What can I use instead of Amontillado sherry? The best substitutes for Amontillado sherry are fortified wines like Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Fino, Manzanilla, and vermouth. Madeira, Marsala, white wine, or rice wine are cooking alternatives. Vinegar is a non-alcoholic substitute.
Amontillado is a dry, dark amber sherry with hazelnut and umami notes. This Spanish fortified wine is made using an age-old production process that includes fermentation, aging, fortification, and blending.
Amontillado contains about 18% alcohol and is served as an aperitif, with savory food or in flavorful sauces. Here are the 10 best substitutes for Amontillado sherry:
The Best Amontillado Sherry Substitutes
The ideal substitute for Amontillado is Oloroso sherry.
Like Amontillado, Oloroso is a dry fortified wine from Spain. It is dark brown and has a rich, smooth flavor, with hints of walnuts, spices, and caramel.
Replace Amontillado with Olorosoa as a delicious accompaniment to rich meat dishes, like pork or game, aged cheese, and mushrooms. It also makes a lovely aperitif alongside smoked fish, sardines, and oysters.
Oloroso is medium-dry, with a similar alcohol content to Amontillado, so you can enjoy it in equal amounts and presentation: serve in a chilled white wine glass.
Another excellent substitute for Amontillado is Palo Cortado sherry.
Also a Spanish sherry, Palo Cortado is a beautiful reddish brown.
Around 22% alcohol and with a medium-dry, honey, and citrus flavor, Palo Cortado can replace Amontillado as an aperitif.
Although Palo Cortado is best served alone, it does make a tasty accompaniment to game, roast veg, blue cheese, and nuts.
Serve Palo Cortado chilled in a white wine glass, as you would Amontillado.
Fino is a dry Spanish sherry that you can use as an Amontillado alternative.
Drier, lighter, and crisper than Amontillado, Fino has a pale, golden color and herby, almond flavor. There are hints of saline from the coastal terroir of the grapes.
Fino is slightly lighter in alcohol than Amontillado and is delightful to sip ice cold with salty food, such as nuts, ham, olives, scampi, and potato chips.
Enjoy Fino instead of Amontillado when serving appetizers, tapas, and snacks.
Use Fino as a 1:1 substitute in sherry cocktails, such as the Bamboo, Sherry-Rum Rickey, or Mint Cobbler.
A light Spanish sherry to drink instead of Amontillado is Manzanilla.
Also a dry sherry, Manzanilla is pale, fresh, and crisp, with a touch of salt. Some varieties have a bitter aftertaste.
Replace Amontillado with Manzanilla when serving tapas or as an accompaniment for seafood, ham, nuts, and olives.
You can also use Manzanilla when cooking, such as in sauces for chicken, rabbit, and pheasant, or dressings for salads. Use it in equal quantities as you would Amontillado.
A readily accessible substitute for Amontadillo sherry is dry white vermouth.
Vermouth is a fortified wine like Amontillado but is flavored with botanicals and spices, giving it a floral quality.
Dry vermouth is also called French vermouth, referring to its origins, or white vermouth, referring to its clear or pale yellow color.
With a lighter, fruitier flavor than Amontillado, vermouth is low in tannins and refreshingly dry.
It makes an excellent cocktail ingredient, especially in the famous martini, Negroni, and Manhattan.
Aromatic vermouth is also a great addition to savory sauces when cooking.
Vermouth can replace Amontillado sherry as an aperitif served alongside tapas, like salty ham, grilled seafood, and robust, aged cheese.
Serve vermouth in a chilled glass with ice and a twist of lemon as a sipping beverage – it is not a meal accompaniment.
Madeira is a Portuguese fortified wine that you can use instead of Amontillado sherry.
From the island of Madeira, this famous wine is fortified with brandy, making it far higher in alcohol than sherry. It is “maderized” during production, a process that preserves Madeira indefinitely.
Depending on the level of sweetness, it can either be medium-dry or syrupy. Only dry Madeira, with its nutty, earthy notes, is a suitable replacement for Amontillado sherry.
Madeira is a great cooking wine and works well in creamy mushroom sauces and gravy for beef instead of Amontillado.
As an aperitif, Madeira with a hint of salinity is ideal, but note that it packs a more potent punch than Amontillado.
Marsala, an Italian fortified wine, is a convenient substitute for Amontillado sherry.
Often confused with Madeira, Marsala is similarly fortified with brandy and aged in barrels. It can vary from dry (secco) to very sweet, although even dry Marsala has a sugary, fruity flavor.
Aged Marsala takes on hints of walnut, licorice, and dried fruit.
Marsala is commonly used for cooking and baking and can replace Amontillado in rich sauces and marinades, especially for game and chicken.
Marsala makes a suitable alternative to Amontillado as an aperitif so long as you drink a top-shelf, dry variety.
You can enjoy it chilled alongside appetizers like ham, nuts, olives, and cheese, but be aware that it has a far higher alcohol level than Amontillado.
Dry White Wine
A convenient replacement for Amontillado sherry is dry white wine.
Because sherry is a fortified wine, the flavors of dry white wine work well. Try using Sémillon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc. A dry sparkling wine is also helpful.
Wine is a handy substitute for Amontillado when roasting chicken, turkey, or vegetables. However, it won’t give your dish the same depth of flavor as sherry.
You can also drink white wine instead of Amontillado when enjoying appetizers or a meal, but the flavor will not be as sharp or dry.
Rice wine makes an unusual substitute for Amontillado sherry.
Made from fermented rice, rice wine is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine and a popular beverage.
In China, it is known as huangjiu, while Japanese cuisine distinguishes between mirin, which is for cooking, and sake, for drinking.
Rice wine has a slightly sweet flavor but can be used instead of Amontillado sherry in marinades and spicy sauces in a 1:1 ratio.
As a sipping beverage, rice wine’s flavor is too different from sherry to be a good alternative.
For a non-alcoholic substitute for Amontillado sherry, reach for vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and sherry vinegar are all convenient and inexpensive replacements for Amontillado sherry when you need acid notes in a dish, marinade, soup, or stew.
Vinegar can also replace dry sherry in a salad dressing.
However, vinegar is far more astringent than sherry. Unless you need only a tablespoon, dilute the vinegar with water.
For every ¼ cup Amontillado sherry required, use one tablespoon vinegar in a ¼ cup water.