Lemon and White Wine Marinade


Regarding BBQ 

  • Total: 17 mins
  • Prep: 7 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup (4 servings)

This crisp and refreshing lemon and white wine marinade works well on fish or chicken and can also be used on pork. It has classic flavors that pair with a variety of different types of cuisine, including Italian, Greek, and French. This recipe makes enough marinade for four chicken breasts.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on the wine for this marinade, but if you're opening a bottle it might as well be one that you'll enjoy sipping before dinner.

By soaking meat in a marinade before cooking you are adding flavor to foods and making them more tender. Marinades include acidic components, such as the wine and lemon juice in this recipe. The acid begins breaking down the surface of the meat, allowing fluids and seasonings to enter the meat. It also plumps up the cells of the meat so it stays juicier when grilled or cooked.

You will want to use a marinade when grilling because the high heat can not only dry out the meat, it can create harmful substances on the surface of the meat. An acidic marinade helps to keep these from forming.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thyme (fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary (fresh)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients until mixed well.

  2. Use right away or place in airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The flavors will develop better if you make the marinade a day ahead.

Using the Marinade

You don't want to marinate too long or the meat will become mushy. Stick with these time limits:

  • Marinate chicken pieces for 1 to 2 hours

  • Marinate pork for 4 hours.

  • Marinate seafood for 15 to 20 minutes, at most.

To marinate, place the meat and marinade in a nonreactive container (plastic or glass) and immerse it in the marinade. Or, use a resealable plastic bag with the meat and marinade inside. You don't want to use aluminum foil, metal containers, or glazed pottery as these materials might interact with the acid in the marinade.

Always marinate in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. If you are taking meat to a party or picnic to grill, keep it in an ice cooler. This keeps harmful bacteria from growing. While cooking may kill the bacteria, they can leave behind toxins that trigger the symptoms of food poisoning (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea).

Discard any marinade that has been in contact with raw meat or raw seafood. If you want to use this sauce for basting, set some aside before adding the rest of the marinade to the meat or seafood.

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