Marinade Basics

A marinade has three basic components: an acid, an oil, and a flavoring. The acid helps with tenderizing, the oil helps to keep in moisture, and the flavoring helps with the finished dish. Depending on the amounts of oil and acid, the marinade will do one of two functions: help tenderize the item or give a shot of flavor, or keep in moisture.

Recipe and Ratio

Here is a basic recipe for a white wine marinade. It has a 5:1 ratio of acid to oil, and works well with grilling both lean and fatty fish. It is acid-based and packs quite a punch. Adjust the seasonings as needed for the finished dish.

White Wine Marinade
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  1. 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  2. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1/2 cup corn oil
  4. 1 small onion, sliced very thin
  5. 4 to 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  6. 1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  7. Handful of parsley sprigs, chopped
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Marinate the fish for about 30 minutes before grilling.
Dana Point Fish Company
Renee Shelton enjoys writing about fish and testing recipes, and serves as webmaster for Dana Point Fish Company. When she’s not handling seafood or out fishing, she can be found in the bakeshop talking about pastry. Visit her at, or send her a message using the contact form above.