Is cooking with wine Halal? Normally all alcohol is Haram but does the cooking process remove all the alcohol or is there any alternative?
Cooking with wine may be considered Halal if alcohol free wine is used. There is no guarantee that regular wine would have all its alcohol burned off during the cooking process for it to be considered Halal. Care needs taken reading the label to ensure the wine is truly alcohol free 0.0% ABV as confusing terminology exists.
To buy Halal Wine in the USA, follow this link for Halal Wine Cellar and use code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE for 10% discount.
To fully enjoy your wine, it is vital to drink from a great glass. Wine just tastes better from a better glass, right?!
For 13 reasons why you should try non alcoholic wine then follow this link to my article
Cooking with wine and Islamic Law
I don’t pretend to be an Islamic scholar nor a Muslim. However Islamic law is clear re cooking with wine and then consuming the dish is viewed the same as just consuming the wine as a drink. This is considered Haram, not allowed.
A Muslim isn’t allowed to eat or drink any alcohol. They aren’t allowed any amount of a liquid that would get you drunk if you drank enough.
That means a sip of wine is viewed the same as a bottle of wine. Similarly when wine is used in cooking, alcohol will be reduced but there is no guarantee it has been fully removed therefore it is Haram.
Why cook with wine
Lots of recipes use wine in the main dish, in the sauce or deglaze the pan.
Wine adds acidity to a dish as well as unique flavours and aroma of their terroir. Both red and white wines are used.
A cab sav or malbec might go well with a hearty meat dish whereas a fish or pasta dish could be paired with a white wine sauce.
It can be limiting if you are unable to cook with wine.
Is all the alcohol burned off during cooking
You may think that all alcohol is burned off in any for of cooking, i know i did.
Research from The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory looked at exactly how long it does take to burn off alcohol in cooking.
The Nutrient Data Lab’s findings were certainly a surprise to me. It can take at least 2.5hrs of cooking to remove all alcohol, which has been add, to a dish.
5% of alcohol can still be there after 2hrs, 30% after 1hr cooking and the dramatic flambé only gets rid of 25% of alcohol!
|Cooking technique||Alcohol % remaining|
|Cooking for >2.5hrs||0%|
|Cooking for 2hrs||5%|
|Cooking for 1hr||25%|
|Cooking/simmering for 15mins||40%|
|Flambé once flames die down||75%|
So if you need to cook for over 2.5hrs to get to 0% and even then, no one is independently checking the alcohol content before you eat the food, there is no safe alcoholic wine to use in cooking for it to be considered Halal.
Which wines can be considered Halal to cook with
For a wine to be considered Halal to cook with (and drink with) it has to have no alcohol at all in it.
There are ranges of alcohol free wines that that have 0.0% ABV. This means they have to have less than 0.05% ABV.
|Food or Drink||Alcohol by volume content %|
|Alcohol free drink||<0.05%|
The above table shows just how alcohol free <0.05% ABV really is. It is considered zero alcohol.
There are ranges of alcohol free wine that have went one step further and gained a Halal Certification for their produce and for the shops selling it. One such wine is Pierre Chavin Zero.
Ive dedicated a blog to Halal wine in general with links to Halal Certification and lots more information
How to read the label to ensure your wine is Halal
I have written extensively on how to read a wine label to make sure it contains no alcohol. For the full blog click here
There are various wine descriptions that you may see and these correspond to differing alcohol by volume content. Low alcohol wine has an alcohol by content percentage of 1.2% ABV or below.
Dealcoholised wine is wine that has went through the fermentation process and then had the alcohol extracted either by vacuum distillation or filtration. Dealcoholised wine must not contain more than 0.5% ABV.
The FDA state “To ensure that consumers are not misled as to the alcohol content of the product, the statement of identity should be followed by the declaration, “contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume.” FDA considers use of the terms “dealcoholized” and “alcohol-removed” in the statement of identity of a reduced alcohol wine product to be misleading if the alcohol content exceeds 0.5 percent by volume (…)
FDA does not consider the terms “non-alcoholic” and “alcohol-free” to be synonymous. The term “alcohol-free” may be used only when the product contains no detectable alcohol.”
So both USA and EU/UK both state the only terms acceptable for a “wine” containing no alcohol and at 0.0% ABV is alcohol free.
All other terms may have up to 0.5% ABV and therefore not be Halal.
|Description on label||Maximum ABV content|
Health benefits of cooking with alcohol free wine
For such an important topic of health benefits of wine/alcohol free wine i’ve written this separate blog
Both red and white wine contain antioxidants called polyphenols.
One in particular is called resveratrol. It has been shown to reduce heart disease by over 30%. Thats not to be sniffed at.
The very good news is that the polyphenols are heat stable and survive the cooking process meaning your alcohol free wine can flavour your meal, not give you the negative, calorific affects of alcohol AND give you the heart health benefits.