I admit it, if I open a bottle of wine to cook with, I am very happy to drink the rest and I need to not do that, but still make my Kümmelfleisch and risotto.
Wine does affect proteins - pork, beef, egg, differently than does lemon juice, sauerkraut juice and other acids based on acetic or lactic acids. My anecdotal experience is that wine softens and disconnects collagen, etc more efficiently, and I read that it contains more heat stable acids. And that of course is also one reason to use wine and not lemon juice in making a risotto. (Yes I am ignoring any other flavor that wine imparts)
I looked up the acids in wine and saw that it is basically tartaric acid, malic acid and acetic acid. Tartaric acid is heat stable, so it seems that is what is doing the trick.
Buying tartaric acid here, in Germany, is expensive and difficult, but I can now get cream of tartar. I am aware that this is a somewhat neutralized form, but I currently imagine that in fact I could use a gram or two to substitute for half a cup of wine in a braise.
Is there some other factor I am not considering?