Whether you’re needing a marinade for your grilled meal at the family reunion or an oven roast for a romantic night in, there is a wine marinade for any meal or occasion. Not only will these wine marinades enhance your meal, they also allow for amazing wine pairing opportunities.


What is a Wine Marinade?

Marinades are used to present more flavour and tenderize meat. A wine marinade is simply a marinade but made with wine! Making a marinade is a great way to use up the leftover wine from last night.


Does wine tenderize meat? Does alcohol tenderize meat?

It has actually been proven that wine or any alcohol does not make meat tender and sometimes chefs will even cook out the alcohol from the marinade first. The ingredient that will keep your meat juicy and tender is salt.


What does wine do to meat? Does wine make food taste better?

Well, yes– we know wine makes food taste better, which is why we love pairing wine and food! However, cooking with wine can make your food taste better as well! Wine is used to enhance the flavour of the meat. The alcohol in wine will evaporate during the cooking process, leaving only the flavour behind. Boiling wine concentrates the flavour, which is why as we mentioned earlier, some chefs will cook out the alcohol before making the marinade.

“Alcohol does denature and dehydrate meat and fish tissue, and the stronger the alcohol, the stronger this effect.” — Food Author, Harold Mcgee


How to made your own wine marinade:

A wine marinade is a mixture of wine, herbs, spices, oils, and any other ingredient that will bring flavour to your recipe. The options are endless when creating a marinade for your meat, fish, or tofu.

When making your own marinade it is important to include ingredients from four categories. The acid category contains your wine and other things like lemon, vinegar, mustards, honey, and a large variety of sauces. Fat includes your oils. Most marinade recipes use either butter or olive oil, but you can include any oil you prefer. Spices are a huge component in marinades are what amps up the flavours. Try spices like cumin, allspice, coriander, black pepper, or paprika and see how each spice pairs with the wine you’re using. The last category is herbs. Rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, are great ways to add aromas to your wine marinade.


What are the best wines for marinating?

There are no rules when it comes to marinades — or wine! Simply use your judgement and what you feel will bring out the best flavours in your dish. An easy guide is to use red wine for red meat, white wine or rosé for chicken, fish or tofu.


A Simple Wine Marinade Recipe

This marinade recipe can be used for all dishes, and with your wine of choice. Feel free to add more flavours as you see fit.

Ingredients for an Easy Wine Marinade:

  • 1 cup leftover wine of your choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1/2 ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • orange zest (optional)

Ingredients for a Quick Marinade with Wine:

  1. Place your meat, fish, tofu, etc. in the marinade.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Turn the base over halfway into the marinating time to allow the flavours to be absorbed evenly.
  4. Save leftover marinade liquid. Cook it down in a saucepan to thicken. Spoon sauce over your dish and enjoy.


6 More Wine Marinade Recipes All Wine & Meat Lovers Will Enjoy


Red Wine Marinade for Red Meat

This easy red wine marinade recipe is easy and can be thrown together in just a few minutes. Make this marinade in the morning before work, and you’ll come home to perfectly marinaded meat that is ready for the grill!



White Wine Marinade for Chicken

This white wine and herb marinated grilled chicken should be a summertime-staple in every household. Not only is it quick and easy, but this recipe also promises to taste delicious every time.


Red Wine Steak Marinade

This red wine steak marinade from allrecipes calls for dry red wine and can be used with all cuts of beef. The recipe author, Adel Blake, says they like to save and simmer 1/2 cup of the marinade down to a syrup and use it as a sauce on your steaks.


Wine Marinade for White Fish

Tablespoon.com’s white wine-dijon fish marinade recipe is sure to transform your bland white fish into a flavour explosion. Flavours of lemon and dijon mustard are perfect for when you’re craving a fresh meal.



Beef Wine Marinade

This easy red wine marinade is perfect for tough cuts of beef, such as skirt steak, top round, bottom round, tri-tip, or flat steak. This marinade will have to leave your meat juicy and tender, with fresh flavours of rosemary and coriander.


Champagne Marinated for Grilled Meats

Looking for something different at your next bbq? This champagne marinade recipe includes lavender and thyme for a unique flavour addition to any steak.


Looking for wine and meat pairings?
Check out these 6 delicious meat recipes made with wine!


Looking for more recipes and things to do with leftover wine? Check out these links!

The Best Fruit Combinations for Sangria
How to Cure a Wine Hangover
5 Things to Do With Your Wine-Loving BFF
How to Chill Wine & Keep it Cold