Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The recipe calls for Madeira but I am thinking about using another wine. My choices are: Pernod, Calvados, pinneau du Terrier or dry sherry. What does anyone recommend on this subject?

share|improve this question

I would say dry sherry was the closest equivalent to Madeira wine. I sometimes use dry sherry in place of dry white wine in cooking, I just use slightly less of it.

share|improve this answer

Unless you for some reason require any distinct taste from the Madeira, Sherry should be similar enough to be used as a substitute.

I am not sure why you suggest Pernod (anise flavoured liqueurs) or Calvados (apple based brandy)? "Pinneau du Terrier" is unknown both to me and to Google.

share|improve this answer

Have used sherry instead of madeira in a mushroom risotto which tasted horrible. A better substitute was dry white wine but this does not have the same flavour as when I have used Madeira. The Madeira adds a beautiful depth which the white wine lacked. Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

If it's a dry sherry, I'd add some sugar to it ... around 1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup. Light brown sugar would be best. Madeira is significantly sweeter than dry sherry. A Ruby Port would be a much better substitute.

None of your options is really going to taste like Madeira, though, so if the wine is a major flavor component of the dish, you're about to be very disappointed.

share|improve this answer

I think the OP means Pineau de Charentes which is a white wine fortified with cognac from the cognac region of France and makes a great substitute.

share|improve this answer

Cannot for the life of me understand where an anise flavored spirit like Pernod would be suggested? and to a lesser degree an apple brandy like Calvados? and why such an obscure (and not inexpensive wine like a pineal) would either. There are also many suggestions to use white wine, equally confusing as it is light years away from the taste and characteristics of a wine like Madeira.

The only close substitute would be a fino sherry as it is the only one that offers the nuttiness that a Madeira does.

share|improve this answer
These aren't random suggestions, these are what the OP had on hand and the OP is wondering which would be the most appropriate substitute. – Jay Feb 6 at 20:26
Matt, taking the tour and visiting our help center is a good way to start here. Perhaps you would like to edit your answer a bit to tone it down? You may of course disagree with other suggestions, but I'm sure you could phrase it better? We do have a "be nice" policy here. That said, welcome to Seasoned Advice and we are looking forward to your contributions. – Stephie Feb 6 at 20:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.