Here’s the best substitute for white wine in cooking! There are a few options to avoid opening a bottle, or as a non-alcoholic option.

Substitute for white wine in cooking

Got a recipe that calls for cooking with wine, but don’t want to open a bottle? Or want to avoid alcohol all together? Don’t worry: we’ve got red and white wine substitute ideas! Italian and French style recipes often call for white wine in the ingredient list. It’s used to de-glaze the pan or add a complex, acidic flavor to dishes. It adds incredible complexity to risotto or pan sauces!

But first: is the real thing really that good?

Yes! If you’re on the fence about cooking with wine, we highly encourage you to try it. It adds a flavor unlike anything else. One note: do not use cooking wine! It has a bitter flavor and should be avoided at all costs. Any dry white or red wine you’d drink will do! But if you want a non-alcoholic substitute for white wine or red wine in cooking: here are some ideas.

Best substitutes for white wine in cooking

Note that how these options work depend on the type of recipe and how the white wine is used.

1. White wine vinegar (plus water).

The best substitute for white wine in cooking? White wine vinegar. This substitute has none of the alcohol and might already be in your pantry, since it’s used in lots of salad dressings. It adds lots of acidity and has a similar flavor to wine. Because it’s so strong, we suggest diluting with water. Use equal parts white wine vinegar plus water. So if a recipe calls for ½ cup white wine, substitute ¼ cup white wine vinegar and ¼ cup water.

2. Vegetable or chicken broth.

Another good white wine substitute? You can use broth as a white wine substitute in cooking! It won’t bring the acidity or complexity that wine does, but it will add a little extra flavor. You could also use it in combination with vinegar, as with above.

3. Water.

If you’re really in a pinch, you can just use water as a white wine substitute! It won’t stand in for the acidity of white wine, but will keep the liquid ratios the same as the original recipe intended.

Here are a few recipes where white wine is used to bring complexity in flavor:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the suggestion! This is really helpful for those aspiring cooks that aren’t exactly of legal drinking age.

  2. White wine substitute;
    1 OZ vodka, 2 OZ water, juice of 1 lemon, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar.
    You need alcohol to release alcohol soluble compounds.