Madeira is a fortified wine from Portugal, off the coast of Africa. This wine is made from white or red wine through heat and oxidization in a way that brings an amber color to it.

The unique flavor and aroma of Madeira wine are actually the result of the atypical aging process. The sweeter version can last for even hundreds of years unopened.

This wine contains an alcoholic content of 20% and about 140-170  calories per serving.

Although Madeira wine is served as a drink before or after a meal, it also makes a great cooking wine, especially in sweet and savory dishes.

If you live outside of Europe, finding this wine can be a bit challenging for you. However, there are some Madeira wine substitutes are available that you can use in your recipe.

This article looks into some Madeira wine substitutes (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that you may try in your recipe. But before you go for the substitutes, you may like to know about the different varieties of Madeira wine.

Types of Madeira Wine

Based on the blend and aging process, there are different types of Madeira wine available in the market. But instead of going for poor quality, try to choose a rainwater type for the desired taste and flavor.

The types of Madeira wine include:

Serial: It is a high-quality Madeira wine that has walnut, peach, and citrus smoke aromas. It can be served as an apéritif or with fish.

Boal: Boal is a complex, medium-sweet wine that comes with a strong aroma. It can be paired with desserts or served as an apéritif. The taste is similar to coffee, roasted cacao, and raisins.

Verdelho: It is a medium-dry wine that has aromas of cucumber, lemon, and hay. It has a smokey flavor and is mostly served chilled before or after a meal.

Malmsey: Malmsey is the richest and sweetest type of Madeira wine. It has an amazingly long lifespan and distinctive aromas of chili pepper, burnt caramel, and raisins. It can be consumed independently or used in a sweet recipe that calls for wine.

Madeira Wine Substitutes

Alcoholic Substitutes

1. Port

Port is a Portuguese fortified wine that is produced in the northern provinces of Portugal with distilled grape spirits.

This typically sweet wine is often served aa s dessert wine, but can also be used in different types of recipes.

Port can be a good alternative to Madeira wine if you are making aga sweet dish.

2. Marsala

Marsala is an Italian wine that has about 15-20% of alcohol content. It’s a fortified wine that contains a distilled spirit, commonly brandy.

Besides being served independently, this wine is frequently used in cooking. Sweet marsala can be used to create dessert while dry marsala is used in savory dishes.

Like other fortified winesMarsalala is a good source of amino acids. Due to its similar flavor profile tMaderiaia, it can be a good replacement in cooking that calls foMadeirara.

3. Sherry

Sherry is another fortified wine made primarily from the Palomino grape, a type of white grape. Its color ranges from palest, greenish-yellow to more opaque mahogany based on its aging process.

Based on its type, alcohol content varies between 15% and 22%.

Like other wines, sherry can also be served as a drink or used in cooking. You can use it as a substitute foMadeirara in savory dishes.

4. Dry Vermouth

Vermouth is an aromatized and fortified wine that is spiked with brandy and infused with herbs and spices.

Vermouth has two varieties — sweet and dry vermouth. Originally marketed for medicinal purposes, it is now used in cooking and served as an apéritif.

Like sherry, it can also replaMadeiraira wine in the savory dishes.

Non-Alcoholic Substitutes

5. Stock & Fruit Juice

If you are not into alcohol, you might be looking for some non-alcoholic substitutes fMadeiraira wine. In that case, animal broth and different fruit juices can be a good alternative.

If you are making savory dishes, use chicken or beef broth along with balsamic vinegar to make a flavorful alternative.

For sweet dishes, pomegranate, berry, and apple juices make a good replacement for Madeiraira wine.


Finding a goMadeiraira wine substitute isn’t complicated if you know the right proportion to use them.

Since this wine is hard to find, your dish may taste a bit different unless you use the above-mentioned substitutes.

Do not use cheap cooking wine flavored with salt and pepper. This will completely ruin your recipes instead of acting as an alternative.

Because of the unique production procesMadeiraira comes with a flavor that is incomparable with all other wines. However, using high-quality wine may do the trick and bring almost a similar flavor to the dishes.

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