Cooking the holiday feast

Most home cooks don't have port or port wine just laying around, but if a recipe calls for it, there are some viable substitutes. This rich-tasting alcohol comes in several varieties, but its most basic forms are ruby (red) and tawny (white). Make sure you know which one your recipe needs before selecting a substitute. Most red-meat dishes and some poultry recipes require ruby port, while other poultry and fish recipes require tawny.

Sweet Red Wine

If your recipe calls for ruby port, you can use any sweet red wine, like Merlot, Shiraz, or Chianti, in its place. Substitute the wine equally for the port.

Sweet White Wine

To replace tawny port, you can use any sweet white wine, in equal parts as well. White zinfandel, riesling (particularly late-harvest riesling), and chardonnay all work well.

Non-Alcoholic Replacement

If you want a non-alcoholic dish, you can use broth or simply leave out the wine altogether. Replace the port with an equal amount of broth made from the same protein you're cooking—if you're cooking beef, replace the port with a cup of beef broth. You can buy broth ready-made and sold in aseptic packaging at most grocery stores, or you can make it using bouillon cubes.