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Substituting Red Vermouth for Red Wine

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2011

White vermouth can be substituted for white wine in recipes. So does that mean red vermouth is an acceptable substitute for red wine?

Red vermouth is sweeter than white vermouth (and considerably sweeter than red wine), so we were unsure that it would make a suitable substitute. To find out, we prepared two dishes—pot roast braised in 1/2 cup of red wine and pan-seared steak with a red wine pan sauce—first following the recipe as written and then subbing red vermouth for the red wine. We were happy to find that in both cases the vermouth made a sweeter yet still acceptable dish—a boon for cooks who don’t want to open a whole bottle of wine only to use a relatively small amount, since vermouth keeps for several weeks once opened. If the extra sweetness bothers you, try toning it down with a few drops of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.