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This white wine sauce is easy to make and full of tangy, savory flavor from dry wine and Parmesan. Serve as a sauce for pasta, chicken or fish.

White wine sauce

Want to cook with wine? Let’s go! Here’s a white wine sauce for pasta, chicken or fish that’s easy to make and makes the most beautiful flavor. Adding wine to a sauce makes it taste like it’s from a fancy restaurant…but it’s easy to make at home! The flavor tangy from the wine and savory from the Parmesan cheese. Our favorite way to serve this is with pasta: it’s a simple light sauce that takes only 15 minutes to put together. But it would work well with chicken or fish too. Here’s what to know about making a wine sauce!

Want to skip the wine? Head this Simple Cream Sauce.

What wine to use for cooking

First off: why cook with wine? 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 like this white wine sauce!

What wine to use for cooking? Use any dry white wine here. You’ll want a crisp white wine that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness. A few types of white wine that are great for cooking are:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Gris
  • Dry Vermouth

You might have dry vermouth on hand for using in cocktails (like the Classic Martini). But it doubles as a cooking wine! Its crisp, cry flavor is very versatile.

White wine sauce

Ingredients for white wine sauce

Making a white wine sauce is easier than you think! It might sound fancy and French. But it takes just 15 minutes to whip up with a short list of ingredients. The ingredients for white wine sauce are:

  • Dry white wine
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • Butter
  • Flour (or substitute gluten-free flour)
  • Cream (or substitute milk)
  • Parmesan cheese
White wine sauce

How to make a white wine sauce: tips!

  • Saute the garlic and shallot: only 1 minute! Here’s a way to make your entire kitchen smell divine! Melt the butter and saute the aromatics. Watch it carefully: you don’t want them to brown! Just enough to be fragrant and transparent.
  • Add flour: like a quick roux! The flour acts as a thickener. It’s like a quick version of a roux, a way to thicken creamy sauces like in our Easy Cream Sauce.
  • Simmer with the wine and cream for 3 minutes.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk the sauce until it melts.

Is white wine sauce alcoholic?

Does white wine sauce contain alcohol? Yes. But only trace amounts per serving (about 0.8 ounces). We felt comfortable serving this pasta to our 3 year old. But you should do only what you’re comfortable with! If you’re sensitive to alcohol, pregnant or serving this kids, here’s what to know:

  • You may have heard that when cooking food with alcohol, all the alcohol burns off. This is false: typically after cooking a food with wine for 15 minutes, about 50% of the original alcohol remains.
  • This sauce is simmered for 5 minutes, so about 85% of the alcohol remains.
  • The recipe uses ½ cup or 4 ounces of white wine for 4 servings. So this would be 0.80 ounces of alcohol per serving.
White wine sauce

Serving a white wine pasta sauce

Want to serve it with pasta? Here are a few things to know about making white wine pasta sauce:

  • It makes enough for 8 ounces of pasta. This works as 4 modest servings. Depending on what you’re serving with, you may want to increase the pasta amount to 12 or 16 ounces.
  • It works with any type of noodle! Long noodles, short noodles, spaghetti, penne or rigatoni, any pasta shape work. 
  • Add chopped herbs for garnish if desired. We topped with a little finely minced Italian parsley for color. You could use basil, thyme or oregano instead.
  • Make it a meal with plant-based protein & a salad. Add these 5-minute Easy Cannellini Beans or Easy White Beans and Arugula Salad.

More ways to serve white wine sauce

There are other ways to serve this white wine sauce other than pasta! Here are some ideas:

White wine sauce

This recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free flour.

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White wine sauce

Easy White Wine Sauce

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup, enough for 8 ounces pasta 1x


This white wine sauce is easy to make and full of tangy, savory flavor from dry wine and Parmesan. Serve as a sauce for pasta, chicken or fish.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot (¼ cup finely chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the shallot.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the garlic and shallot and saute for 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant but not browned. Add the flour and cook 1 more minute.
  3. Add white wine and cream and cook on a low simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese and salt and whisk until it melts. Taste and adjust salt if needed. If desired, serve with 8 ounces pasta of any shape.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: White Wine Sauce, White Wine Pasta Sauce

More pasta sauce recipes

Want more pasta sauces? Here are some more homemade pasta sauce recipes to try:

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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  1. I didn’t have shallots, omitted the cheese because we were using it for lobster ravioli and added a little lemon zest. Super easy and delicious!

    1. I use this recipe so much. My children love the white wine sauce with added grated carrot and mushrooms. Poured over pasta
      Thank you.

  2. I added ham (left over from Christmas) and champagne (left over from NYE, don’t judge). Also, used cheddar and bleu instead on parmesan (out of it thanks to the holidays). Such a yummy way to use up left overs!

  3. This was very easy and quick, I made it for lunch. I used red onion, no Shallots, added oregano, basil, and Old Bay. I also used Gouda cheese along with the parmesan.

  4. Thanks for the info about alcohol remaining in recipe despite cooking. News to me and quite important to know.

  5. Made this with what I had available . Not being a brilliant cook turned out dare I say a lot better than I thought. Very quick. Thanks 😊

  6. Truly awful. Way too much wine flavor and shallot heavy despite cooking off alcohol for longer than recipe stated because it was just way too strong for the amount of other ingredients. Do not recommend.

    1. Agreed…I cooked the shallots and garlic for longer than instructed, but there were too many crunchy shallots and the wine was overpowering. Disappointing – because I was really looking forward to the wine, shallots, and butter/parm flavors melded together.

        1. Thank you for this recipe. This recipe is so versatile.
          I used your recipe for the White Wine Sauce for tonight’s dinner. I looked at your reviews and I knew that it would work with me meal. I had Sweet Italian Sausage. I boiled the sausage in water until it was almost done. I removed the sausage from my pan onto a plate and then discarded the water. I washed and dried the pan and placed it back onto the stove. I then heated the olive oil and all of the ingredients except for the garlic. When the wine sauce was starting to boil I then placed the sausage into the panel and cooked on medium heat for approximately 10-12 minutes. I removed the sausage from the pan and placed the olive oil white wine sauce into a small cream pitcher. I served the sausage and poured the sauce over the sausage and added parmesan cheese. It was delicious. Again, thank you for the recipe.

    2. Agreed, everyone that gave this a good rating is drunk on the alcohol cooked at way too low of a temp. And since the cream is added at the same time if you try to cook it off properly the sauce will split.

  7. Just made your white wine pasta sauce. What can I say, “Delicioso”!
    Best ever!! Thank you for the recipe.

  8. I’m really into Italian cuisine and I made the sauce. The wine gives it’s such a fancy Italian taste. 10/10 love the smooth texture

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