Dinner with Wine in Restaurant

Finding The Best White Wine Substitute: 13 Alternatives To Consider

Dinner with Wine in Restaurant

White wine is an absolute necessity for many dinners, whether as a beverage or an ingredient for a delicious meal. It is especially useful for French and Italian cuisine. However, it can be a pain to keep white wine in stock all the time. 

If you find yourself without any white wine on hand, worry not! There are plenty of alternatives for white wine that will work just as well and won't break your wallet. Pick among these best white wine substitutes that work for you.

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White Wine Alcoholic Substitutes

1. Red Wine

Bottle and glasses of red wine

If you run out of white wine but still have red wine on hand, you can use the latter to make a delicious dish. Red wine is best used for meats like beef, lamb, chicken, duck, and more as it provides color and makes the meat moist and juicy when cooking.  

Red wines are also famously used for wine reduction sauces like Bordelaise sauce. Even as a fantastic ingredient, you have to be careful when replacing white wine with red wine because they have different tastes and appearances.  

If a recipe calls for white wine, look at the other ingredients and see whether they go well with red. For example, if the main ingredient is chicken and vegetables, then red wine might be good to use.

However, if the recipe is all about seafood, red wine is not recommended since it will alter the taste and appearance. In seafood dishes, you can look at another substitute for white wine. 

It is also important to note that when using red wine in place of white wine, you may change the dish altogether. However, it still doesn't stop you from making a fantastic meal.

We recommend making the delightful French dish Beef Bourguignon using French wines like Burgundy and braised chicken with a sauce using Cabernet Sauvignon.

2. Dry Vermouth

Fresh homemade vodka martini cocktails with vermouth

Dry vermouth is a fantastic ingredient to keep stocked in your cupboards for those who enjoy white wine in cooking. It's relatively inexpensive and can be used as a substitute for white wine when making sauces or other recipes that require some form of alcohol. 

Dry vermouth makes chicken taste amazing and also adds an extra kick to any type of pasta sauce! It is much stronger than white wine, so if you're using it as an ingredient for a recipe, start slow and taste often until you find the right flavor balance.  

Try to make your dish's appearance extra appetizing with fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary. Not only does this add flavor, but it also makes every meal more fragrant than ever before!

Since vermouth is also aromatic and comes in different forms, you can use it in a plethora of dishes. For example, you can use sweet vermouth to give dessert recipes with more sweetness and dry vermouth for drinks or main dish preparations like salads that have herbal tastes.

Another bonus that dry vermouth gives is its long shelf life if properly stored. An opened bottle of dry vermouth will last longer than an opened white wine.

3. Beer

Different Types of Beer in glasses

Beer is among the best substitutes for white wine. It can give you the same amazing taste as white wine, and it has a lot more flavor options to choose from, so feel free to test out different beers for different food.  

Beer is perfect for your recipes because it has more robust flavors compatible with red meat and green vegetables and lighter ones that go well with fish.

When cooking, beer needs to be reduced so its flavors can concentrate before incorporating it into your dish. Because you’ll use less than an entire bottle or can when creating these strong-flavored sauces - you can have plenty leftover for yourself!

It can be used in sauces, soups, or glazes like you would use red wine when cooking beef! Other recipes include onion soup, roast chicken with a creamy sauce, beef and vegetable stew, and mussels.

You will not need as much beer to have that strong flavor, so don't worry about wasting any by drinking some, too; just save what's leftover for your next dish! So next time you’re cooking up something special, why don't you grab some of your favorite beers?

White Wine Juice Substitutes

4. Grape Juice

White grapes juice

Since wine comes from grape juice, white grape juice is a popular substitute for white wine, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. 

Grape juice is a bit sweeter and less acidic, so it's important not to use white grape juice alone as an alternative if you're planning on cooking anything savory. The sweetness of this type will change your dish entirely!

To make this white wine substitute efficient, you will need to add a bit of vinegar. You should, however, pay attention to the ratio of grapes to vinegar as adding too much may result in an overly tart taste for your recipe so take care when making substitutions like these!

White grape juice is also rich in antioxidants which help protect the body from free radicals and diseases such as cancer or heart disease. Furthermore, grape juice improves brain function while being high on energy boosters to keep your day rolling along smoothly!

5. Apple Juice

Apples and Apple Juice

When using white wine in cooking, it's also important to look at other ingredients required. However, if you don't have any on hand and are looking for a white wine substitute that will add sweetness to your dish or something non-alcoholic, then apple juice would be perfect!

Apple juice can be used in recipes for lighter sauces. It is recommended to use a 1:1 ratio when you replace white wine with apple juice. But if you want to add acidity, it is recommended to add a balance of sweet and tart flavors. Try using it with either vinegar or lemon juice for an extra flavor kick!

When used sparingly, it’s also an excellent white wine alternative because its light color allows other flavors such as garlic and ginger to shine through.

Apple juice is excellent for your health due to its high levels of antioxidants that help boost metabolism, improve digestion, and relieve asthma symptoms. However, apple juices are not without their flaws. 

Despite being a healthy alternative to white wine, its low-fiber content can lead to constipation, while sugar promotes tooth decay. Additionally, there may be weight gain associated with this drink if you do not exercise much or follow a balanced diet plan alongside it.

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6. Lemon Juice

lemon juice and fresh lemons

Lemons are a favorite cooking ingredient. They have a tangy flavor that adds a certain zing to any recipe, which can be helpful for some food that lacks acidity. Many recipes call for lemon juice, and it is often used as a substitute for white wine. Lemon juice can be just as versatile as apple cider vinegar. 

The sour flavor of lemon juice provides tangy tastes to your dish and gives it an acidic quality to enhance the taste even more! Its flavor profile and function are similar to that of dry white wine in cooking.

However, some lemon juices have an extremely tart taste which may overpower your dish if not diluted with water before adding it into recipes. Make sure their tangy flavors aren't too intense on top of what else you're preparing.

7. Lime Juice

hand squeezing lime 

A tangy and tart flavor can be obtained by using white wine in recipes. White wine is also a common ingredient for sauces, soups, marinades, or zesty vinaigrettes like the one used to make French dressing, made from mayonnaise and vinegar.

However, if you need an alternative that will still give your dish its original taste without altering it too much, then lime juice should do the trick! 

If a recipe requires two tablespoons of white wine, just mix one tablespoon each of water and lime juice - making sure you don't use more than what's needed not to alter the recipe.

White Wine Non-Alcoholic Substitutes

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar in a bottle

Another fantastic substitute for white wine in cooking is apple cider vinegar. It’s also not as expensive or hard to come by as white wine, so it is more accommodating. 

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar shares many of the same qualities as white wine! It is sweet and tart with acidity levels similar to wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The trick is to use less at first and add more when needed. Too much apple cider vinegar can make your recipe taste sour, so adding it slowly helps regulate the flavor in any dish. We recommend mixing one-half tablespoon of water to one-half tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. This should be equivalent to one tablespoon of white wine.

Apple cider vinegar is also great for your body. Aside from being non-alcoholic, it can help lower blood sugar levels and improve digestion. It also acts as a natural laxative!

9. Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth

Chicken bone broth in a glass jar

The tangy kick of white wine is a delicious addition to many recipes, but it can also be replaced with chicken broth. Chicken broth has less acidity and has a milder flavor than most wines, so if you want to add depth without the vinegar or other acidic ingredients, replace white wine with this instead!

It might seem like a simple substitution, but it’s not that easy to replace white wine with chicken broth. To make the switch successfully, you should use equal parts to avoid altering your dish too much. If possible, try using low-sodium or sodium-free versions for recipes that already have enough saltiness built-in.

There are plenty of ways to get your hands on chicken broth, whether you decide to buy it at the grocery store or make some yourself. You can simmer leftover bones with water and vegetables for a delicious alternative that packs just as much flavor as using vegetable stock instead.

You may find pre-made packages of chicken broth in most supermarkets these days. So, if you're looking for something more convenient than making your soup from scratch, then this might be best for you!

10. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar in a bowl

With its similar flavor to dry white wine, it is no wonder why many people use white wine vinegar when cooking. 

If you choose this alternative, you will need less white wine vinegar because it already has a high level of acidity that can be overpowering for certain dishes. To dilute some of the acidity levels in your recipe, simply mix one part water with two parts vinegar.

White wine vinegar is not just a substitute for alcoholic drinks; it’s also an excellent home remedy. It can help with weight management, treat infections in the body, and kill harmful bacteria to make you healthier. These are other reasons why you should incorporate white wine vinegar in your food.

If you have red wine vinegar, you can also use this in place of white wine, but you need to adjust the required amount. You may treat it similarly with red wine.

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11. Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale or Kombucha

Ginger ale is one of the most popular drinks in America. However, there are many interesting uses for it that you might not have heard about before! For example, ginger ale may substitute white wine in cooking because their acidity and sweetness levels are similar.

Not only does ginger ale look similar to white wine, but its flavor profile is very close as well, making it easy to use this type of ingredient instead of other expensive alcohol.

There is a slight difference between the taste of these two liquids, but you can use equal parts of ginger ale as you would with white wine. For recipes where you want just a little bit of gingery flavor, use ginger ale. It also helps break down the protein in meats, making them tender.

If your dish calls for more than just some subtle flavors, ginger ale also comes to the rescue as its sweet and citrusy characteristics will complement any savory or sweet ingredients in this type of recipe. Overall, ginger ale makes a fantastic ingredient to explore when cooking different food.

12. Water and Herbs

 Glass of water and herbs

If you are in a pinch and don't have any of the mentioned alternatives and are stuck at what to use as a substitute for white wine, then water is the answer. 

Water is more readily accessible than other white wine substitutes, so it's better in that sense too! This creative choice could work just fine if paired correctly with another ingredient, such as cream but does not lend itself well to all dishes.

Make sure you read through recipes carefully before deciding whether this alternative to white wine will do the trick. Water is an essential part of cooking, but it's a flavorless ingredient. However, there are many ways to make water into something more than simply bland-tasting liquid for your meal.

For instance, adding herbs like bay leaves can add savory flavors to dishes, while fresh herb sauces in recipes will also create sour and sweet tastes! Infusing vinegar with sugar and herbs or mixing them makes exciting new combinations as well.

13.Canned Mushroom Liquid

Mushrooms with liquid in an open jar

Cooking with canned mushrooms can be tricky, but it is made significantly more accessible when using them as an alternative to white wine. 

The liquid inside most cans contains flavors that mimic what you would taste in a meal prepared solely from fresh ingredients and has enough consistency, so there's no need for seasonings or sauces.

One of the handiest tricks for vegetarians and vegans is to use canned mushrooms in a recipe that calls for white wine. For a savory flavor, use a canned mushroom liquid as your substitution, or mix it with grape juice if you want something sweeter.

Mushrooms have an earthy taste even when they're canned, making them perfect substitutes when using white wines in dishes such as sauces and soups. They add body without adding too much saltiness as some other substitutions would do. 


Whatever the reason you can't use white wine when you're whipping something in the kitchen, you don't need to cancel your cooking plans because there are excellent substitutes for white wine. 

Which ingredient surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments.

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