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Don’t have vinegar or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here’s the best white wine vinegar substitute.

Substitute for white wine vinegar
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Making a recipe that calls for white wine vinegar and don’t have it? White wine vinegar is made from fermenting white wine, then straining and bottling it. It tastes tangy and zingy, a little mellower than its cousin red wine vinegar. You should be able to find it in your local grocery next to the other vinegars. But don’t have time to shop for it? Here are some substitute ideas.

Best white wine vinegar substitute

1. Red wine vinegar

The best substitute for white wine vinegar? Red wine vinegar! This vinegar is easy to find and you might have it in your cupboard already. It’s a bit more bold in flavor than white wine vinegar, but the flavors are very similar. Use it as a 1:1 substitute.

2. Rice vinegar (not seasoned)

If you have it, rice vinegar also works as a substitute! This type of vinegar is made from fermented rice and used in Asian-style cuisine. It has a similar flavor to white wine vinegar. But make sure not to use seasoned rice vinegar, though: it’s seasoned with sugar and salt and used for seasoning sushi rice and Asian style salads.

3. Sherry vinegar

Sherry vinegar is another white wine vinegar substitute; it is medium-bodied and lightly sweet. But it’s got a very distinct flavor that’s more pronounced than white wine vinegar. It’s often used in Spanish cuisine.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Don’t have those vinegars? No problem. The next best white wine vinegar substitute is apple cider vinegar. It’s bolder in flavor than white wine vinegar, but it works if that’s all you have.

5. Champagne vinegar

If you have it, champagne vinegar also could work as a substitute! It’s made by fermenting champagne. Note that it is very mild in flavor, so it’s not near the intensity of white wine vinegar.

6. Lemon juice (in a pinch)

Don’t have any vinegars on hand? You can use lemon juice as a substitute in a pinch. Lemon juice is also acidic and tangy like white wine vinegar. But naturally, it tastes like lemon and not vinegar! Lemon juice can work for salad dressings, but you may need to add a little more lemon juice to equate the zing of the white wine vinegar (do so to taste).

What not to use as a substitute? We recommend not using balsamic vinegar or distilled white vinegar: they are much too strong.

Here are some recipes where you could use this white wine vinegar substitution:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. JenniferWise says:

    White wine vinegar is quite sour to taste, and its high consumption may cause harm to the liver and kidneys. So I always try to use balsamic vinegar as a substitute for white wine vinegar as it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients.

  2. Sandra Grosvenor says:

    This entry saved my life! Well, saved the production of my surprise birthday meringue anyway! I couldn’t find white wine vinegar anywhere! Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome!