What is Marsala wine? Can you use a substitute for Marsala wine if a recipe specifically calls for this particular wine?
Marsala wine is produced on Sicily by using various varieties of grapes such as the Inaolia, Catarratto and Grillo grapes among others. It also comes in three grades that are classified according to color and sweetness, they are: Oro which is a light gold color, Amber, a darker sweeter blend and Rubino the true red variety. Marsala wine is a very sweet wine and often used in Italian cooking with many dishes using it in their names, such as the worlds famous Chicken Marsala that is served at Italian restaurants around the world. It is also often served as an aperitf before dinner.
If you do not use alcohol of any type or are against using wine in cooking you can omit it from certain recipes without to much trouble. For example, in Tiramisu you can completely omit the wine and follow one of many nonalcoholic recipes available that are still delicious.
It is a different story if you are considering using a substitute for Marsala, for example in Chicken Marsala, then it would be best to use a very sweet wine, a port or a sherry. Though this will, at times drastically alter the flavor of the recipe and it would then be best called chicken and wine instead of chicken Marsala.