Marsala is a strengthened wine indigenous the Sicilian region of Marsala. There are dry and sweet varieties. The is widely offered in cooking, both savory and sweet dishes like Chicken Marsala and Veal Marsala.

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The manufacturing of Marsala wine is strictly watched by the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). This is a branch the the Italian government and also is excellent to for sure the integrity of all commodities labeled Marsala wine.


It was very first created in 1773 by a man referred to as John Woodhouse, native Liverpool. He was playing roughly with fortifying local wines to mimic the taste of sherry.

It became popular just before the fight of the Nile in 1798. Admiral Horatio Nelson’s staff purchased Marsala wine together a replacement for rum to give to the Mediterranean fleet that the Navy before battle.

From here, Marsala became the drink of selection when the brothers Admiralty were toasting to a success in battle. Through 1812, another British man had worked out in Sicily and also had started a separate Marsala wine vineyard.

As Marsala wine is therefore strictly controlled, it deserve to be an overwhelming to gain hold of the sometimes. Because that this reason, not everyone will have a party of Marsala alcohol hanging about their house to use in cooking.

We have actually rounded increase a selection of several of the finest substitutes for Marsala alcohol in a range of dishes. These are all exceptionally flavorful substitutions and also will ensure your food quiet tastes fantastic.

How is Marsala alcohol made?

Marsala wine combine 3 grape species - Grillo, Inzolia, and Cataratto. This wine mix is strengthened using a neutral-flavored grape brandy.

This then gets sweetened using among 2 sweetening agents. These space mistela (fermented grape juice the has had actually the fermentation stopped using spirits) or mosto cotto (boiled under must).

Older arrays of Marsala wine to be aged utilizing a system known as Solera. This is a procedure known together dynamic aging.

The wines are included to a barrel and the oldest ones in ~ the bottom are attracted off. These barrels space then topped up with younger wines to period naturally over a longer period.

There space 3 colors of Marsala wine. These space ambra, rubino, and oro. Oro way golden, and these wines cannot be sweetened v mosto cotto.

Rubino is a newer and less common type of Marsala wine that have the right to only it is in made using red grapes. Ambra translates to amber.

There are also 3 levels of sweet Marsala wine come in. These are secco (dry), semisecco (medium dry), and also dolce (sweet).

Marsala wine has actually one an ext grading scale. This supplies the age of the wine to categorize it. The categories space fine, superiore, superiore riserva, vergine or solera, and vergine stravecchio or vergine riserva.

Fine wines need to be at the very least 17% alcohol by volume and 1 year old. Superiore wines space at the very least 2 years old and 18% alcohol by volume. Superiore Riserva has actually been aged because that at the very least 4 years and should have actually 18% alcohol by volume.

Vergine or Solera is also 18% alcohol by volume however has to be aged because that at least 5 years.

The last category, Vergine Stravecchio or Vergine Riserva includes wines that have actually been aged because that a minimum that 10 years. These likewise have 18% alcohol by volume and cannot have any type of sugar added.

Marsala alcohol Substitutes

Madeira wine

This is likewise a form of fortified wine, through a comparable taste and also appearance to Marsala wine. Traditionally it is made making use of 5 various grape varieties, making because that a facility taste.

Amontillado alcohol is a fortified sherry alcohol from the Spanish region of Montilla. This functions well as a substitute because that dry Marsala wine.

Pedro Ximinez is a Spanish white alcohol that makes an effective substitute for Marsala wine.

Port would also work, back this might be an ext expensive than making use of Marsala wine. Every one of these substitutes have the right to be used in a 1:1 proportion to Marsala wine.

Dry sherry

This is not as full-bodied in flavor together Marsala wine but will occupational if you just need an alcohol addict undertone. You must only use drinking sherry and not cooking sherry for this substitute.

This is due to the fact that cooking sherry has a lot of sodium and also other additive which might not pair well with the various other flavors in her dish.

Use the in equal quantities to the Marsala alcohol the recipe calls for.

Sherry and also sweet vermouth

If you perform not discover sherry alone to it is in an efficient substitute, friend can combine it with sweet vermouth. This will offer a different dimension come the odor profile and you could prefer it.

To replace every ¼ cup Marsala wine, combine ⅛ cup sherry and also ⅛ cup sweet vermouth.

Grape juice and also brandy

This is a great substitute to lower the alcohol odor in your dish. That is basic substitution do from things you will certainly likely have in her cupboard.

To change every ¼ cup Marsala wine, integrate ¼ cup grape juice with 1 teaspoon of brandy.

White wine, brandy, seasoning

Many world will have actually a party of dried white alcohol to use here. Marsala is a alcohol that has been strengthened using brandy, an interpretation this substitute closely mimics the taste.

For every ¼ cup that Marsala wine, your recipe phone call for, instead of ¼ cup dried white wine linked with 1 teaspoon of brandy.

If you room using dry white wine, us suggest including a pinch or 2 of street to add the sweetness Marsala wine would provide. You might even include a pinch the salt to finish the flavor.

Fruit and also balsamic vinegar

A slightly more out there pointer is come stew plums, figs, or prunes because that an hour or so. Stress, overload the fluid out and combine with a fall or two of balsamic vinegar.

Use ¼ cup that this concoction to replace every ¼ cup Marsala wine.

Red grape or cranberry juice

You have the right to dilute one of two people of these juices a tiny using water. This is an efficient substitute because that sweet recipes, in details cakes. It is also an excellent if you are making tiramisu for children and wish to have actually the same affect without any alcohol.

To replace every ¼ cup Marsala wine, instead of ⅜ cup juice combined with ⅛ cup water.

White grape juice, vinegar, and vanilla

There room many civilization that choose not to have alcohol in the home. This is another great non-alcoholic substitute because that Marsala wine.

To change ½ cup of Marsala wine, include in ¼ cup white grape juice, 2 tablespoons that sherry vinegar, and also 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Chicken or vegetable stock

This works ideal for savory dishes where there is a long simmering or cooking time.

Chicken is generally the far better option, yet vegetable stock will work-related too. This offers a more ethical alternative to the dish for non-meat eaters.

Use in equal quantities to the proclaimed Marsala wine.

Frequently request Questions

What can You Use instead of Marsala Wine for Chicken Marsala?

Marsala wine deserve to be quite difficult to acquire a organize of at times. Most of united state don’t have a spare bottle lying around our home so, possibilities are, you will need to discover an alternate to that when cooking chicken marsala.

Some delicious substitutes because that marsala wine have the right to be used in a variety of dishes and will ensure her food is not any less flavorsome afterward. Here are some fantastic substitutes because that marsala wine:

Madeira wineSherry and sweet vermouthDry sherryWhite wine, brandy, and seasoningGrape juice and also brandyFruit and also balsamic vinegarWhite grape juice, vinegar, and also vanillaRed grape or cranberry juiceChicken or vegetable stock

The best alternative for marsala wine counts on the details dish you making. As soon as making chicken marsala, other strengthened wines have tendency to it is in the closest in taste. Shot to opt for red wine, Madeira wine, port wine, or red alcohol vinegar for the finest results.

What kind of wine have the right to I use for Chicken Marsala?

There are a range of wines you have the right to use to make a very delicious chicken Marsala dish. Dried marsala alcohol is usually the ideal option. You can choose in between three colors through Madeira wine.

These space Ambra, Rubino, and also Oro. Girlfriend can likewise choose from 3 levels that sweetness: secco (dry), semi-secco (medium dry), and dolce (sweet).

Madeira alcohol is a kind of fortified wine that has a similar appearance and taste together Marsala wine. The is traditionally make from five various grape varieties bring about a unique, facility taste.

Amontillado alcohol is another good wine because that chicken marsala. Friend could likewise use white wine in the kind of Pedro Ximinez. If you use white wine, us suggest adding one or 2 inches of sugar to include extra sweetness. Even a pinch or therefore of salt can finish the dish’s flavor.

Can ns substitute Marsala because that white wine?

White alcohol is much much easier to gain your hand on. Possibilities are, you have actually some in your residence already. Fortunately, white wine have the right to be a wonderfully tasty substitute because that Marsala wine. You deserve to use ½ a cup of dried white wine and also mix it with just a teaspoon of brandy.

However, dried white wine is not as sweet and also this is wherein the brandy comes in. Brandy is added to mimic the sweetness of Marsala but a dash that this liqueur may not be sufficient at times. If so, consider adding a pinch the brown street while you cook.

White alcohol is a good option in countless recipes. You will routinely see it being supplied in French and also Italian cuisine. However if you ever run out of Marsala wine or can not find any type of in the store, white wine will always be great substitute.


There are many an excellent substitutes for Marsala wine. The most appropriate an option of substitute relies on the flavor file of the food you are making.

As a general rule, other fortified wines are most likely to it is in closer in taste come Marsala wine and often do the best substitutes. Another Marsala wine substitute is red wine, madeira wine, harbor wine, and also red alcohol vinegar.

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We have additionally included some non-alcoholic substitutions in case you room teetotal or food preparation for children.If you need a Marsala wine substitute for your Marsala sauce, you have the right to always try dry Marsala or sweet Marsala alcohol if you"re working v a chicken breast or veal Marsala.