Researchers found that steeping the meat in alcohol for several hours cut the high levels of carcinogenic compounds triggered by frying it.
In addition, they discovered that beer was more effective than wine at lowering the cancer-forming chemicals, and also made for a better-looking and tastier meal.
Contrary to what is quoted above, it can’t be the alcohol that cuts down on the heterocyclic amines because wine generally has more alcohol then beer and yet beer does a better job of cutting down on the heterocyclic amines. In fact, the article later states….
“Beer contains more water-retaining sugars than wine and Ferreira says that may hinder the transport of water-soluble molecules to the steak’s surface, where high heat converts them in HAs,” New Scientist said.
Previous research has shown that a red wine marinade has a similar effect on HA levels in fried chicken, while a non-alcoholic version is also available. A sauce made of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic lowered HA levels in grilled chicken by as much as 90 per cent, a study found.
So obviously it is not about the alcohol.
I would guess that balsamic vinegar would have a similar effect to red wine, but I would be interested in finding out.