Are you trying to cook something special and you just realized there’s no white wine vinegar in the pantry? Here are some of the best white wine vinegar substitutes so you can finish that recipe and make sure it turns out fabulous!
White wine vinegar is an acidic ingredient used for various salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. Because of its mild flavor, it also pairs really well with fish and seafood.
Can’t find any in your kitchen? If you cook often, there’s a good chance you have one of these excellent alternatives on hand!
What Is White Wine Vinegar?
White wine vinegar is made by fermenting and oxidizing white wines into acetic acid. Don’t mistake it for white vinegar, which is made from fermented grain alcohol.
The acetic acid is diluted with water to become palatable. White wine vinegar has an acidic concentration between 5 and 7%.
The clear liquid that results from this multi-step process is tangy, has a slightly fruity flavor, and a bit of natural sweetness.
Compared to distilled white vinegar, white wine vinegar is less acidic and slightly sweeter.
Quick read: 20+ Sugars and How to Use Them
12 Best White Wine Vinegar Substitutes
You have plenty of options for replacing white wine vinegar, many of which are pantry staples, or at least easy to find in a grocery store.
Keep reading to find out the best replacements for white wine vinegar and how much you should use!
1. Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is an obvious substitute for white wine vinegar. It’s readily available in stores and a popular pantry ingredient you might already have!
Flavor-wise, it’s like white wine vinegar, although slightly stronger.
Best for: Any recipe that calls for white wine vinegar.
The only exceptions might be white sauces, dressings, and other white foods, as red wine vinegar will bring a change in color.
If you don’t mind the color change, swap away!
How to substitute red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar: Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing white wine vinegar with red wine vinegar. Use it with confidence in the Instant Pot Ribs recipe!
2. Champagne Vinegar
Made from fermented champagne, this vinegar makes an excellent replacement for white wine vinegar.
Champagne vinegar has a more mellow flavor than white wine vinegar but the two are similar, so it makes an appropriate replacement.
Best for: You can replace white wine vinegar with champagne vinegar in practically any recipe.
How to substitute champagne vinegar for white wine vinegar: The first one being less intense, use a 1.5:1 ratio for the substitution.
This means if your recipe calls for one tablespoon of white wine vinegar, you can swap it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar.
Tip: Do you have some champagne leftovers that have gone flat after a party or New Year’s Eve?
Don’t throw it away! Use it for some homemade Champagne vinegar!
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another very popular type of vinegar. It’s perfect for enhancing salad dressings, marinades, pickles, and the list goes on!
Being made from fermented apple cider, this vinegar has an intense fruity flavor and increased acidity compared to white wine vinegar.
Best for: ACV may not be the ideal replacement for white wine vinegar, but it does work for some foods.
Use it for salad dressings, sauces, dips, pickles, chutneys, stews, and marinades for fish, seafood, and poultry.
How to substitute apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar: Because of the stronger flavor, I recommend you start with a 1/2:1 ratio.
Then, give it a taste and add more if needed.
4. Rice Vinegar
The preferred vinegar for Asian cuisine is unsurprisingly made from fermented rice.
Plain, unseasoned rice vinegar has a similar flavor to white wine vinegar.
The color is also pretty close, which means if you make any white sauce, it won’t alter the hue.
Best for: Brines, marinades, pickles, salad dressings, and light-colored sauces. We love it with our Air Fryer Broccolini.
The similar acidity and flavor profile also makes it suitable as a white wine vinegar in almost any other recipe.
How to substitute rice vinegar for white wine vinegar: This is another super easy substitution with a 1:1 ratio.
Whatever quantity of white wine vinegar your recipe requires, replace it with an equal quantity of rice vinegar.
Note: Seasoned rice vinegar doesn’t work for this substitution. Make sure the rice vinegar you are using is plain.
The seasoned variety also contains salt and sugar that significantly change the flavor.
5. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar, is obviously made from sherry, the famous Spanish wine.
Like apple cider vinegar, it has fruity flavors, although milder, and that makes it a great replacement for white wine vinegar.
Sherry vinegar is also slightly less acidic than white wine vinegar. The differences are not too significant, so it’s an obvious swap.
Best for: It may not be so easily available, but if you have it, try adding sherry vinegar to vinaigrettes, soups that need a tangy kick, sauces, and marinades. Use it for a great Hoisin Sauce Substitute as well.
How to substitute sherry vinegar for white wine vinegar: Use equal parts of sherry vinegar to replace white wine vinegar for this simple exchange with a 1:1 ratio.
6. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is quite aromatic, with a thickened consistency.
It’s a less-than-ideal substitute for white wine vinegar. It can still get the job done, at least for some dishes.
Best for: Vinaigrettes, marinades, and meat dishes that can benefit from added sweetness. Sheet Pan Chicken, Herb Roasted Carrots and Instant Pot Pork Chops are all recipes that shine with a good dose of balsamic.
Refrain from using it for white sauces and other light-colored recipes. The intense color and thicker consistency can have a negative impact on your recipe.
Also, it’s not a suitable replacement for making pickles.
How to substitute balsamic vinegar for white wine vinegar: Start with a 1/2:1 ratio, adding only half the amount listed in the recipe ingredients.
You can always add more later if you need to.
7. Fruit Vinegar
Various fruit juices are fermented and turned into vinegar, not just apples.
There are so many fruit vinegars made from a wide range of fruits, such as lemons, oranges, peaches, plums, berries, and mango.
All of them will have mellow fruit flavors and an acidity level that’s equal or lesser to that of white wine vinegar.
Best for: Any recipes that might benefit from a natural fruity bouquet, such as vinaigrettes, and marinades for fish and chicken.
How to substitute fruit vinegar for white wine vinegar: A 1:1 substitution is a good place to start.
Depending on the acidity of the fruit vinegar you are using, you might need to add more.
8. Honey Vinegar
This type of vinegar is more prevalent in Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe.
Honey vinegar has a similar flavor profile to white wine vinegar, with a touch of added sweetness, making it a wonderful substitute.
Best for: Salad dressings, garnishes, marinades, and cocktail drinks.
How to substitute honey vinegar for white wine vinegar: Use an equal quantity of honey vinegar to swap white wine vinegar for any recipe.
This is another basic replacement with a 1:1 ratio. Doing a taste test is a simple way to see if you need to spill some more honey vinegar into your dish.
9. Malt Vinegar
Malt vinegar is a treasured condiment in the U.K. and a classic ingredient for fish and chips.
Made from fermented barley, the flavor profile of malt vinegar differs greatly from the one of white wine vinegar.
It’s sweeter and milder, with a complex nutty flavor and lower acidity levels.
Malt vinegar has a gorgeous caramel color given by the fermented barley, hence not the best option for light-colored foods and sauces.
Best for: Pickles, chutneys, salad dressings, brines, glazes, and marinades.
How to substitute malt vinegar for white wine vinegar: Use a 1:1 ratio and adjust later if that’s the case. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back.
10. Herb Vinegar
Just like fruit vinegar, herb vinegar comes in many flavors.
You’ll find it made from various herbs such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon, oregano, lemongrass, fennel, and chives.
Best for: It all depends if the herbs used to make the vinegar work with your particular recipe.
Typically, herb vinegar is used for sauces, salad dressings, and marinades.
How to substitute herb vinegar for white wine vinegar: A 1:1 substitution makes a good place to start when using herb vinegar as a replacement.
The herbs used to make it will contribute to the dish as well, so you might need to cut back on the seasonings your recipe requires.
11. White Vinegar
White vinegar is not the perfect substitute for white wine vinegar, although being such a pantry staple, it can be adjusted to work.
This vinegar is distilled from grain alcohol and that means it lacks the mild fruity flavor of its white wine relative.
It has a lot more acidity, although that can be countered by mixing it with water and adding a bit of sugar.
Best for: When sweetened and diluted with water, it will work for any recipe that has white wine vinegar as an ingredient. We love it as our dressing in the Easy Pasta Salad Recipe, the sauce in the Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp,
How to substitute white vinegar for white wine vinegar: As I already mentioned you can use white vinegar straight so here’s the formula you should use:
3/4 Tablespoons of white vinegar + 1/4 tablespoons water + a pinch of sugar = 1 Tablespoon of white wine vinegar
12. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is definitely not vinegar, although it’s a common food many of us have on hand.
It’s tangy and acidic, so it will do the trick, at least sometimes. Lime juice is an equally suitable option.
Best for: Vinaigrettes, marinades, and dishes with fish and chicken.
Both lemon and lime juice have that specific citrus taste. Whatever recipe you plan to use them in, make sure it can benefit from the citrus flavor. Creamy Cucumber Salad and Honey Dijon Salmon are a couple of our favorite ways to use lemon juice.
How to substitute lemon juice for white wine vinegar: Lemon and lime juice are more flavorful and acidic, so diluting them with water is the safest way to go.
Simply use this formula:
1/2 Tablespoon of lemon/lime juice + 1/2 tablespoon of water = 1 Tablespoon of white wine vinegar
Our Favorite Recipes Using Vinegar
Vinegar plays lots of roles in the kitchen and it can be an excellent addition to sauces, marinades, dressings, and dips.
Acidic ingredients like vinegar will also tenderize meat, improving its texture. This works really well, especially for tough cuts of meat.
Here are some of our favorite recipes using vinegar:
- Honey Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
- Instant Pot Keto Pork Chops
- Vegetarian Harvest Wild Rice
- Amazing Instant Pot Ribs
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Can I Use White Wine Instead Of White Wine Vinegar?
White wine vinegar results from fermenting white wine, but they are not the same.
White wine doesn’t have the acidity or tangy flavor white wine vinegar has.
It’s still widely used for cooking so it can make a decent replacement, especially for marinades and sauces.
You can use a 1:1 ratio to substitute white wine for white wine vinegar. You will probably need to add a splash of lemon juice as well, to make up for that lost acidity.
Champagne vinegar shares the most similarities with white wine vinegar, making it the best substitute.
It has a slightly milder acidity and flavor than white wine vinegar, but you can’t get any closer.
Making your own white wine vinegar is easier than you’d think! Patience is the most important ingredient you’ll need, except white wine, of course.
Take out 1/4 of the contents of a white wine bottle, cover the top with a piece of cheesecloth and allow it to sit in a warm place for a few weeks. That’s it!
Whether you choose to bookmark this page, print it off for your Recipe Binder along with the others, always try to find an ingredient option that will allow you to not run out to the store. You may find a flavor combination you love. Garlic Powder Substitute, Cojita Cheese Substitute, Parsley Substitute, Green Chilis Substitute, Italian Seasoning Substitute, Mustard Seed Substitute, Cilantro Substitute, Sriracha Substitute, White Pepper Substitute, Onion Powder Substitute, Five Spice Substitute, Turmeric Substitutes, White Wine Vinegar, Cardamon Substitute, Parsley Substitute, Cremini Mushroom Substitute, Egg Yolk, Leeks, Egg Wash, Coconut Cream, Tomato, Stewed Tomatoes, Coconut Sugar and Palm Sugar.
Choosing the best substitute for white wine vinegar largely depends on the recipe you’re making. The ingredients, flavor, acidity, and even the color of your dish should be considered.
Champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, and honey vinegar are the closest to white wine vinegar regarding flavor, acidity, and color.
If color is not such an important factor, sherry vinegar and red wine vinegar are also excellent replacements.
Don’t have any of these and there’s no time for a shopping trip? The other options on our list can work well. If you happen to have too much of one kind of vinegar, we talk about Does Vinegar Freeze and the best ways to do it.
Even if your recipe turns out different, you might like it more than the original! Cooking is all about experimenting, and exploring, right?