Can I Use Balsamic Vinegar Instead Of Marsala Wine -8 Best Options

Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by

Marsala wine should be used to produce creamy, tasty, and savory meals. Marsala wine is often used in Italian dishes like chicken Marsala. But what if you do not have Marsala wine for your recipes? Can I use balsamic vinegar instead of Marsala wine?

Yes, you may substitute balsamic vinegar for the Marsala wine. Marsala wine may be replaced with non-alcoholic balsamic vinegar. However, it must be used with prunes. Balsamic vinegar and dried sweet fruits work wonderfully as a sweet Marsala wine replacement. But, there are other substitutions you could also use, and we will be discussing them in this article.

8 Best Options For Marsala Wine


Madeira wine is the best substitute for Marsala wine since it is almost equal in taste and color. It is created in Portugal and is available in dry or sweet varieties with various flavors. Madeira is popular as an aperitif but may also serve as a dessert.

Madeira, like Marsala wine, develops a more intense taste with age. Take note that true Madeira is created from five different varieties of grapes, resulting in solid tastes! Because Madeira already has a strong taste, be cautious when picking Madeira for cooking to avoid dominating your cuisine.

We suggest a pungent Madeira wine for roasts, soups, and sauces that call for Marsala. They are also useful for reducing sauces, deglazing pans, and preparing salad dressing. If you intend to drink Madeira, match wine with foods that include soups, mushrooms, or boiling vegetables.

Dry Sherry

A dry sherry wine is another wonderful option. It imparts a similar alcohol flavor to meals as Marsala wine. However, it lacks other taste characteristics, resulting in a less complex flavor in recipes. Most meals that call for Marsala wine should pair nicely with sherry wine.

In addition, dry sherry is fortified with brandy, raising the alcohol concentration to 17 percent. Adding dry sherry may benefit from soups, sauces, roasts, and several other meals. Because dry drinking sherry helps prevent coronary artery disease, using it as a wine alternative for Marsala in your recipes may also benefit your health. It may help lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.

When substituting dry sherry, you must use drinking sherry rather than cooking sherry. Cooking sherry often contains more flavorings and salt, which may alter the taste of your food.

Port Wine

If you already have port wine on hand, it might be a great substitute for Marsala wine in recipes. Because of its great taste, it works particularly well in sweet foods such as desserts. Port is a Portuguese wine that adds chocolate, cherry, and caramel flavors to foods. Port wine comes in four kinds, each with its own taste character. The most prevalent varieties are red port and tawny port. The red port adds a less sweet berry flavor to dishes, while the tawny port adds a richer, caramel flavor.

Recommended Port Wine

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port has a rich, ripe fruit flavors that are nicely mellowed and have a delectable, lengthy finish. Tight, peppery tannins complement its rich red berry flavors on the palate. Red fruit and eucalyptus aromas mixed with freshly picked mint are used to make this wine. This wine also has a well-balanced acidity, with a lingering and pleasing aftertaste. It may be used in place of Marsala wine. It also goes well with sweet desserts like an apple pie with cinnamon or almond cake.

Red Grape Juice

In dessert dishes, red grape juice may be used in place of Marsala wine. It lacks the subtle tastes that Marsala wine gives. It does, however, contribute sweetness as well as a grape taste to dishes. To have a more comparable taste, use sweetened red grape juice. If you only have unsweetened red grape juice on hand, you may sweeten it before using it in your sweets.

You may also use red grape juice in savory dishes, but to more precisely replicate the dry Marsala flavor, add vanilla essence and sherry vinegar. If no red grape juice is available, cranberry juice may be used as one of the Marsala wine alternatives.

Sherry And Sweet Vermouth

Another fortified wine is sherry, seasoned with fragrant herbs and spices to improve its scent. This makes them an excellent replacement if you are short of Marsala wine at home

Sherry wine has no distinct flavor since it may be manufactured in various ways. If created from younger Fino Sherries, one prevalent taste of the sherry wine would be preserved lemon, jackfruit, and savory tastes like mushroom.

Sherry and sweet vermouth are widely used in cocktails such as Manhattans and negronis, but they may also be used in recipes that include Marsala wine.

Fortified Wine

Because adding spirits to plain wine improves its flavor, they are known as fortified wines. The taste of fortified wines varies according to their ingredients and degree of fermentation. Choose a fortified wine depending on your preferences, whether in terms of flavor or texture.

Just keep in mind that, although wine has certain health advantages, consuming fortified wines in excess might have a negative impact on your health.

Chicken Stock

The most readily available Marsala replacement is chicken stock. It is easily accessible and may be obtained immediately from the grocery shop. Stock is best utilized in soups and stews when Marsala wine is added.

Of course, you may build your version and add your preferred flavors. However, store-bought can suffice for delectable meals. There is a taste difference since the stock lacks vanilla, smoke, and brown sugar overtones. To subtly change this swap’s flavor, add a balsamic vinegar splash. If your stock lacks taste, try flavoring it with marjoram, black pepper, and celery seed.

Pinot Noir

When looking for a substitute for marsala wine, pinot noir may be used in a variety of dishes. It also imparts the alcohol taste that Marsala is known for. Aside from that, pinot noir has rich tastes.

This dry, fruity wine has a range of taste notes that are comparable to port wine. However, pinot noir has a drier, less sweet taste. It works well in savory meals like meat dishes and sauces. If your dish calls for sweetness, incorporate a little quantity of sugar with the pinot noir.

Recommended Pinot Noir

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir

Villa Maria family-owned enterprise produces this award-winning wine in New Zealand. This wine is stylishly produced from various clones cultivated on chosen vineyard locations in Marlborough’s Awatere and Wairau Valleys. Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir boasts gentle aromatics of dry herbs like thyme and rosemary mixed with red summer fruits like cherries and berries. This wine is a good replacement for marsala and goes well with soft, creamy cheeses.

What Wine Should I Use For Chicken Marsala?

A variety of wines may be used to produce a delectable chicken Marsala meal. The finest choice is generally dry Marsala wine. You can also choose from Madeira wine which comes in three different hues. Ambra, Rubino, and Oro are their names. There are three sweetness levels to select from: secco (dry), semi-seco (medium dry), and dolce (sweet).

Madeira wine is a fortified wine that looks and tastes similar to Marsala wine. It is prepared from five different grape varieties, giving it a distinct and complex flavor. Another excellent wine for chicken Marsala is amontillado. You might also use white wine, such as Pedro Ximinez. We recommend adding one or two inches of sugar for added sweetness if using white wine. Even a sprinkle of salt may enhance the taste of the food.

Can I Use Marsala Instead Of White Wine?

White wine is significantly more readily available. You most likely already have some at home. Fortunately, white wine may be a delicious replacement for Marsala. You may use 1/2 cup of dry white wine and just a teaspoon of brandy.

However, dry white wine is not as sweet as brandy, which is where it comes in. Brandy is used to replicate the sweetness of Marsala. However, a dab of this liquor may be insufficient at times. If this is the case, try adding a pinch of brown sugar while cooking.

In many dishes, white wine is an excellent choice. It is a common ingredient in French and Italian cooking. However, if you run out of Marsala wine or cannot locate any at the shop, white wine is a suitable replacement.

Conclusion On Can I Use Balsamic Vinegar Instead Of Marsala Wine

Can I use balsamic vinegar instead of Marsala wine? Yes, you can but ensure you mix it with dried fruits. Other fortified wines are likely to taste similar to Marsala wine and are often the best replacements. Red wine, Madeira wine, port wine, and red wine vinegar are alternative Marsala wine substitutes.

We have also included some non-alcoholic alternatives in case you are a teetotaler or cooking for kids. If you are dealing with a chicken breast or veal Marsala, you may always use dry Marsala or sweet Marsala wine as a Marsala wine replacement.