Sometimes, though, you feel like having fish in a white wine butter sauce but don’t want to commit to opening and drinking most of a new bottle of white (or maybe you’re not a wine drinker at all). If you frequently find yourself pouring past-its-prime wine down your drain, we have a solution: Stop cooking with wine and start cooking with vermouth.
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What Is Vermouth?
Vermouth, like Marsala and sherry, is wine that has been fortified with a high-proof alcohol.
This higher alcohol content allows vermouth to be stored in the refrigerator for weeks or even months after you’ve opened the bottle, making it possible to pour off the occasional half cup at your convenience.
An added bonus? Bottles of vermouth (at least, the kind we like to use for cooking) are cheaper than the bottles of wine we typically use in the kitchen.
What Is the Difference Between Dry and Red Vermouth?
While dry vermouths are light and crisp, red vermouths are sweet with spiced and herbal notes. Red vermouths were originally made with a base of red wine, but nowadays, they are more often than not white wine–based and dyed red.
How to Substitute Dry Vermouth for White Wine
Dry vermouth can be substituted for white wine in equal ratios. However, some vermouths are infused with somewhat intense botanicals (think spices, roots, and herbs) that can be overpowering in some applications.
For cooking, we prefer vermouths with subtler floral and citrus notes that enhance but don’t overwhelm the food.
The Best Dry VermouthCould we find a bottle that would do double duty for cooking and cocktails?
How to Substitute Red Vermouth for Red Wine
Red vermouth is sweeter than white vermouth (and considerably sweeter than red wine), so the swap can be a little more noticeable.
If you swap in red vermouth for red wine and find the added sweetness bothersome, try toning it down with a few drops of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.