March 1, 2024
Can you drink cooking wine? This article explores the differences between cooking wine and regular wine, the risks involved in drinking cooking wine, and alternative uses for it. It also provides tips for using cooking wine safely and highlights some delicious recipes that use cooking wine to add depth and flavor to dishes.


Cooking wine is a common kitchen staple used in many recipes to add flavor and depth to dishes. It is essentially wine that has added salt and other ingredients to make it shelf-stable for a longer time. However, the question of whether it is safe to drink cooking wine has been a topic of debate for a long time. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about drinking cooking wine, its differences from regular wine, the risks involved, and alternative uses for cooking wine.

Everything You Need to Know About Drinking Cooking Wine

Before delving into the safety concerns about consuming cooking wine, it’s essential to understand the differences between this type of wine and regular wine. While cooking wine is made from grapes, it is not intended for drinking as it contains a significantly higher amount of salt and preservatives. It is also not aged and does not have the same complex flavors as drinking wine.

Another significant difference between cooking wine and regular wine is the alcohol content. Cooking wine has a much higher alcohol concentration, typically around 17% compared to regular wine, which has around 12-14% alcohol.

Is Consuming Cooking Wine Safe? The Truth Revealed

While cooking wine is safe to consume when used in small amounts, drinking it in large quantities can be dangerous and potentially lethal due to the chemicals present in it.

Cooking wine typically contains salt, preservatives like sodium benzoate, and food coloring, which can be harmful to the body in high amounts. Overconsumption of these components can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, organ damage, and even cancer.

The recommended maximum limit for consuming cooking wine is about two tablespoons per day, which is not nearly enough to cause any severe health issues. However, drinking larger amounts of cooking wine can cause severe side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and even coma.

Why Cooking Wine Shouldn’t Be Treated Like Regular Wine

While drinking cooking wine may seem similar to drinking regular wine, these two types of wine are vastly different. Regular wine is made for drinking, and its production is strictly regulated to make sure it meets quality standards. Cooking wine, on the other hand, is not intended for drinking but only for cooking purposes.

Using cooking wine adds depth and flavor to dishes without overpowering the other ingredients. It also helps in deglazing the pan and adds an acidic balance to a dish.

Alternative Uses for Cooking Wine That Don’t Involve Drinking

If the idea of drinking cooking wine does not appeal to you, there are alternative uses for it that are both safe and delicious. Cooking wine can be used in many recipes such as marinades, sauces, dressings, and soups, to add depth and flavor to dishes.

One recipe that uses cooking wine is the classic Coq Au Vin, which is a French chicken dish made with red wine, bacon, and mushrooms. Another great recipe that uses cooking wine is Beef Bourguignon, which is a classic French dish made with beef, onions, and red wine.

Incorporating cooking wine into your cooking can enhance the flavors of your dishes and create a more complex taste profile.

Expert Opinion: What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Cooking Wine?

According to experts, drinking large amounts of cooking wine can be dangerous due to its high salt content, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health complications. Cooking wine also has a much higher alcohol content than regular wine, which can lead to severe side effects with overconsumption.

Drinking cooking wine can also lead to a deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium, which can negatively impact the body’s overall health.

The Health Risks of Drinking Cooking Wine and How to Avoid Them

The health risks of drinking cooking wine are significant, and it is essential to use it only in moderate amounts and to follow safety guidelines when using it in cooking. When cooking with cooking wine, it’s important to use it in moderation, never drink it directly, and store it in a cool, dark place.

If you have liver problems or high blood pressure, it’s best to avoid drinking cooking wine altogether. As with all alcoholic drinks, pregnant women should refrain from drinking cooking wine due to potential health risks.

Delicious Recipes That Use Cooking Wine (Without Drinking It)

Here are some delicious recipes that use cooking wine:

  • Coq Au Vin – A classic French dish that uses red wine to add depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Beef Bourguignon – Another French classic made with beef, onions, and red wine.
  • Mushroom Risotto – A creamy rice dish made with mushrooms, onion, and white wine.

These dishes showcase how cooking wine can add flavor and depth to various recipes and help act as a deglazing agent.


In conclusion, while drinking cooking wine is not recommended, it is safe for cooking purposes when used in moderation. Cooking wine is a great addition to dishes like stews, risottos, and sauces and adds a unique flavor profile to these dishes. It’s important to avoid drinking cooking wine due to the high salt content and alcohol concentration and, instead, use it responsibly to maximize its flavor-enhancing properties.

Remember to store cooking wine properly, never drink it directly, and use it in moderation in your cooking. Follow these guidelines to minimize health risks and enjoy the rich flavor and complexity that cooking wine can add to your favorite recipes.

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