Cooking With Wine When Pregnant: What You Should Know

Cooking With Wine When Pregnant

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You might wonder if it is safe to cook with wine while pregnant. During pregnancy, there is a multitude of things you’ll be advised to give up on. From avoiding uncooked and raw meat to restricting your caffeine intake. There are a lot of changes and adjustments to be made immediately after you find out you are pregnant. 

A little amount of alcohol once in a while would not cause any harm to the fetus. This means it is okay to cook with wine while pregnant. Some meal recipes require alcohol, the technique used in cooking the meal can help lessen the alcohol content or totally eliminate it, therefore leaving little to no trace of any toxins from the wine. 

Cooking with wine concentrates more on the flavor the drink offers and it’s safe to say that most of the alcohol content either evaporates or burns off to the barest minimum. And the longer the cooking time the lower the alcohol content.

If you are hoping to know more about cooking with wine while pregnant, keep on reading, there is enough information below.

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Is It Safe To Cook With Wine While Pregnant 

During my first pregnancy, I was so cautious about taking anything with alcohol content in it but with time I came to understand that meals cooked with wine aren’t dangerous after all and it is practically safe. Although it mainly depends on how long the dish lasted on heat. Studies agree that the longer the meal stays on heat the more the alcohol content reduces.

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However, some preparation methods are not effective enough to clear a good amount of alcohol. The only dishes made with wine you should be wary of are desserts like cannolis, as they have high alcohol content in them.

There are a lot of yummy recipes with alcohol content, nonetheless, it is best to be meticulous and be very certain that the amount of alcohol in whatever you are eating is very low. 

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All You Need To Know About Cooking With Wine

Eating food prepared with wine shouldn’t be a cause for alarm as studies suggest that it is safe and won’t cause any harm to the baby.

Although it depends on the cooking methods, most of the alcohol contents must have evaporated or burned off in the process. There are however different methods of cooking with wine and they will be illustrated in the table below;

Cooking Method

Cooking Time

Alcohol Content

Rolling Boil 

30-45 minutes



1 hour



3-5 minutes


Moving on, when cooking with wine you should have these tips in mind;

  • Do not use a slow cooker.
  • The wine should be added at the beginning of the cooking process.
  • Give room for evaporation.
  • Do not add a lot of wine to the dish.
  • Make sure to give the dish a longer cooking time.

Non-Alcoholic Alternatives For Cooking With Wine

Here are some great substitutes for wine when cooking.

1. Wine Vinegar

Wine vinegar, especially white wine vinegar, is a great replacement for cooking with wine as it offers the same flavor and is tasty without the alcohol content. One of the reasons for cooking with wine is to glaze the pan, the characteristics can also be found in wine vinegar. Whether it’s red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, it’s best to dilute it a little with water before use.

2. Tomato Juice

While pregnant, tomato juice is a healthy ingredient that can be a great substitute for red wine. It is rich in antioxidants, and it can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other kinds of illnesses.

cooking with tomato juice
Image: @katify via Twenty20

3. Cranberry Or Grape Juice

These juices are very rich in flavor but also sourish which makes them a great substitution wine. Their flavors offer a delicious flavor to a recipe. For better taste, you can try to mix a cup of juice with a tablespoon of wine vinegar. Grape, pomegranates, and cranberry juice can equally replace wine if you are expecting and not quite sure about using wine to cook. 

4. Lemon juice

Hoping to find a non-alcoholic option for declaring your pan? Lemon juice should be one of the things that come to mind. Fresh lemon juice is a good replica for wine in terms of cooking. It’s a sour and stinging flavor that could be similar to that of wine in a dish. Consider mixing it with a good amount of water to lessen its overpowering taste.  

5. Chicken or Beef Stock

This option is less acidic, and has a subtle flavor when compared to wine, chicken or beef stock is also a great alternative as it is very rich in flavors and nourishments. You can add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of stock for better results, this however is optional. 


When pregnant you will be advised to let go of a lot of things, alcohol inclusive. But the good thing is if you like cooking with wine prior to pregnancy, you don’t have to give up on that too as it is considered equally safe. During the cooking process, the alcohol content is drastically reduced or eliminated entirely. 

But it is best to stay away from other dishes that consist of alcohol such as rum baba, banana foster, bombe Alaska and Christmas pudding as they have not been thoroughly cooked.


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