the perfect solution.

Senior Editor at Allrecipes, Carl Hanson explains that cooking with wine often makes food taste better. The compounds in wine, such as tannins, help bring out the flavour and aroma in many dishes. Wine is not only a flavour-enhancer, but often an essential element in the dish coming together texturally, so many Italian, French, Chinese and other cuisines across the world incorporate alcohol.

However, consuming dishes that contain alcohol from wine can raise some concerns. Many worries about lingering traces of ethanol, the type of alcohol in wine and alcoholic beverages, that might stay in the dish even after it is cooked. This is a particular concern when it pertains to the safety of serving food to pregnant women, children or people that need to drive after dinner.

An experiment conducted by Jorg Augustin, along with his wife Evelyn Augustin, and his co-workers proves that anywhere from 4 per cent to 85 per cent of the alcohol remains in various dishes cooked with wine or liquor.

The clear solution to this is using alcohol-removed alternatives when cooking to ensure that the alcohol content remains almost negligible.

Let’s dig deeper on how wine from alcohol can remain in food and why non-alcoholic wine is the best alternative for cooking.

The Science Behind Cooking with Wine

Augustin’s experiment followed six recipes from Pillsbury Kitchens’ Cookbook: including an Orange Chicken Burgundy, Brandy Alexander Pie, Cherries Jubilee, and Grand Marnier Sauce, all prepared following the exact directions of the recipe.

The results showed that alcohol retention ranged between 4 per cent to 85 per cent, disproving the old adage that alcohol is completely burned off during the cooking process. They believed the differences were associated with the heat temperature and time.

The lower alcohol values of the final dishes were often caused by the pan used, which established that the larger the surface area of the pan, the more alcohol evaporated during cooking. There were also other factors such as the length of cooking time and method of cooking, with flambé leaving the most alcohol behind.

Augustin concluded that while cooking results in some loss of alcohol, it is impossible to remove all the alcohol when cooking.

In an interview with SBSDr Kim-Yen Phan-Thien, a lecturer in Food Science at University of Sydney, also agreed that cooking with alcohol over high heat for 30 minutes might reduce a large portion of ethanol but it will not get rid of it all.

Dr Phan-Thien found that ethanol cannot be cooked off quickly due to the other ingredients included in the dish, like water. Ethanol has a lower boiling point than water at around 78 degrees Celsius. If alcohol and water are being used to cook in one pot, the ethanol will be harder to cook off as there will be an interaction between the two chemicals and water will hold onto the ethanol, making it harder to burn off.

Dr Phan-Thien recommends people to switch to non-alcoholic ingredients when cooking to avoid alcohol remaining in cooked dishes.

red wine and food plate

Alcohol-Free Wine as the Best Alternative

At Edenvale Wines, Australia’s industry-leading non-alcoholic wine brand, we are experts at producing premium, alcohol-free wines that taste just as delicious as their alcoholic counterparts.

Edenvale wines are a great substitute in cooking, as they bring out similar tastes, aromas, and enhanced flavours as their alcoholic counterparts, without the risk of any traces of ethanol.

Our de-alcoholised wines are not created by adding chemicals into the wine to dissolve the ethanol. Instead, we use a physical process to carefully evaporate the alcohol, retaining the distinctive varietal flavours and aromas. Here’s a short step-by-step video of our alcohol-removal process.

The result of our alcohol removal process is an average finished alcohol level of approximately 0.2 – 0.3 per cent Alcohol/Volume, a level similar to that found in natural fruit juices. The International Standard for a non-intoxicating beverage is 0.5% Alc/Vol, of which Edenvale is nearly half. Below this level, the regulatory body, Food Standards of Australia, and New Zealand, do not require producers to include any statement of alcohol content or standard drinks.

Unlike many of our non-alcoholic wine competitors, we don’t use additives or unfermented grape juice to achieve our varietal flavours. We use traditional winemaking techniques to create full-flavoured, full-bodied wines before gently extracting the alcohol.

Edenvale sources grapes from select vineyards across Southeastern Australia’s most renowned wine regions to naturally incorporate delicious, rich, fruity flavour and tropical citrus tasting notes into our wines.

Sauvignon Blanc wine

You can enjoy cooking without the worry with Edenvale wines. Your delicious beef ragu with a dash of red wine, or your spaghetti marinara with a splash of white, will taste just as good, and your children and friends and family who are pregnant or abstaining from alcohol can still have a taste of your delicious dishes without any concern!

An added bonus? You can pick up Edenvale wines in the aisles of your local supermarket while you are shopping for the rest of your ingredients. Select Edenvale varietals are available at Dan Murphy’s, Coles, Woolworths, and IGA, or you can shop our full Edenvale range directly from our online store.

Back to blog

Recently Viewed