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I'm currently watching a cooking series (The Everyday Gourmet) and in one of the lessons the chef talks about what to look for in a wine. For red wine he mentions to look for a wine with a deep red colour as well as a good tannin content, mentioning that subtleties of flavour will likely be lost during cooking.

As he was talking about it, rosehip tea popped up as something that meets those two criterias. I tried searching online but couldn't find anything on the subject. It seems a bit far fetched but it has me curious.

I don't drink alcohol and have no idea what red wine tastes like so I can't test it as I don't have anything to compare it to. What are your thoughts?

EDIT: Instead of straight rosehip, would there be anything I could add that would make it resemble red wine a little more (i.e. a bit of sugar, something acidic, etc)?

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    This is not a duplicate of the question you asked, but you may be interested as possible alternative substitutions for red wine if the answer turns out to be "no": cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/1332/… – Erica Mar 6 '15 at 13:30
  • If you're not drinking alcohol, because of the effect - could you not take a drink but not swallow to see the taste of real wine and compare? – rfusca Mar 6 '15 at 14:59
  • I avoid it due to religious reasons. I can't buy it, let alone swirl it around my mouth. :) – NRaf Mar 6 '15 at 23:36
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I'm in the same boat. Although I've never tried using rosehip tea as a substitute, and just by the taste, I think it would be better than many suggested wine substitutes (apple juice, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar), there are better substitutes. See What is a substitute for red or white wine in a recipe?.

My recommendation is a nonalcoholic grape juice made from similar grapes (such as Meier's Sparkling Grape Juice). There are many different types of red wine, and Meier's doesn't have options for all of them, but the ones they have seem to work well for me, especially the Burgundy. It is also often available at my local supermarket. You could also go with a real wine with the alcohol removed such as Fre, but there are many people who say not all the alcohol is removed, and they are also pretty expensive (one bottle is cheaper than Meier's, but by the case it's much more).

Don't try using the purple grape juice available at most grocery stores (Welches or similar). The taste is very different and the color will usually not be appealing.

NOTE: I have no affiliation with Meier's other than being a happy and frequent customer.

  • I'm in Australia and I've never seen that brand here, however I have used sparkling grape juices (as well as verjuice) as substitutes before. I'm not comfortable with alcohol-removed wines. – NRaf Mar 6 '15 at 23:35
  • Grape juice will be way too sweet – shadowtalker Mar 13 '15 at 22:42
  • @ssdecontrol: I'm not talking about standard purple grape juice (see third paragraph) or even the white grape juice available at most grocery stores. Meier's makes several varieties including a Chablis, which is quite tart. I suspect there are other makers as well. – James Mar 13 '15 at 23:40
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This depends on your application, but in general the answer is no, or not entirely.

Rose hip tea lacks one thing that wine has: alcohol. Many flavors in food (notably tomatoes) are alcohol-soluble, and alcohol also is more volatile than water. So it helps extract more and better flavor from certain ingredients, and then a fraction of it evaporates, leaving behind a concentration not only of it's own flavor but also the flavor it extracted.

Wine happens to be a great pre-mixed blend of fruit sugars, acid, tannins, alcohol, and other flavors. Rose hip tea might provide all of the above apart from alcohol, but it will not provide the alcohol, and the flavors provided will be different.

This is why I said that it depends on your application. If you only want the wind for it's acid, tannins, and sweetness, use the tisane. If your dish depends on wine (eg coq au vin or sole piccata), you can try it but the results will be unpredictable, and probably very lackluster.

Your best bet is to go to a liquor store and tell them what you're cooking and that you don't drink wine so you don't know what to buy. They'll direct you to something cheap that will work.

  • This is a lovely answer, unfortunately, the OP states in the comments that they can not actually buy wine for religious reasons. – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 10:05
  • @Catija I missed that. Is it only wine, or all alcohol? You could always drop in a tiny splash of rum or a fruit (non-grape) brandy – shadowtalker Mar 7 '15 at 14:08
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    I'm not the op but if you read the comments, there's no need to ask : I avoid it due to religious reasons. I can't buy it, let alone swirl it around my mouth. :) – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 18:41
  • @Catija I saw, but it's not clear if "it" is wine or all alcohol – shadowtalker Mar 7 '15 at 19:56
  • The comment the OP is responding to is about alcohol in general: If you're not drinking alcohol... – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 19:59

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