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Substitute For White Wine Vinegar: 10 Great Choices

Below you’ll find each substitute for white wine vinegar. You’ll also find out what differentiates this vinegar from the rest.

White wine vinegar is not to be confused with white vinegar. It is commonly used in pickling vegetables and marinating meats. But, you can also use this wine vinegar in many other recipes. 

But can you use any other vinegar if you don’t have it? We’ll find out.

bottle with white wine vinegar and small dish filled with yellow liquid

What is white wine vinegar?

White wine vinegar is a clear substance with a strong, sweet taste and smell.

Many people confuse white vinegar with white wine vinegar. Yet, this vinegar is used explicitly for cooking purposes and never for cleaning.

People originally fermented beets, potatoes, and other similar sources to create white vinegar.

They then mixed with water to produce the final product found on store shelves. White wine vinegar is now made by fermenting white wine.

White wine vinegar is not typically produced using just one kind of wine. Instead, many white wines are used, which create complex flavors. This is also known as “wine stock.”

Best White Wine Vinegar Substitute

Here is a list of the best ten white wine vinegar substitutes.

1. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar often pops up as the best substitute for white wine vinegar. This is because it is also produced from wine.

The biggest difference is that red wine vinegar comes from red wine. So, you’ll find this alternative to have a stronger flavor and a red color.


This alternative works well with many dishes. It also is relatively easy to find in grocery stores, so you can run out quickly and grab a bottle.


While the flavor of red wine vinegar is similar, it does have a more intense and distinct taste. It will be easy to tell that you did not use white vinegar in the recipe.

It also changes the color of lighter dishes because of its red color.

Cooking Tip:

Use red wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar in a 1:1 ratio in all recipes.

2. Rice Vinegar

There are many types of rice wine vinegar. There is unflavored rice vinegar, and then there is seasoned rice vinegar.

Your best bet is to use unflavored rice vinegar. This is to avoid contrasting flavors in the dish when using it as a white wine vinegar replacement.

Rice vinegar is created by double fermentation. Fermented rice is fermented again to arrive at this vinegar.


Rice vinegar is also easy to find in most stores. It’s usually in the Asian cooking aisle as it’s most often used in Asian cuisine.


It has a sweet and tangy flavor, so it will contrast this vinegar and white wine vinegar when used in a dish.

Cooking Tip:

Use rice vinegar for pickling vegetables or to make salad dressings.

3. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is another excellent white wine vinegar substitute. It also has a subtle sweetness akin to white and red wine vinegar.

This kind of vinegar is most often used in dishes with Spanish influence. It’s an excellent alternative for sauces, marinades, and glazes.

There are two types of sherry vinegar – aged and young.

Aged sherry vinegar has a dark red appearance and a more distinct flavor. Young sherry vinegar has a milder taste.

Opt for young sherry vinegar for the most similar flavor.


You’ll get the same sweet flavor in dishes when using sherry vinegar.


While sherry vinegar has a similar flavor, there are also nutty notes and a slight caramel taste. That said, the final dish will have a different flavor.

Even young sherry vinegar has a more intense flavor than white wine vinegar. It is still better than aged sherry vinegar, though.

Cooking Tip:

Use it in a 1:1 ratio when swapping it in for white wine vinegar.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another excellent sub for white wine vinegar in dishes. It is created from apples instead of wine so that the flavor will vary.

Producers of apple cider vinegar use a 2-step process. First, they combine smashed apples with yeast to ferment them. Then, they add bacteria to create acetic acid.


When using apple cider vinegar, you’ll be able to add a similar acidic taste to dishes.

The color of apple cider vinegar is lighter than other options, like red wine vinegar. It should not change the color of lighter dishes much, if at all.


It is not a good swap in dishes like sauces or salad dressings. This is because it has a stronger flavor and may overpower the other ingredients.

It has a slightly sour apple taste, so the final flavor in your dishes will be a bit different.

Cooking Tip:

You can use a 1:1 ratio for apple cider vinegar as well.

5. Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar is next on the list. It is made from the same ingredient as white wine vinegar – grapes. Where the difference comes in is the type of grape used.

While similar, the flavor of champagne vinegar is much milder than white wine vinegar.

Champagne vinegar works well for dishes that need a more subtle flavor. This includes dressings and marinades.


Champagne vinegar will not change the color of sauces or any light dishes.


The flavor of champagne vinegar is very light – it does not work well with dishes like stews or heavier meats. If you’re looking for a substitute for a dish with beef, it’s best to avoid this option. Its flavor will not come through.

Cooking Tip:

Use 1.5 tablespoons of champagne vinegar for every tablespoon of white wine vinegar the recipe calls for.

6. Lemon Juice

You can substitute white wine vinegar with lemon juice as a final option.

It will not add the same flavor. However, the acidic taste will be present when using lemon juice.

Lemon juice has a strong flavor that can be overpowering in certain dishes. It’s best used with ingredients that stand up to it, like red meat.


Lemon juice is usually a staple in most people’s kitchens, so you likely have some on hand. It provides a similar sour and acidic taste to dishes that white wine vinegar typically does.


Of course, it has a distinct lemon flavor, creating a different taste in dishes. Don’t use too much lemon juice, or the recipe may taste off or too sour.

Cooking Tip:

Use ½ tablespoon of lemon juice for every tablespoon of white wine vinegar used.

7. White Wine

White wine is a strong substitute for white wine vinegar. It presents a similar level of sweetness as well as some acidity.

But, white wine’s acidity level is less than white wine vinegar.

Still, this wine provides excellent flavor to dishes. 

Cooking allows the alcohol in white wine to burn off, leaving the flavor behind. That said, you should use it only for cooked recipes such as sauces, soups, and meat or fish dishes.

This wine is most commonly used in French cuisine but can work with most cooked dishes.


Using white wine in recipes offers a similar flavor as white wine vinegar. It has a bold taste that incorporates well in sauces, soups, and cooked recipes.

White wine provides a similar sweetness and a somewhat acidic flavor – making it a close match.


The flavor will be slightly different when you use white wine as it has a less acidic taste. It also provides a more intense alcoholic flavor than vinegar does.

White wine cannot be used as a replacement in uncooked meals like salad dressings.

Cooking Tip:

Use a 2:1 ratio for each recipe.

8. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a darker brown vinegar that hails from Italy. It is produced from grape juice that is barrel-aged. This dark brown vinegar has a bold acidic, and sweet flavor.

This assists in providing a similar, yet not exact, flavor match. It is often used in dressings and marinades or as a drizzle for pizza or meat when boiled down and thickened.

Balsamic vinegar is versatile. You may use it in uncooked and cooked recipes.

But, its bold flavor can limit which meals this vinegar will taste good with.


Balsamic vinegar is a winner if you seek a sweet and acidic replacement. It works in cooked and raw dishes to replace white wine vinegar.


Balsamic vinegar has a strong, robust taste, so it does not work well with all recipes. It also has different flavor notes that may cause it not to mesh well with other ingredients.

This vinegar is also pricey. This is especially true if you purchase authentic balsamic vinegar imported from Italy.

Cooking Tip:

Follow a 1:1 ratio when using balsamic as a substitute for white wine vinegar.

9. Grape Juice

Since white wine vinegar comes from grape juice, you can expect a similar flavor in recipes. Yet, grape juice is much sweeter and lacks the acidity of the vinegar.

To create a similar flavor profile, you will want to add a splash of any vinegar available. This inclusion will help to balance out the sweetness and bring in acidity.

Use grape juice as a replacement when you are after the sweetness. This substitution works best in marinades and sauces.

Avoid using grape juice when making salad dressings, as it may be too sweet. It will not work unless you mix it with another vinegar.


Grape juice adds sweetness to dishes that generally incorporate white wine vinegar. It’s readily available at stores. You may even have some already in your fridge.


This substitution does not work well with all recipes. It should mainly be used in marinades and some sauces, limiting how it can replace white wine vinegar.

Cooking Tip:

Add ¾ tablespoon of grape juice to ¼ tablespoon of vinegar to replace white wine vinegar.

10. White Vinegar

You can use distilled white vinegar to replace white wine vinegar in a pinch.

But, with the lack of sweetness and a high level of acidity, it should be a last resort. White vinegar alone does not resemble the taste of white wine vinegar.

That said, when using white vinegar as a replacement, you’ll need to add a small amount of sugar.

This will mimic the sweetness of white wine vinegar. You may also want to add a small splash of water to help mellow out the sourness brought by the acidity.


White vinegar is very readily available. Most people keep a large jug of this vinegar in their household for cooking and cleaning. You likely have some in your kitchen to use in recipes.

You’ll get a vinegar taste in any dish with this ingredient.


Using white vinegar will increase the time and steps of a recipe as you’ll need to alter the taste.

The high acidity level is highly noticeable in dishes.

Cooking Tip:

Combine ¾ tablespoon white vinegar, ¼ tablespoon water, and a pinch of sugar. This mixture will replace one tablespoon of white wine vinegar.


What is white wine vinegar used for?

White wine vinegar is used for many recipes, including pickling vegetables, salad dressings, marinades, and certain sauces.

Can I substitute red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar?

Yes, you can substitute red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar. The taste will be similar. However, red wine vinegar will produce a more robust flavor than white wine vinegar.

Can you use regular vinegar instead of white wine vinegar?

Yes, you can use regular vinegar, aka white vinegar, instead of white wine vinegar. Vinegar will need to be diluted slightly as a replacement to combat the high level of acidity.


You can easily cook your favorite white wine vinegar recipes even if you’ve run out of white wine vinegar.

Choose red wine vinegar as your first option to provide the most similar flavor. This works well for darker dishes, like stews.

If color matters, use rice vinegar instead. Even with a slightly sour taste, it will create a similar final taste in your recipe.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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