What’s A Good Burgundy Wine Substitute? Top 9 Simple Options

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When you’re making hearty stews, sauces, or particular meat and vegetable recipes, you’ll most likely stumble upon burgundy wine on the ingredient list.

We decided to opt for other recipes the first time we did because we had no burgundy wine on hand!

We understand that not everyone has burgundy wine in the kitchen.

It isn’t the most known wine, after all!

But don’t skip that recipe just yet.

You can use Burgundy wine substitutes while still nailing the recipe perfectly. Read on to take a look at your options!

What is Burgundy wine?

Burgundy is actually the most popular wine-growing region in France. This is where people grow several varieties of wine grapes, and of course, where Burgundy wine comes from.

Burgundy comes from Bourgogne, a region from eastern France that offers many other popular Burgundy wines, like Pinot Noir (red Burgundy wine) and Chardonnay (white Burgundy wine). If you aren’t aware of Burgundy, you might be surprised to know that it’s considered one of the top wines globally because of the high-quality production process and ingredient transparency.

What can you make Burgundy wine with?

Because of Burgundy wine’s appealing taste and aroma, we usually use it for flavoring rich and savory dishes, like:

  • Beef, duck, and lamb stews (beef bourguignon is a popular dish using Burgundy wine)
  • Creamy sauces and reductions
  • For tenderizing meat
  • Deglazing pans
  • The base for making sauces
  • Risotto
  • Cocktails or ciders

The sky’s the limit!

How do you choose a substitute for Burgundy wine?

Follow these tips when choosing a substitute for Burgundy wine:

  • The top substitutes for red Burgundy wine include Merlot, California Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and red grape juice.
  • The top substitutes for Chardonnay white Burgundy wines include Viognier and Riesling.
  • You can use vinegar with grape juice or stock for savory dishes, especially meat-based ones. Red grape juice is good for desserts or sweeter recipes calling for Burgundy wines.

The Best Burgundy Wine Substitutes

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Numerous people cooking with wine commit the grave mistake of using cheap wine since they won’t drink it anyway.

Well, folks, the quality matters with cooking, and it matters a LOT.

So, if your recipe calls for Burgundy wine, you go for high-quality substitutes.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars, but we just want you to make sure you aren’t getting subpar ingredients that can negatively alter your dish’s final taste.

Here are a few alternatives to look into:

1. California Pinot Noir – Made of Pinot Noir Grapes

Certain Pinot Noir varieties aren’t from Burgundy, France. But even if it isn’t the original Pinot Noir doesn’t mean it isn’t a good substitute. (*)

California Pinot Noir is actually the best substitute for Burgundy wine because you have similar flavor profiles. Some experts can’t distinguish the difference between Burgundy and California Pinot Noir, so it’s possible to capture the unmistakable aroma, flavor, and texture you want to achieve.

That said, note that the flavor profile and base of the wine can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

2. Cabernet Sauvignon – A Good Hybrid

This drink is an accidental hybrid between a red and white grape, specifically with the white Sauvignon Blanc and red Cabernet Franc grape. It’s a kind of red wine and a popular one at that.

Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep and dark red color, a full-bodied wine that’s very flavorful and aromatic. Most varieties would have an alcohol content higher than 13.5%, with notes of green pepper and dark fruits, along with high tannin levels.

3. Merlot – Type of Red Wine

Merlot is one of the most popular varieties of red wine, making it an excellent Burgundy wine substitute when you’re replacing Pinot Noir. Like other white and red wine types, Merlot gets its name from the specific grape variety it’s made from.

While there are many Merlot varieties to choose from, this red wine is usually dry, medium, or full-bodied with only moderate acidity levels so that it won’t be too overpowering. In terms of flavor profile, it would vary based on the fruit it’s made with.

Merlot can have hints of cocoa, red cherry, blueberries, plum, and even vanilla!

We recommend this alternative in recipes like beef bourguignon.

4. Riesling – Strong and Fruity Wine

This is an aromatic and refreshing white wine from Germany produced worldwide. You can find various styles of this wine, ranging from bone dry to sweet dessert white wine.

One thing most Riesling varieties have in common is that it has a high acidity level and strong fruity notes with hints of a floral aroma, such as citrus blossom and jasmine. Because of that, this substitute pairs well with most types of dishes!

5. Viognier – White Wine Variety

If you need to replace Chardonnay, then we recommend using Viognier in its place. It’s a full-bodied wine originating from France, having strong fruity aromas of peaches and tangerines.

Some Viognier varieties have a nutmeg and vanilla base, which is another good option if you don’t like fruity wines but desire a deeper, richer aroma. Regardless, this wine is softer and less acidic but still as complex as Chardonnay.

We use this substitute with any kind of meat, especially with chicken, turkey, and pork chops.

It also combines with cheeses like farmer’s cheese, baked brie, and fondue.

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Non-Alcoholic Burgundy Wine Substitutes

Understandably, not everyone can have alcohol in their food. Whether you’re serving it to children, recovering alcoholics, or can’t have alcohol for religious or ethical reasons, that’s fine!

There are non-alcoholic substitutes to choose from without compromising the dish’s aroma and flavor. The next time a recipe calls for Burgundy wine, try these alternatives:

1. Red Grape Juice

This is a convenient choice if you want the fruity aroma and acidity from Burgundy wine without the alcohol. Make sure you use unsweetened versions to avoid altering your dish’s taste too much.

If you feel like the dish lacks acidity, add a bit of red wine vinegar for the flavors to develop. You can also use unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry and grape juice if no red grape juice is available.

2.  Rice Wine Vinegar and Chicken Stock

If you’re making a creamy sauce or deglazing pans, we recommend using rice wine vinegar with chicken broth or stock. Alternatively, you can use red grape juice rather than stock.

The vinegar adds a bit of tartness, so be wary of how much you add to your recipe!

3. White Wine Vinegar and Grape Juice

White wine vinegar with grape juice is another excellent substitute, especially when making a meat marinade. The acidity levels from this mix help meat tenderize well, regardless of how tough the meat pieces are.

Besides tenderizing meat, the mix can also enhance the flavors and aroma.

We recommend combining the mix with vinaigrette and preferred herbs.

When using this Burgundy wine substitute, mix equal parts white wine vinegar and grape juice. But if you want a fruitier and less acidic taste, add a bit more grape juice.

4. Broth

We recommend broth if you need a non-alcoholic Burgundy wine substitute for beef bourguignon.

You can make your own or purchase it in stores, getting the concentrated liquid version for authentic flavor.

Note that broth will not have the similar acid profile Burgundy wine offers, so add vinegar or lemon juice.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, our list helped you find the best substitutes for Burgundy wine. If you’re making beef bourguignon, beef stew, or cooking other recipes, try these alternatives and see how it enhances the aromas and flavors similarly!

Have fun cooking and continue learning about ingredients like these in our other blog posts.

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Up Next: Best Substitute for Port Wine: The Ultimate Alternatives List!

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