If a recipe you have calls for port or port wine, but you don’t have any on hand, don’t fret. There are a number of substitutes for this rich-tasting alcohol. Port comes in several varieties, but its most basic forms are ruby (red) and tawny (white). Make sure you know which one your recipe calls for before selecting a substitute. Most red-meat dishes will include ruby port, as will some poultry recipes. However, some poultry and fish recipes will be looking for tawny port.
Sweet Red Wine
If your recipe calls for ruby port wine (or just asks for port), you can use any sweet red wine in its place. Merlot, Shiraz and Chianti are all varieties of red wine that make acceptable substitutes for ruby port. Substitute the wine equally for the port; if your recipe calls for a cup of port, use a cup of sweet red wine.
Sweet White Wine
To replace tawny port, you can use any sweet white wine. As with red wine, substitute the white wine equally for the port. Sweet white wines that work well as port replacements include white zinfandel, Riesling (particularly late-harvest Riesling) and Chardonnay.
If you want to replace port to make a nonalcoholic dish, you can use broth or simply leave out the wine altogether. Replace the port with the equal amount of broth made from the same protein you’re cooking. For example, if you’re cooking beef and the recipe calls for a cup of port, replace the port with a cup of beef broth. You can buy broth already made and sold in aseptic packaging at most grocery stores, or you can make it using bouillon cubes.
References and ResourcesSubstitute for Port
Sweet red wines
Sweet white wines