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

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The manufacturing of Marsala alcohol is strictly watched by the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). This is a branch of the Italian government and is done to ensure the verity of all products labeled Marsala wine.


It was very first created in 1773 through a man called John Woodhouse, indigenous Liverpool. He was playing around with fortifying regional wines to mimic the taste that sherry.

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

From here, Marsala became the drink of selection when the british Admiralty were toasting come a victory in battle. By 1812, one more British male had settled in Sicily and had started a separate Marsala alcohol vineyard.

As Marsala alcohol is therefore strictly controlled, it can be complicated to gain hold of it sometimes. Because that this reason, not everyone will have a party of Marsala alcohol hanging about their house to usage in cooking.

We have rounded increase a an option of some of the best substitutes because that Marsala wine in a selection of dishes. These space all very flavorful substitutions and will ensure your food still tastes fantastic.

How is Marsala wine made?

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

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

Older ranges of Marsala wine to be aged making use of a system recognized as Solera. This is a process known as dynamic aging.

The wines are added to a barrel and also the oldest ones at the bottom are attracted off. This barrels space then topped up v younger wines to period naturally over a longer period.

There are 3 color of Marsala wine. These space ambra, rubino, and also oro. Oro method golden, and these wines cannot be sweetened with mosto cotto.

Rubino is a newer and also less common type of Marsala alcohol that deserve to only it is in made using red grapes. Ambra translates to amber.

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

Marsala wine has one an ext grading scale. This uses the period of the wine come categorize it. The categories space fine, superiore, superiore riserva, vergine or solera, and vergine stravecchio or vergine riserva.

Fine wines have to be at least 17% alcohol through volume and also 1 year old. Superiore wines room at the very least 2 years old and also 18% alcohol by volume. Superiore Riserva has been aged for at the very least 4 years and also should have actually 18% alcohol through volume.

Vergine or Solera is also 18% alcohol by volume yet has been aged because that at least 5 years.

The last category, Vergine Stravecchio or Vergine Riserva contains wines that have been aged for a minimum that 10 years. These likewise have 18% alcohol through volume and also cannot have any sugar added.

Marsala wine Substitutes

Madeira wine

This is additionally a type of fortified wine, v a comparable taste and also appearance to Marsala wine. Traditionally the is made utilizing 5 various grape varieties, making because that a facility taste.

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

Pedro Ximinez is a Spanish white alcohol that renders an effective substitute because that Marsala wine.

Port would additionally work, although this can be an ext expensive than utilizing Marsala wine. Every one of these substitutes can be provided in a 1:1 ratio to Marsala wine.

Dry sherry

This is no as full-bodied in flavor as Marsala wine but will work if you simply need an alcohol addict undertone. You must only usage drinking sherry and not cooking sherry because that this substitute.

This is due to the fact that cooking sherry has actually a most sodium and also other additive which may not pair well with the other flavors in your dish.

Use it in equal quantities to the Marsala wine the cooking recipes calls for.

Sherry and also sweet vermouth

If you carry out not uncover sherry alone to it is in an efficient substitute, friend can combine it with sweet vermouth. This will provide a various dimension to the flavor 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 an excellent substitute to lower the alcohol flavor in your dish. The is simple substitution do from points you will likely have actually in your cupboard.

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

White wine, brandy, seasoning

Many human being will have actually a bottle of dry white wine to use here. Marsala is a wine that has been strengthened using brandy, definition this substitute closely mimics the taste.

For every ¼ cup that Marsala wine, her recipe calls for, instead of ¼ cup dried white wine combined with 1 tespoon of brandy.

If you room using dry white wine, us suggest including a pinch or two of street to add the sweetness Marsala wine would certainly provide. You could even add a pinch of salt to complete the flavor.

Fruit and balsamic vinegar

A slightly an ext out there ide is to stew plums, figs, or prunes for an hour or so. Strain the liquid out and combine with a autumn or 2 of balsamic vinegar.

Use ¼ cup the this concoction to change every ¼ cup Marsala wine.

Red grape or cranberry juice

You can dilute one of two people of this juices a little using water. This is an effective substitute for sweet recipes, in details cakes. It is also good if you room making tiramisu because that children and also wish to have actually the same impact without any alcohol.

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

White grape juice, vinegar, and vanilla

There space many world that favor not to have alcohol in the home. This is another good non-alcoholic substitute for Marsala wine.

To replace ½ cup the Marsala wine, add in ¼ cup white grape juice, 2 tablespoons that sherry vinegar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Chicken or vegetables stock

This works finest for savory dishes whereby there is a long simmering or cooking time.

Chicken is typically the better option, but vegetable stock will work-related too. This gives a much more ethical alternative to the dish for non-meat eaters.

Use in equal amounts to the proclaimed Marsala wine.

Frequently inquiry Questions

What deserve to You Use instead of Marsala Wine because that Chicken Marsala?

Marsala wine have the right to be quite challenging to gain a host of at times. Most of us don’t have a spare bottle lying around our residence so, possibilities are, you will require to find an alternative to that when food preparation chicken marsala.

Some very delicious substitutes for marsala wine have the right to be supplied in a variety of dishes and will ensure her food is not any less flavorsome afterward. Right here are some fantastic substitutes for marsala wine:

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

The best alternative for marsala wine depends on the certain dish you making. Once making chicken marsala, other strengthened wines often tend to be the closest in taste. Shot to opt because that red wine, Madeira wine, port wine, or red wine vinegar because that the ideal results.

What sort of wine deserve to I usage for Chicken Marsala?

There room a range of wines you have the right to use to make a very delicious chicken Marsala dish. Dried marsala wine is commonly the ideal option. You deserve to choose between three colors with Madeira wine.

These room Ambra, Rubino, and also Oro. Friend can additionally choose from three levels the sweetness: secco (dry), semi-secco (medium dry), and dolce (sweet).

Madeira alcohol is a type of fortified wine that has actually a similar appearance and taste as Marsala wine. It is traditionally do from five different grape varieties resulting in a unique, complex taste.

Amontillado wine is another good wine for chicken marsala. Girlfriend could additionally use white alcohol in the type of Pedro Ximinez. If you usage white wine, we suggest including one or two inches of street to add extra sweetness. Even a pinch or for this reason of salt can finish the dish’s flavor.

Can ns substitute Marsala because that white wine?

White wine is much less complicated to get your hands on. Possibilities are, you have actually some in your house already. Fortunately, white wine deserve to be a wonderfully tasty substitute because that Marsala wine. You have the right to use ½ a cup of dry white wine and mix that with just a teaspoon of brandy.

However, dry white wine is not as sweet and also this is wherein the brandy comes in. Brandy is included to mimic the sweet of Marsala yet a dash of this liqueur might not be sufficient at times. If so, consider including a pinch the brown sugar while you cook.

White wine is a good option in countless recipes. Friend will consistently see that being provided in French and Italian cuisine. Yet if you ever run out of Marsala alcohol or deserve to not find any in the store, white alcohol will always be fantastic substitute.


There are many an excellent substitutes because that Marsala wine. The most appropriate selection of substitute relies on the flavor file of the dish you space making.

As a general rule, other strengthened wines are most likely to be closer in taste to Marsala wine and also often do the ideal substitutes. Another Marsala wine instead of is red wine, madeira wine, port wine, and also red wine vinegar.

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We have additionally included some non-alcoholic substitutions in case you are teetotal or cooking for children.If you require a Marsala wine instead of for her Marsala sauce, you can always try dry Marsala or sweet Marsala wine if you"re working with a chicken chest or veal Marsala.