Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 17, 2010 05:18 AM

White wine instead of tequila?

While making a tequila-lime chicken dish yesterday, I used white wine in place of the tequila. I don't drink, for health reasons, but I do use wine in cooking.
What I am wondering is, does the white wine make a good substitute for the flavor nuances that the 3 tablespoons of tequila would have provided? It's been so long since I've tasted tequila, I can't recall the flavor at all!
Is there some herb or particular type of wine that would give the right flavor? As it was, the dish was delicious, but would it have been improved by something other than the Reisling I used?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Most of the time, when white wine is called for I use dry vermouth unless we have an open bottle of white wine. I prefer vermouth because it's fortified with aromatic herbs and spices and adds a different flavor note to most dishes. There are times, however, when a recipe will call for a specific type of wine and then I'll go out of my way to use that specification.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Do you think, then, that the vermouth would give the flavor notes that the tequila would have provided?

    2. "then I'll go out of my way to use that specification."

      Exactly. White wine is no substitute for tequila, flavor-wise, and will change the outcome of your dish significantly. That is not to say that you can't make the same dish with white wine and not have it be good, it's just that if you want that particular authentic flavor (of tequila, or cognac or sherry, for example) then you should use the recipe liquor recommendation. Your chicken in Reisling was perfectly appropriate, and delicious, I'm sure, but just not tequila-lime chicken.

      You certainly don't have to buy a bottle if you'll never use it again or don't drink it; get one of the little airline nips.

      Gio's call for using vermouth instead of white wine is a good across the board recommendation for general cooking.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        that's always a good one to remember -- I used to regularly buy airline-sized bottles at the liquor store if I had a recipe that called for something I never drink. It's not the cheapest option, but then neither is throwing out an opened bottle of something you detest when you move the next time.

        1. re: sunshine842

          Yup, plus I don't really have the budget or the space for a full liquor cabinet these days. Those nips are handy.