sherry vinegar substitute

Top 7 Sherry Vinegar Substitutes That Work Well Every Time

Sherry vinegar is a great ingredient when you need a bit of tartness and nuttiness. However, there are many of us out there who can’t always afford this vinegar or can’t seem to find one. In those cases, there are some good replacements we can use.

What Is Sherry Vinegar?

This wine vinegar is the result of fermenting the fortified wine sherry. Usually, it comes from Spain, particularly the region of Cadiz. While the base is sherry wine, depending on the grape used, the vinegar can be dry or sweet. 

Even the most basic sherry vinegar has a complex nutty and sweet flavor. This type of vinegar is often part of making soups, stews, sauces, and more. Since it is a bit more affordable than balsamic vinegar, it has become a regular ingredient in many cuisines.

What Can I Replace Sherry Vinegar With?

If you can’t find it or want something else, these sherry vinegar substitutes are the perfect options for any of your dishes:

For French Onion Soup, Gazpacho, and Salad Dressings

#1. Rice Wine Vinegar

This type of vinegar is the result of fermenting rice wine and has a sweeter flavor that resembles sherry. Rice wine vinegar is common in making Asian dishes but can work great in soups, salad dressings, and marinades.

You can find this type of vinegar in any grocery store, usually by the Asian section.

To substitute for sherry vinegar, you can use the same amount of rice wine vinegar. Consider adding a splash of red wine for color and flavor if you want.

#2. Balsamic Vinegar

Like sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar is considered a complex ingredient full of sweetness and tartness. This ingredient is regarded as the most delicate and gourmet vinegar, as it is the product of fermenting grape must.

This vinegar is great in salad dressings, reduction, gazpacho, French onion soup, and in meat dishes.

You can find balsamic vinegar in any grocery store, but if you want a high-quality brand, try a delicatessen or specialty store.

To substitute for sherry vinegar, try three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar plus one tablespoon of olive oil. The addition of olive oil emulsifies and reduces the pungency a bit.

See More: Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes

#3. Champagne Vinegar

This vinegar comes from fermenting champagne down to acetic acid. The flavor, though, is very mild and fresh. You can use this choice when making soups, salad dressings, marinades, and gazpacho. 

To buy champagne vinegar, go to the local grocery store most likely by the salad dressings or marinades section. This vinegar is not as sweet as sherry, so you can add a bit of sugar when you mix it in.

Use the same amount as you would sherry vinegar, though you may need more for flavor.

#4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is the product of fermenting apple juice, so the flavor is sweet and only a bit tart. This choice works in plenty of dishes, including soups, marinades, salad dressings, stews, and even beverages.

Apple cider vinegar is also considered a healthy digestive, so it is very popular lately. 

You can find apple cider vinegar in any grocery, organic, or health store. Substitute sherry vinegar for the same amount of apple cider vinegar, but it may be a bit too sweet, so try the flavor first.

See More: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad?

For Marinades, Pickled Onions, and Baking

#5. Red Wine Vinegar

This is probably the strongest flavor out of this list, but it works well in marinades, pickled onions, and baking meat dishes. This vinegar is the result of fermenting red wine into acetic acid, but the grape varies, so each brand can be a bit more or less sweet.

You can find this type of vinegar in any grocery store, usually by the oils and marinades section.

To replace for sherry vinegar, use the same amount of red wine vinegar. However, you may need to add sugar as well for more sweetness.

See More: Red Wine Vinegar Alternatives

#6. White Wine Vinegar

This type of vinegar comes from fermenting white wine until it becomes acidic. You can use this for pickling vegetables, marinades, sauces, and soups. To use this vinegar as a substitute for sherry vinegar, use the same amount of white wine vinegar. 

You can find this type of vinegar in any grocery store by the vinaigrette and marinades section. To make the flavor more similar to sherry vinegar, add a bit of brown sugar too.

See More: White Wine Vinegar Replacements

#7. Lemon or Lime Juice

This final choice is only appropriate if you don’t have another choice. Use only a small squeeze of lime or lemon juice to add tartness and citrus to your meal. If you can, use lemon juice as it has a bit more sweetness. 

You can find lemons or limes in any grocery store, organic market, and farmer’s market. If you want to mix flavors, use this choice along with any other substitute from this list.

See More: Best Substitutes for Lemon Juice


Can I substitute sherry for sherry vinegar?

Yes, you can substitute sherry for sherry vinegar, but consider that this choice is much more tart and doesn’t contain any alcohol. You can add sherry vinegar if you have no other choice, but using another fortified wine may be a better option. Some good wines are port, Madeira, or Marsala.

What is the difference between dry sherry and cooking sherry?

Dry sherry is a fortified wine that contains alcohol but cooking sherry contains no alcohol. Cooking sherry wine contains more sugar, salt, and is not meant for drinking.

Can you use sherry vinegar instead of red wine vinegar?

Substituting red wine vinegar for sherry and vice versa is not a bad idea. You can use either, but remember that red wine vinegar is a bit stronger and more acidic. Sherry vinegar is a bit nutty, complex, and sweeter.


Sherry vinegar isn’t a common ingredient, but when your recipe calls for it, substituting with the right food is essential. Use any of these 7 alternatives whenever you need to swap sherry vinegar and add delicious aromas and flavors to your meals.

sherry vinegar alternative

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