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10 AMAZING Substitutes for White Wine That You Can Use in Your Recipe: The Complete Review

White wine is known to be one of the most flavor-enhancing ingredients for food. Be it meat or sauce, a couple drops of it is enough to make you fall in love with the dish!

However, it’s also one of those liquid agents that we either drink up too fast or just run out of!

You’re cooking up your favorite dish and have all the ingredients you need!

But as you reach for the white wine…

There’s not enough! A total turn off.

Earlier, you’d probably give up and cook something else. After reading this article, you’ll look through your pantry for white wine alternatives that can make your food just as delicious!  

Saves the day!

We know what you’re thinking “Will they give me the same flavor?” We asked that as well.

To our surprise, most of them did put in that punch of it while the others came very close!

Trying to cut back on alcoholic ingredients? Our list has both non-alcoholic and alcoholic options to choose from!

Without further ado, let’s begin!

All about White Wine

Hold up, are you new in the world of cooking and wondering what white wine actually does for you?

White wine is not “white”. In fact, the color white has very little to do with this wine. It can be made from the juice extracted from either red or green grapes.

But wait, isn’t that every wine ever?!

The unique way white wine is made is without the skins. Once the process of harvesting and destemming is done, the juice from the grapes is extracted and left to ferment. After the fermenting, the clear wine is separated from the sediments, giving you the fresh wine to sip on!

Pretty interesting, isn’t it?

What Does it Do For the Food? 

That’s all good, but does it have any effect on our food? It has plenty!

A few drops of white wine is enough to bring out the best flavors from your dish. No, you won’t be crazy drunk after having the food cause the only thing that stays behind after evaporation is the flavor of white wine!

Although, do not add white wine to an empty pan to cook on its own. That’s just gonna give you a bitter taste which you’ll not like at all. After you have your food or sauce in the pan, add the white wine to let it simmer along with them, inserting its beautiful flavors!

That’s all it takes: the little simmering!

Best Alternatives for White Wine to Use

You’ve tried so many additives to get the same distinct flavor as white wine and failed every time. Here are our top 10 white wine alternatives that sit right in your pantry!

01. White wine vinegar

From the name of the substitute, you must have already guessed why it’s our number one choice. White wine vinegar has almost the same taste and consistency that white wine has, making it the closest alternative for it.

For anyone who tries to avoid any trace of alcohol in their food, the white wine vinegar has to be the best non-alcoholic replacement.

Although, it is slightly more acidic than wine. In case, that’s not something you’re a fan of, mix it with equal amounts of water to reduce the tanginess.

Say, for example, a recipe asks for 1 cup of white wine. You’ll replace that with ½ cup white wine vinegar and ½ cup water to give your dishes the same oomph that white wine gives it.

Of course, you can’t expect it to be exact but there’s only a difference of maybe 2%.

Pretty negligible if you ask us!

What We Recommend it For:

  • Salad dressings.
  • Chicken dish.
  • Fish dish.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Sweet dishes.

Note: White wine vinegar can trigger the effects of certain medications, so it’s best not to use it if you’re on any.

Best White Wine Vinegar to Get:

There are a lot of options to choose from for white wine vinegar. However, our main pick would be the Giuseppe Giusti Italian White Wine Vinegar Condiment. The flavors of this little bottle is something you’d always wanna go back for!

Made from the finest grapes, and aged for a proper time, the Giuseppe White Wine Vinegar is ideal for seafood lovers! It also works great as a salad dressing or with cooked vegetables.

02. Apple juice

White wine and apple juice are made in a pretty similar way. They’re both harvested and then extracted with the utmost care.

Is that what makes them similar?

Maybe.

They’re also pretty identical when it comes to their usefulness for your delicious food! All you have to do is use it in a 1:1 ratio for recipes that call for white wine. So if you need ½ cup of white wine, use ½ cup of apple juice in its place.

Although, apple juice is more on the sweeter side while white wine is a mixture of sweet and tangy. Hence, it only works well in the 1:1 ratio when the recipe calls for a small amount of white wine.

We understand if you’re not digging the entire sweet aura of apple juice. To get your spot between the sugary and acidic flavor, add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Pour the tangy agents little by little to understand at what point you need to stop.

What We Recommend it For

  • Light sauces.
  • Cakes

What We Don’t Recommend it For

  • Recipes that ask for a lot of white wine like braised chicken, crab dishes, etc.

Best Apple Juice To Get:

Ocean Spray Apple Juice is a pretty good option to go for if you’re looking to alternate the white wine in exact amounts. It doesn’t come with any added sugar or preservatives, making it healthy as well as tasty.

If you focus on the zero added sugar part, you might have guessed that it can be used without the addition of lemon juice or any other acidic elements. Nevertheless, it’s always good to test it out first rather than going full-fledged with it!

03. Grape juice

We know that white wine is made from grapes, so what else could be a better option than an ingredient from the same fruit?! They have the same color, making it good for a dish that’s likely to bring out the shades of liquid agents.

Being sweet and less acidic, grape juice isn’t something most people reach out for in substitution of white wine. However, thinning it up with white wine vinegar or plain white vinegar makes it an ideal addition to your food! This is mostly great for marinating chicken or pork.

On its own, grape juice suits any sweet meals. Use a whole lot of it or just a bit, as per your recipe, to get that aura of sweetness in your mouth. With vinegar, it’s the perfect mix between tangy and sweet, making it great for any recipe that requires white wine vinegar!

What We Recommend it For:

  • Sweet dishes.
  • Marinades for chicken or pork.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Any food that requires white wine sauce.
  • People who are allergic to grape juice.

Best Grape Juice To Get:

Welch’s 100% Juice, Concord Grape is one of the best out there when you don’t want extra sugar for yourself. Grown fresh out of the Welch’s vineyard, it doesn’t only contribute to your food, it’s also super healthy!

Add it to your cooking to get an extra drive of deliciousness! We’d suggest testing it first to see how much of it you’ll need.

04. Vermouth

If you’re not looking to spend much on a substitute, let’s talk about Vermouth. It’s the cheapest white wine alternative that you’ll find and it works so well!

Flavored with various herbs, vermouth is known to be a fortified wine that was primarily used for medicinal purposes. There are two kinds of vermouth that you’ll come across: dry and sweet.

The dry ones are yellow-ish in color and don’t have much sugar in them. They’re usually used in making martinis!

While the sweet ones, as you guessed from the name, have a higher sugar content. Because of its origin and color, it’s often termed as red or Italian vermouth.

When using these in your recipes, keep in mind that it’s stronger than white wine. Hence, add it in small amounts to see how the flavor profile turns out.

What We Recommend it For:

  • Use dry vermouth for any dish where you want a herbal flavor.
  • Use sweet vermouth for desserts or other sweet dishes.  

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Any dish that requires high amounts of white wine.

Best Vermouth To Get:

For dry mouth, the most definite choice is Cinzano Bianco. This one adds a perfect touch up to any dish. One whiff of it is enough to get you indulged into a world of fresh herbs and spices!

If you’re reaching out for sweet dishes, the Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth can be a good choice. With a combination of rich herbs and spices, caramel, and a touch of sweetness, it easily compliments any of your delicious recipes!

05. Ginger ale

Next on our list is an ingredient that has a very similar color and taste to white wine. They share the same sweet taste and acidity, making it a perfect substitute for white wine. You can easily replace 1 cup of ginger ale in place of 1 cup of white wine.

Howbeit, from the name itself, you can guess that ginger ale has a more “gingery” flavor. So, we’d suggest you add it into edibles that require the taste of ginger.

Other than enhancing your food, it also helps your body! If you have problems with digestion or metabolism, be rest assured that ginger ale will cure you of it and improve your metabolism rate. Other than that, it also helps in fighting colds and relieves you of that arthritis pain.

What We Recommend it For:

  • Any food that needs a dash of ginger taste, for example, some pork or chicken dishes.
  • For glazing.
  • Cocktails.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Sweet dishes.
  • People who have gastric issues.

Best Ginger Ale To Get:

If you’re looking for a good ginger ale to use, check out the Bruce Cost Fresh Ginger Ale. This particular bottle is packed with the freshness of ginger without any added oils or extracts. The addition of sugar cane in it perfectly balances the taste, making it one of the tastiest and healthiest ones out there!

06. Beer

From every ordinary household to every professional kitchen, this one ingredient will always be there. Having almost the same flavor profile as white wine, it acts as one of the best white wine alternatives.

Even though we’d all have to agree that beer outdoes its white wine with its taste, it doesn’t overpower your recipe in any way. In fact, it adds a little more punch of flavor to it, giving your food a different touch altogether.

Additionally, there’s no denying the endless benefits that beer has for us. From improving memory to lowering the risk of diabetes to reducing anxiety and stress, it’s perceived to serve our body with taste and health! Don’t start intaking it in large amounts because a small serving each day does the trick.

What We Recommend it For:

  • Risotto.
  • Steak sauce.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Sweet dishes.

Best Beer To Get:

Of course, everyone has their own favorite beer to pick from already. For us, the best beer to cook with would be Erdinger, Non-Alcoholic Beer. Its distinct flavor adds a fine taste to your food, making you reach for more!

07. Apple cider vinegar

If you’ve ever tasted raw apple cider vinegar, you’re probably not a big fan. But hold your horses because apple cider vinegar mixed with food is something you’ll worship!

Apple cider vinegar is known to share a somewhat similar profile to white wine. It’s a little on the sweet side but you also get the burst of acidity from it. Ergo, while drinking it alone might not be so tasteful, blending it in with your recipes is a mighty good idea.

For a replacement of white wine, use 50% water and 50% apple cider to get the most out of the flavor. The taste of apple cider can easily overpower the meal, so adding water neutralizes it.

What We Recommend it For:

  • Any savory dish like chicken, fish, pork, etc.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Desserts.

Best Apple Cider Vinegar To Get:

There’s no better apple cider vinegar to get than the Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. Known to be in the good books of people for years, this one surely gets the best taste of your favorite food.

Made from organically grown apples, Bragg is not only good for food, but it also improves your health and skin! With the addition of mother vinegar, we haven’t found any other apple cider to beat this one.

08. Lemon juice

Can you think of one dish where lemon juice cannot be used? Honestly, this is the most versatile ingredient in everyone’s kitchen!

So, without a doubt, it has to be a good alternative for white wine as well. Just like white wine, it adds a little bit of tanginess and enhances the overall flavor of the dish. Whether you use it as a garnish or with your sauce, it’s known to bring out the best taste!

However, in recipes where you require heaps of white wine, substituting lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio will add tanginess to your dish instead of adding flavors. What you could do in this case is to mix the lemon juice with equal parts of water to reduce its zestiness.

We’d suggest using a squeeze of half a lemon to see if it works out for your dish. Oftentimes, lemon juice is enough to intensify the food and you can just skip the thought of white wine altogether!

What We Recommend it For:

  • Any dish that needs a small amount of white wine like pasta, hummus, etc.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Recipes that call for a white wine sauce.

Note: Lemon juice can be used in a small amount for any food you want. These recommendations are for substituting it with white wine in the ratio 1:1.

Best Lemon Juice to Get:

Yes, you can use real lemons to get a good flavor in your dishes. In fact, that’s the first way to go. If you don’t wanna waste fresh lemons, it’s a good idea to look for bottled lemon juice.

Lucy’s Family Owned Lemon Juice bottles have been a favorite for many! All you gotta do is flip the cap open and pour down the fresh juice into your pan. Be sure to add in small amounts to match your taste buds.

09. Chicken or Vegetable Broth

Broth is a good way to amplify the taste of any dish. This is what makes it a good alternative for a lot of liquid ingredients, including white wine.

In spite of that, you need to keep in mind that chicken or vegetable broths have a rather neutral flavor. They don’t bring a super sweet or acidic flavor to any dish. Rather, they act as an element that combines all the flavors and makes them taste good.

Hence, if you want tanginess with the piquant flavor of broths, add equal parts of vinegar with it. The acidic nature of vinegar will easily cut off the savory palate, creating a taste close to white wine!

You could try adding lemon juice instead of vinegar. It adds a pinch of citrus effect, giving out a delicious tang!

What We Recommend it For:

  • Soups.
  • Stews.
  • Gravy.
  • Chicken dishes. (when mixed with vinegar)

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Sweet dishes.

Best Vegetable Broth To Get:

Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth and Seasoning has been a favorite for many people. With the addition of no extra chemicals and only pure broth, this can of goodness is known to make any dish stand out!

Besides, when you just wanna take a break from your cooking, you could always have this on its own. It’s a real treat!

10. Canned Mushroom Liquid

The last on our list, but definitely not the least, is canned mushroom liquid. Coming with a savory taste, this can of liquid goodness can add the flavor you always craved in your food.

Add it to your pasta sauce, stew, and stir-fry and watch give it a new relish! It’s more on the salty side, hence using it in small amounts to see how much you need, is probably a better idea.

Speaking of salty, you probably cannot add it to your desserts or other sweet-tasting dishes that need white wine. That’s exactly what we thought at first. However, the trick is to add a dash or two of grape or pomegranate juice to give it the right kick needed for candied food!

One other aspect to note is that canned mushrooms are often incorporated into some other liquid that absorbs the mushroom flavor. So, if you’re avoiding the mushroom taste in food, this wouldn’t be the one for you.

What We Recommend it For:

  • Any savory dish.

What We Don’t Recommend it For:

  • Sweet dishes.
  • Food that needs to be cooked for too long.

Best Canned Mushroom Liquid To Get:

Pennsylvania Dutchman Canned Mushrooms is a good alternative for white wine when used in cooking. The sizes inside might vary but the flavor of it is great.

Also, we don’t really need the mushrooms, do we? All we for our white wine substitution is the yummy liquid of the canned mushrooms. And let us tell you that this one’s liquid has all the awesome flavors of mushroom-packed in it!

If All Else Fails

We understand if you immediately do not have any of the ingredients in the pantry. There’s always one element to save our day: water!

Yes, it doesn’t come with the flavor or acidity of white wine, but it makes up for the liquid part. When everything else gives up on you, add a few bay leaves, herbs, and a dash of lemon juice with ¾ cups of water. While this doesn’t give you the exact taste, it saves your recipe to some extent!

A few other ingredients that add a good flavor to your food, in place of white wine, would be clam juice, and sharp cheeses. They are pretty close to what white wine brings to the table and tastes amazing with any meal!

Questions from You

Below are the answers to some common queries we often stumble upon. Read through to get a clear idea of what you’re playing with!

What Can I Substitute For White Wine?

You’ve already seen the top 10 white wine alternatives in our review above. While all of them work excellently, we’ve picked out our own favorites from the list!

For the best alternative, you can use white wine vinegar. However, keep in mind to mix it with half parts of water before pouring it in your edibles. If you don’t, you’re likely to get a strong acidic taste from the vinegar.

In case you don’t want water, you could always use grape or apple juice in its place. Known to be more on the sweeter side, both of these work well with white wine vinegar to bring the perfect balance.

Albeit, white wine vinegar isn’t a very common ingredient in many people’s pantries. If you’re one of them, go for a mixture of normal vinegar and apple juice. The opposite tastes of these will surely bring out a flavor that’s very close to that of white wine!

What Can I Substitute For White Wine Vinegar?

White wine vinegar is one of those elements that comes closest to white wine if you mix it up with sweeter juices. Nevertheless, it’s not a very usual find in the pantry as well.

Not to worry because you can alternate that as well! Below we’ve listed the top five white wine vinegar alternatives:

01. Red wine vinegar:
We’ve already talked about how both white and red wine is made from the same fruit. Similarly, their vinegars are also extracted from wine! So, what else could be better than red wine vinegar to replace white wine vinegar?

While this particular type has a more flavorful profile than white wine vinegar, their acidity level matches to a great extent. Use slightly less red wine vinegar in place of white wine vinegar, to achieve the same taste!

Also, known for the “red” color, red wine vinegar can alter the look of your dish to some extent if it’s light in color, like noodles! Not to worry, cause that’s just adding a little burst of colors and not changing the overall flavor.

The top three red wine vinegars would be:

a). Pompeian Gourmet Organic Red Wine Vinegar
b). Amazon Brand – Happy Belly Red Wine Vinegar
c). Columela 30 Year Sherry Vinegar

02. Rice vinegar:
For recipes that are more on the milder or sweeter side of the food world, rice vinegar is a perfect replacement for white wine vinegar. Made from fermented rice, it provides a subtle sweet taste to the dish.

You can easily replace it in the ratio 1:1 for soups, stews, or stir-fries. If you absolutely need a little bit of zesty punch, you can add in lemon or orange juice with it.

Our top three picks:

a) Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar
b) Kikkoman Rice Vinegar
c) Eden Foods, Vinegar Brown Rice Organic

03. Apple cider vinegar:
A classic ingredient available in all pantries! You’ve heard of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and surprisingly, it goes very well in place of white wine vinegar.

The acidity of the two is similar but apple cider does have the unique flavor and aroma of apples. Ergo, we would recommend using it in recipes that call for little quantities of white wine vinegar.

We’ve already suggested the Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, here are three others:

a) Fairchild’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
b) Heinz Sweet Relish
c) Lucy’s Family Owned – USDA Organic Non-GMO Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

04. White vinegar
This one might be flavorless, but it acts as a mighty good substitution. On its own, it’s not so much of a flavor-enhancer. Although mixed with water and sugar, it’s a darn good replacement for white wine vinegar.

Since it’s more acidic than white wine vinegar, adding the above ingredients tones down the acidity to some extent. For one cup of white wine, mix ¾ cups of vinegar, ¼ cups of water, and one tablespoon of sugar, to get the perfect acidity.

Note: White vinegar does not give out any extra flavor. It only adds the acidity of white wine vinegar.

Below are the best choices for white vinegar:
a) Lucy’s Family Owned – Natural Distilled White Vinegar
b) Amazon Brand – Happy Belly White Distilled Vinegar, Kosher
c) Colavita Aged White Wine Vinegar

05. Lemon juice
Yes, just like with white wine, lemon juice can be replaced for white wine vinegar as well. We meant it when we said it’s super versatile!

You can replace it for white wine vinegar in an equal ratio. So, for dishes that ask one tablespoon of white wine vinegar, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in its place. The citric acid of lemons might lag behind the acetic acid of white wine vinegar, but the flavor of it does not fall behind!

Raw lemon juice is the best way to go for any recipe. Nevertheless, below are three bottled lemon juice that tops the chart:
a) Lucy’s Family Owned – Lemon Juice
b) Santa Cruz 100% Organic Pure Lemon Juice
c) Lakewood Organic Pure Lemon

What Can I Substitute For Dry White Wine?

Dry white wine is typically known as any white wine that hasn’t been sweetened up. They’re a cooking favorite for any dish that doesn’t require too much flavor. Be it for a sauce with risotto, or to deglaze fish, pork, and chicken, it’s been known to enhance the appetite of anyone!

Being a not-so-common kitchen ingredient, you can easily find some familiar alternatives for it. To start off, reach for dry vermouth. It’s somewhat stronger than dry white wine, so it’s smart to incorporate it in small amounts.

Another great substitute for dry white wine is white wine vinegar. When a recipe calls for just a splash of dry white wine, using white wine vinegar is a good option. Keep in mind to not use too much of it since the acidity can overpower your food.

The last and the most commonly found ingredient would be lemon juice. Add a dash of lemon juice in place of dry white wine, for any edibles, to get that tangy flavor out!

What Is A Good Substitute For White Wine In Risotto?

Risotto is a well-loved Italian dish that can easily get ruined if you mix in the wrong ingredients. Hence, when you’re substituting white wine in risotto, it’s best to stay

away from any kind of vinegar. Because they tend to have an acidic tang, they can easily overpower the taste.

For the safest bet, mix in chicken broth with a couple drops of lime juice. This would give you the ideal taste for white wine in risotto.

If you wanna be more on the fancy side, verjus is the best option. Put in a few ounces of verjus into your chicken broth and watch the risotto cook to perfection!

What Can I Substitute For Dry White Wine In Shrimp Scampi?

Dry white wine can usually be replaced with the same ingredients as white wine. Hence, the first replacement would be white wine vinegar. Of course, mix it up with a sweeter juice like apple juice to neutralize the acidic taste.

For shrimp scampi, the best substitute for dry white wine would be the shrimp stock itself. Let the shrimp shells simmer in water for a few minutes and let the shells give a fantastic flavor to the stock. Strain it, discard the shells and use it in the scampi for some delightful taste!

In case that doesn’t seem ideal for you, combine oregano, parsley, olive oil, and chicken stock for a supreme savory stew for the saute. Ensure to use these in small amounts and add one squeeze of lemon juice to get that wholesome pack of flavor!

Can I Substitute White Wine Vinegar For Red Wine Vinegar?

A very common misconception is that red and white wine vinegar have the same taste. While this is true to some extent, red wine vinegar does give off a stronger flavor profile than white wine vinegar.

Nevertheless, white wine vinegar can be a great alternative for red wine vinegar. Although it’ll not give off the extra flavor of red wine vinegar, it’ll definitely work to enhance your dish. Ergo, instead of going overboard with it, it’s best to use it in a 1:1 ratio.

Bottom Line

White wine vinegar is the ultimate taste-enhancer in savory as well as some sweet dishes. Getting the perfect balance of sweet and acidic that white wine provides can be tough, but if you have the right ingredients in your pantry, it’s easy!

Amongst all our recommendations, the favorite substitute for white wine would be white wine vinegar mixed with apple juice, in equal parts. There’s no beating the balance of sweet and savory with these two!

Do you have any other ingredients to add?

Perhaps, one of them didn’t feel right for you?

Either way, let us know in the comments below!

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