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Feb 23, 2005 06:16 PM

Marsala Question

  • l

I am making a sea bass recipe from Epicurious which calls for 1/3 cup dry Marsala. Is this something I should buy at a wine shop? Or can I find it at a grocery store?

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  1. Trader Joe's

    1. I always go with Julia Child's axiom "Only cook with a wine/spirit that you would drink." The supermarket varieties are loaded with sodium and bear little resemblance to anything you would want to drink on it's own.
      Sweet or dry Marsala Fine would be my recommendation.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cf
        Eldon Kreider

        I would strongly recommend sticking with the dry marsala specified in the recipe for fish. The sweet form is likely to mess up the balance in the recipe.

        I don't know what state cf is in, but in many states supermarkets carry table wines in addition to the "cooking wine" brine. Some supermarkets, including TJ, in Chicago carry both sweet and dry marsala of good quality. In fact, many supermarkets have better wine selections than most small liquor stores that aren't wine specialists.

        1. re: Eldon Kreider

          I was thinking of "cooking wine" when I made my first reply. I have to go to a liquor/beer store in order to get decent drinking booze where I live.
          After looking at the recipe on Epicurious (Sea bass with shallots, garlic and marsala) I agree on the use of the dry variety. The sweet would take this in a bad direction.
          Sorry for any confusion.

        2. re: cf

          If the supermarket kind says "cooking wine" do NOT buy it (that's what 'cf' is referring to about being loaded with sodium)...but our supermarkets down here in Florida sell all kinds of (real) wines including marsala, both sweet and dry...Publix has a pretty impressive array of them. But I do agree with others who say stick with the dry marsala if that's what the recipe calls for. There are plenty of good drinking wines sold in the supermarkets down here, anyway.

        3. I use Sweet Vermouth instead of Marsala...the rest goes into Manhattans.