In the middle of preparing a beef stew when I realised I have no red wine (I may or may not have drunk it all, you can't pin anything on me!). I have copious amounts of mulled wine though. Will this do for deglazing or will the sweetness/spices mess up the flavour of my stew?

  • I use mulled wine on my beef stew and its fab!
    – user15350
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Of course you can use it. You can use any edible liquid: water, wine, chicken stock, pineapple juice, whatever.

The real question is whether the flavors the wine was mulled with are compatible, and you enjoy them. If they will compliment your dish, go for it. I cannot speak to your taste in stew but the sweet spices often used in mulled wine may give it a Mediteranian or middle-eastern feel--or they may be too faint to detect.

Contrariwise, you probably will do just as well with plain water, or if you are so inspired, vodka.

One reason (among many) that deglazing or cooking with wine or spirits is popular is that some flavorful compounds are not soluble in water or fat, but are soluble in alcohol (which, contrary to myth, does not all "cook off")--and so the residual alcohol from the wine can synergistically make the dish seem more flavorful. This is the science behind the vodka sauce fad, for example.

Its stew--its not haute cuisine :-) I say go for it, either way, and enjoy.

  • Haha, yeah I got that it was usable in theory, but I wanted to know if the mulled-ness would taste weird in a stew.
    – victoriah
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 20:16
  • If you are worried, use water. If you are adventurous go for it. As I hinted, sweet spices are very common in some cuisines, and if that is a flavor combination you like, why not try it?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 20:20
  • 1
    I think mulling wine would go well with a lot of stews, especially in the amounts used for deglazing. In the same way that people sometimes make infused alcohols for cooking, one could mull their own wine just for stews (e.g. black pepper, tarragon, chipotle powder might be good) and it would almost certainly be awesome, but the off-the-shelf mulled wines one can find (i.e. Glühwein, Vin Chaud, Glögg) are all pretty close to ideal as-is. The cloves, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg (with citrus) combination is a pretty solid one for any darkish stew. Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 17:46

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