Wait!! This is the best port wine substitute you should be using

port wine substitute

The relationship between cooking and wine has been there for ages. We know you are a soul who loves to cook with wine; otherwise, you won’t be here reading this article, isn’t it? Anyway, if you have typed port wine substitute on Google and wander around results and landed here congratulations! You are at the right place to read the best port wine alternatives. Let’s get started without further ado.

What is port wine?

Before we talk about alternatives to port wine, let us explain to you what port wine really is. It is a Portuguese wine product, and usually, port wine is red and sweet. There are many variants of it, and you can find port wine in the forms of dry, semi-dry and white. 

How is port wine different from regular wine?

Port wine is classified as fortified, and it contains a high alcohol percentage compared to regular wine. In fact, its alcohol content is in the region of 20%, whereas regular wine types around the world come with an alcohol content of around 12%.

Since port wine has a considerably high percentage of alcohol percentage, more often than not, it is served in small portions. 

There are many differences between port wine and regular wine, but that is not the main objective of this article as we are aiming to discuss the best port wine substitute in this post. 


Oh! Yes. When we talk about the best wine to replace port wine, you just can’t omit the name of Sherry. Simply put, it is one of the best port wine substitute products in the world; yes, we mean it.

Given both the wines come from more or less the same region of the world, you can see that there are a handful of similarities between the two. 

However, there is one main difference between Sherry and port wine. That is, Sherry wine is a wee bit dry than port wine, and we assume that is because Sherry doesn’t contain any of the berry fruits in it. 


Although port wine is known for its high alcohol content, the primary use of it as far as we are concerned is to help you prepare mouthwatering dishes. In that sense, Madeira would be an excellent choice to replace port wine, particularly when it comes to the cooking side of things. 

Madeira wine also carries a sweetness that is pretty much similar to port wine, and you will observe there are many levels of sweetness in it. This suggests that the price of Madeira wine may vary depending on the flavor and sweetness. 

That said, if your primary goal is to substitute port wine for cooking, there is no need of opting for expensive Madeira wine types as there is hardly a difference between low range products when used in cooking.

So, if you want to substitute Madeira in place of port wine for cooking, it should be more than enough to buy an affordable Madeira version.

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Sweet Red Wine Blend

Let us tell you this. If you are aware of fortified wine, then most probably you would have heard the above mentioned two names at least once. However, if you are new to these things, the chances are that you hardly have the real feeling of Madeira or Sherry. 

One way or another, for those who find it difficult to find fortified wine, a sweet red wine blend would be a magnificent option to replace port wine. There is nothing to get overwhelmed with; you can prefer any bottle of wine if that carries a label saying “red” and “blend.” Simple as that. 

Fruit juice

What if none of the above-mentioned wine types is available in your household? Are there any other choices to replace port wine? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Although it is not the best option you can consider as a port wine substitute, you can use fruit juices to replicate the flavor of port wine. 

We bet you have seen before people using fruit juices even with meat dishes, and that is simply because certain fruit choices have what it takes to mimic the taste of cooking wine. In addition, fruit juices are an acceptable alternative to wine brands, especially for dessert recipes. 

The most important thing to remember when using fruit juices for cooking purposes and substituting port wine is not to use sweetened fruit juices. You should be able to use slightly sweet fruit juices such as cranberries along with lemon to balance the flavors. When you put the thinking hat on, the opportunities are limitless!

Dry Vermouth

As we said, Madeira is one of the front runners in terms of replacing the taste of port wine. If Madeira is out of your reach and still you want to use a fortified wine brand, Dry Vermouth would be an ideal candidate. 

That said, the usage of Dry Vermouth has to be delicate. If you happen to use a considerable amount of this fortified wine with your dishes, you could easily end up overpowering the recipe. This is because of the high amount of alcohol content of Dry Vermouth wine. 

Moreover, the strong flavor of it is another valid reason why you should go easy with Dry Vermouth when substituting port wine. If you have the patience, there shouldn’t be an issue in using this wine sort in most of your port wine recipes. 


So, now you have five amazing port wine substitute products to use in your next cooking attempt. The biggest takeaway of this article is you should understand that port wine contains a high amount of alcohol, and the replacements you choose must have that quality to get identical results.

If you need more info from our end, please feel free to use the below comment section to let us know your concern. Until the next one, it’s goodbye from us. Have a great day!


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