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Oct 21, 2007 05:31 AM

Sherry Cooking wine versus Sherry Wine Vinegar.

I am making a skirt steak with chimmichirri sauce and the recipe calls for sherry wine vinegar. Not much, about 2/3 cup, but I don't have the SW vinegar, instead I have Sherry cooking wine. Will it come out the same? Or should I add some regualr vinegar to it. I just don't feel like running back out to the supermarket. Especially since today is Sunday and it will be a zoo!

Thanks for any help!

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  1. You need the acidity. Use regular wine vinegar or citrus. You can add a little sherry for the flavor but you need the acid.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Angelina

        Also, sometime when you are in a liquor store, I'd suggest buying some inexpensive sherry, and using that rather than Sherry cooking wine - I think the flavor will be much better.

    1. I'd use a different vinegar, like wine vinegar, instead. They're two very different things (SW vinegar and regular Sherry wine). Throw that cooking wine out while you're at it, and get some real sherry to cook with. The "cooking" version is nothing but sodium.

      1. I hate using those "cooking wines" too, but I had this bottle and I really want to get rid of it. I usually use Harvey's Bristol Cream when it calls for Sherry, but that too I am out of.


        7 Replies
        1. re: Angelina

          Cream sherries are awfully sweet for savoury cooking and would make a terrible substitute for sherry vinegar. Next time buy a fino, which also makes a workable substitute for Chinese cooking wine. Tio Pepe is excellent, widely available and affordable and it comes in half bottles. It's also fine for sipping on its own, provided you like the style.

            1. re: Angelina

              Even cheaper are manzanillas, like Osborne - which I actually quite enjoy sipping as well, though Tio Pepe and La Ina are better - but they've both crept up to the $16-18 range in my part of the world.

            2. re: carswell

              A fino isn't really a great idea unless you'll finish the bottle quickly (or freeze the leftovers as is being discussed in another current thread) since it won't last much longer than a regular table wine, certainly not at warm room temperature.

              Apparently the magic minimum "preservative" number for that is 18.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). At 17% ish percentage, finos don't quite cut it, and it really does show, certainly at room temp. So if the OP wants to keep it around for a couple of months or longer, it'd pay to check label, though anything stronger than a fino will probably be above 18.5%.

              FWIW, Lustau's approx $10 Amontillado is pretty easy to find here (NYC) and is very adequate for cooking and pleasant enough to drink too. (And their more expensive bottles are good value if you expect to drink more than cook!)

              1. re: MikeG

                You're right about fino not having a long shelf life once opened; it's why I mentioned half bottles. And, yes, it does freeze well. But for cooking -- not sipping -- purposes, I find that even stoppered bottles kept in the fridge for weeks on end are still adequate. And I prefer its subtler taste to that of mazanilla and amontillado, especially in Chinese cooking (we can't get Chinese cooking wine here in Quebec and so are forced to rely on substitutes; fino's the best I've found).

                1. re: carswell

                  Can you get sake? It's a great sub in Chinese cooking, better than sherry IMO.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Yep. Haven't tried it in a while, however, though I vaguely recall that the last time I did I found it lacked the bite of Chinese wine and fino. I also think fino's more fun to sip. :o) But I'll have to give sake another shot. Thanks.

          1. Down the line you might want to get a good aged sherry wine vinegar. A good one is a joy in cooking, like in chicken dishes or vinaigrettes. Really adds a special touch.

            1. Buy a good bottle of dry Sherry and mix 50/50 with white wine vinegar. Add just a pinch of sugar. This is very each and you can have a sip of sherry at the same time. And throw the sherry cooking wine away, nasty!!!!