I use red wine if I have it around, but I find that long slow cooking using cheap cuts ( not fillet etc, it will dry out), adding a good quality stock cube like Kallo, hard herbs like thyme, rosemary and bay, garlic, orange peel, some balsamic vinegar and a spoonful of something sweet like cranberry sauce, will do the trick to get a rich gravy.
Adding fried baby onions/shallots,whole baby mushrooms, carrots etc towards the end of cooking will add flavour as well as nutrition.
If you use a slow cooker, the meat will be tender but the gravy a bit watery as it doesn't evaporate- just drain off the juices into a pan and reduce, taste and add seasoning etc then add back in before serving.
I love a good beef stew in the winter, I add herb dumplings sometimes, and serve with creamy mashed potatoes, sweet roasted parsnips and carrots, sauteed spinach, spiced cabbage- whatever's looking good in the market at the time.
Enjoy! No need to use alcohol if you don't like the idea.