Home » Substitutes » Substitute For White Wine Vinegar

Substitute For White Wine Vinegar

You may think of white wine vinegar as a more natural ingredient for spot cleaning around your household. While it does indeed help with cleaning, it’s also used in many recipes like pickling vegetables and marinating meats. Below you’ll find a substitute for white wine vinegar list for when you decide to cook with it.

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

What is white wine vinegar?

White wine vinegar is a clear vinegar that has a pungent taste and smell. As mentioned above, many people use white vinegar for cleaning purposes – specifically stain removal. It can be used as such due to its acetic acid content. It’s pretty easy to tell when people use it as a cleaner as the sharp smell is noticeable until dry.

Originally, beets, potatoes, and other similar sources were fermented to create white vinegar. They were 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 Substitutes And Alternatives

1. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar often pops up as the best alternative option for a white wine vinegar substitute. This is namely because of the way it is produced. Both kinds of vinegar are created from wine. However, red wine vinegar is made from red wine. 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 pungent and distinct taste. It will be quite easy to tell that white vinegar was not used in the recipe. It also changes the color of lighter dishes because of its red color.

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

2. Rice Vinegar

There are multiple types of rice wine vinegar – including flavored options. Your best bet is to use unflavored rice vinegar to avoid contrasting flavors in the dish when using it as a white wine vinegar replacement.
Rice vinegar is created by a double fermentation, starting with fermenting rice in water. Then, fermenting the liquid produced again.

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

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. You can use it in a 1:1 ratio instead of white vinegar.

3. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is another excellent white wine vinegar substitute. It also has a subtle sweetness akin to white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar. It is most often used in dishes with Spanish influence.
There are two types of sherry vinegar – aged and “young.” Aged sherry vinegar has a dark red appearance and more robust flavor, while young sherry vinegar has a milder taste. Opt for young sherry vinegar for the most similar flavor.

When using sherry vinegar, you’ll get a similar sweet flavor in dishes. It’s an excellent alternative for sauces, marinades, and glazes.

While sherry vinegar does have a similar flavor, there are also nutty notes and a slight caramel taste so that the final dish will have a different flavor. Even the young sherry vinegar has a more intense flavor than white wine vinegar, though it is still better than aged sherry vinegar.

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 will use a 2-step process that involves combining smushed apples with yeast to ferment them. Then, bacteria are added to create the 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, so it should not change the color of lighter dishes much, if at all. You can use apple cider vinegar in dishes like marinades, stews, and pickling vegetables.

It is not a good swap in dishes like sauces or salad dressings as it has a stronger flavor and may overpower the other ingredients. It does have a slight sour apple taste, so the final flavor in your dishes will be a bit different than if you used white wine vinegar.

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. Champagne grapes, hence the name, are used to create this alternative.
The flavor for champagne vinegar, while similar, is much milder than white wine vinegar.

Champagne vinegar works well for dishes that require a more subtle flavor like dressings and marinades. This 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 to swap it in a dish with beef, it’s best to avoid this option as the flavor will not come through.

Cooking Tip:
For champagne vinegar, you’ll want to use 1.5 tablespoons for every tablespoon of white wine vinegar.

6. Lemon Juice

You can substitute white wine vinegar with lemon juice as a final option. It will not add the exact same flavor. However, the acidic flavor will be present when using lemon juice. Lemon juice does have a strong flavor that can be overpowering in certain dishes, so it’s best used with ingredients that can 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 does typically.

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.


What is white wine vinegar used for?

White vinegar is used for many recipes, including pickling vegetables, salad dressings, marinades, and certain sauces. As mentioned above, it can also be used as a natural cleaning ingredient.

Can I substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar?

Yes, you can substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is excellent to use when you want a slightly sweeter taste or avoid the strong smell of white vinegar. It works very well as a substitute in salad dressings.

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. Expect lighter dishes to have a slight pinkish hue from red wine vinegar.


Now you can cook your favorite white wine vinegar recipes with ease – even if you’ve run out of white wine vinegar. Choose red wine vinegar as your first option as it will 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 flavor in your recipe.

Recipes With White Wine Vinegar

Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti

Beef Heart Stew

Related Articles

Substitute For Dijon Mustard

Substitute For Apple Cider Vinegar

Red Wine Vinegar Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document easy real food recipes perfect for busy families. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

Get new recipes and tips via email
when you subscribe!

Leave a Reply

Quick Search