Marsala wine is an Italian wine that originates from the Marsala region of Sicily. The cooking wine is fortified with brandy and owes its buoyant flavor to dark liquor. Marsala wine is most often used in Italian dishes such as chicken or veal Marsala or in recipes that require red wine. If you’d like to substitute a red or burgundy wine with Marsala, the process is relatively simple.
Read your recipe. Marsala has a sweet flavor, so it’s important to research whether the flavor of Marsala will work with the recipe. You might also need to add an extra ingredient to balance the flavor of Marsala and make it more similar to red or burgundy wine. So research variations of your recipe.
Replace the measurement of red wine that your recipe requires and replace the wine with Marsala. For example, if your meat sauce requires 2 cups of red wine, replace the wine with 2 cups of Marsala.
Cut the sweetness of the Marsala with with 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar for every 1 cup of Marsala. This will help mellow out the savoy flavor of the Marsala to make it more similar to the red wine flavor.
Use chicken or beef broth as an alternative to red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the Marsala. For every 1 cup of Marsala, add 1/4 cup of chicken or beef broth.
Add apple or concord grape juice for sweeter recipes. For every 1 cup of Marsala add 1/3 cup of juice.
Make a butter flour mixture to thicken sauce recipes to compensate for the added liquid to your recipes. In a small pan melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk the mixture until the flour is completely yellow and moist. Add in your sauce and whisk until all the ingredients are mixed.
References and ResourcesRecipe Tips: Cooking Wine
Gourmetsleuth: Nonalcoholic Substitutes for Wines, Spirits and Liqueurs