White wine vinegar is one of the most basic cooking ingredients used in a wide range of cuisines. Typically used to prepare sauces, dress salads, fish, and meat, the flavor it adds is tangy and mildly sweet. It has a mellower taste than its cousin, red wine vinegar. This makes it a more approachable ingredient for enriching the taste of salad dishes.
Run out of white wine vinegar? No problem. Here are the top 10 substitutes for white wine vinegar you can use in its place without changing the flavor of your favorite recipes.
#1. Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar, as mentioned earlier, is the tangy cousin of white wine vinegar. It adds a bold and sour flavor to the dish, which actually makes it a better substitute in some cases.
It also adds a layer of color to the dish, usually making it redder or more purple. Red wine vinegar goes really well with recipes like sauces, meat marinades, and vinaigrette dressing. Since the flavors are very similar, you can substitute red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar evenly.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
#2. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar is also a type of wine vinegar but has a softer flavor than red wine vinegar. It’s medium-bodied, lightly sweet, and has a rich nutty flavor. Sherry vinegar has a less overpowering taste, which often makes it a better choice than white wine vinegar. Although, the flavors are relatively more pronounced in sherry vinegar than white wine or red.
You can use sherry vinegar for mild vinaigrette dressings, marinades, over roasted meats and vegetables, and to add a splash of sourness and earthiness to a spicy soup. It’s a substitute for white wine vinegar that works for almost every recipe. The only thing to note is that as sherry vinegar ages, it becomes darker and more robust.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 1 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
#3. Lemon Juice
What is white wine vinegar for? It adds sourness and acidity to a dish, sometimes also a little bit of sweetness. Lemon juice can also achieve similar effects. Many recipes tend to mention lemon juice as a simpler substitute for white wine vinegar. If you’re ever out of white wine vinegar, lemon juice can save you a trip to the store.
You can add lemon juice to marinades and vinaigrette dressings. But in complex recipes like special sauces, it may not give you the same flavor as white wine vinegar. Plus, lemon juice has virtually no sweetness, so you may need to add just a little bit of sugar to achieve the balance.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
#4. Champagne Vinegar
Champagne vinegar is made from fermented champagne and has a slightly distinct flavor compared to wine vinegar. Champagne is milder than wine and has more crispness and sweetness but less acidity.
You can safely expect a relatively milder flavor from champagne vinegar. It also adds a splash of fruitiness to the dish. Champagne vinegar makes a good substitute for white wine in salad dressings and vinaigrettes. But since its flavor is mild, you need to substitute more.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 1.5 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar
#5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is sweeter and fruitier than white wine vinegar. It’s also milder in sourness and acidity. Using it as a substitute for white wine vinegar can mildly alter the flavor of a dish, which is why good pairing is key for using it.
Apple cider vinegar adds a bold and distinctive taste to dishes that brings out the dish’s sweetness rather than sourness or spiciness. It goes best with flavor-intensive dishes that balance out the cider’s boldness, like marinades, pickles, and stews.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
#6. Rice Vinegar
Rice vinegar is frequently used in Asian cuisine to top salads and season rice dishes. It is made by fermenting white rice until it reaches a flavor quite similar to white wine vinegar. Rice vinegar is perfect for seasoning salads and making tangy sauces.
Rice vinegar and white wine vinegar are very easy to substitute and help you achieve the same flavor. They’re both equally bitter and acidic although rice vinegar has less fruitiness if that’s something you want to make up for. Otherwise, you can substitute them in equal proportions.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
#7. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is similar in taste to white wine vinegar, so you can use it as a substitute. It’s made from fermented grape juice so it is sharp but mildly sweet and has a more complex flavor.
Balsamic vinegar is often a key ingredient in salad dressings and marinades. However, if you’re using it as a substitute for white wine vinegar, you should use it conservatively as balsamic vinegar is a bit more concentrated. It’s got a complex sweetness with notes of fig, cherry, and molasses.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = ½ Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
#8. Honey Vinegar
Honey vinegar is a healthier alternative to white wine vinegar. It’s rich in antioxidants, enhances digestion, and also promotes better blood circulation. It’s got a crisp level of acidity, but unlike white wine vinegar, it’s rich in sweetness so you can expect some difference in the flavor.
Honey vinegar is often not available on the market, so it can be hard to get. But if you do get your hands on it, it’s excellent to use in salad dressings and garnishes.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 1 Tbsp Honey Vinegar
#9. White Wine
White wine vinegar is made from fermenting white wine further. It’s practically just one step away from being white wine vinegar so they pretty much taste the same, although white wine is milder.
White wine is often used in traditional Italian and French cuisine for making sauces, but it’s not strong enough to be used for salad dressings. You will need to substitute nearly double the amount of white wine for your dish.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = 2 Tbsp White Wine
#10. White Vinegar
White vinegar is made by fermenting grain alcohol and has a much bolder taste than white wine vinegar. It’s more acidic and lacks sweetness, so you may need to add a bit of sugar to achieve balance.
Since its flavors are more concentrated, white vinegar should be diluted in water before adding it to a dish. It can pair with any dish for which you would use white wine vinegar since it tastes the same. The only difference is its potency, so substitute with caution.
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar = ½ Tbsp White Vinegar